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Italian Literature

The following are selections from contemporary Italian literature.

The Path to the Spider's Nests
Calvino, Italo
The Path to the Spider's Nests
(Sentiero dei nidi di ragno)
This first novel by Calvino is a revealing commentary on the Italian resistance and an insightful coming-of-age story of Pin, a cobbler's apprentice who lives with his sister, a prostitute, in a town on the Ligurian Coast during World II. He spends as much time as he can at the lowlife bar where he amuses grown-ups, and after a mishap with a Nazi soldier, becomes involved with a band of partisans.
 
Fenoglio, Beppe, 1922-1963
A Private Affair
(Una Questione Privata)
After the fateful day of September 8,1943—when Italy surrendered to the Allies and was occupied by the Wehrmacht—Milton, a university student, joins the anti-German partisan militia in the mountainous areas of the Piedmont.
 
Levi, Carlo
Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year
(Cristo Si E Fermato A Eboli)
DG975.B3 L4813
Levi, an intellectual exiled by the Fascist government during World War II to a mountain village in southern Italy, discovers the resilience and dignity of people who live close to the land. In 1979 it was made into a motion picture.
 
Silone, Ignazio, 1900-1978
Bread and Wine
Set and written in Fascist Italy, in Abruzzo, this book exposes that regime's use of brute force for the body and lies for the mind. Through the story of the once-exiled Pietro Spina, Italy comes alive with priests and peasants, students and revolutionaries, all on the brink of war.
 
Vittorini, Elio, 1908-1966
Conversations in Sicily
(Conversazione in Sicilia)
A successful but,troubled businessman learns that his father has deserted his mother, leaving her on her own on the outskirts of a primitive Sicilian village. The narrator has not been back to Sicily for years. On his journey he reconnects with his past and encountering the Sicilian countryside and the people with their robust character and earthy ways -- his redoubtable mother in particular -- he rediscovers himself and the basic values of life.