The rugged landscape of Baronia on Sardinia sets the scene for this novel of crime, guilt and retribution. This novel presents the story of the Pintor sisters - from a family of noble landowners now in decline - their nephew Giacinto, and their servant Efix, who is trying to make up for a mysterious sin committed many years before. Around, below, ...
The rugged landscape of Baronia on Sardinia sets the scene for this novel of crime, guilt and retribution. This novel presents the story of the Pintor sisters - from a family of noble landowners now in decline - their nephew Giacinto, and their servant Efix, who is trying to make up for a mysterious sin committed many years before. Around, below, and inside them the raging Mediterranean storms, the jagged mountains, the murmuring forests, and the gushing springs form a Greek chorus of witness to the tragic drama of this unforgiving land. Deledda tells her story with her characteristic love of the natural landscape and fascination with the folk culture of the island, with details about the famous religious festivals held in mountain encampments and the lore of the "dark beings who populate the Sardinian night, the fairies who live in rocks and caves, and the sprites with seven red caps who bother sleep." Introduction by the Sardinian ethnographer, Dolores Turchi.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-09-21 Published in Italy in 1913 but never before translated into English, this richly atmospheric novel by Deledda (1871-1936), the second woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature (1926), is a tale of penitence, salvation and a Christian-peasant notion of destiny. Deledda (Cosima; After the Divorce) traces the decline of the noble Pintor sisters, who live in Sardinia at the turn of the century. Proud but poor, the three sisters, Ruth, Ester and Nomi, are reduced to selling their farm's produce clandestinely from their own house. They would be totally bereft without their wise servant Efix, who has continued to work for them without pay because he is guilt-ridden over a long-ago sin. Giacinto, the son of the fourth, dead, Pintor sister, turns up and brings with him old bitter memories. Eventually, he unwittingly causes his aunts to sink further into poverty. Even in this flat translation, Deledda beautifully captures the rough, malaria-ridden Sardinian setting, where superstition vies with theology, folklore has a strong hold on the imagination and "the sound of the accordion fills the courtyard with moans and shouts." The novel bears some resemblance to Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard in its depiction of the decline of a noble class, and to Carlo Levi's Christ Stopped at Eboli in its portrait of 20th-century peasants who still harbor medieval beliefs in sprites and witches. In a conversation with one of the Pintor sisters, Efix muses, "We are reeds, and fate is the wind." Deledda evocatively depicts the desperate plight of the peasants who hope for a heavenly redemption from their earthly hardships. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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