This essay analyses the profession of the notary from an unusual anthropologicalsociological perspective. Something of a scapegoat for contemporary journalism, the institution of the Latin notary has inhabited Italy’s recent history, playing an important role in the process of juridification of everyday life, so of the formation of living law. The problem is to ascertain whether this function also continues within the shell of the activity conducted by individual notaries today: a complex operation, especially in communication terms. In order to achieve its purpose, while keeping its distance from stereotypes and commonplaces, the text transforms the affluent notary who populates our popular imagery into a mimic of Don Quixote taking issue with the usual way of thinking, a semi-hero devoted to demonstrating the synchronic currency of the weakest members of society, within the framework of the law. Undergoing this transmutation, the institution of the notary is found to offer an unexpected metaphor of modernity, of its ambiguous parabola and of its unachieved potential.
Keywords: The Latin notary ‒ Otherness; Intercultural ‒ Legal ethnology ‒ Modernity