Choose your shipping method in Checkout. Costs may vary based on destination.
First Ed USA, First Printing indicated. Very Good+ in Wraps: shows indications of very light use; just a hint of wear to extremities; mild rubbing; very faint crease at backstrip; binding shows very slight spine lean, but remains perfectly secure; text clean. Remains close to 'As New'. NOT a Remainder. NOT a Book-Club Edition. NOT an Ex-Library copy. 8vo. 302pp. Translated and with an Introduction by Peter N. Pedroni. Trade Paperback. Following the literary conceit of Paolo Volponi, this book should be read as a three act play. The first act concerns Count Oddino, his two aunts and his paramour Dirce. The second act concerns the Spanish anachist, Vives and her long time lover Gaspare Subissoni. The third act concerns the Iago-like chauffeur-taxi driver Giocino Giocondini and his interplay with the other characters. This is not to imply that there are three sections chronologically arranged since this is a story of worlds which are dying if not already dead. In brief, the count is trying to reconcile his and his family's past with the new Italy, remember Italy was a republic at the time this book was written. Vive and Subissoni are attempting to ignite the Spanish Republican flame in the Italy of the 1960's. Giocondini is trying to figure out how to play the angles for his own aggrandizement. The count must come of age and find a spouse. His aunts Marizia and Clelia worry about the fate of the family and the world as it is developing in Milan. Dirce is an almost mystic figure that augurs the coming changes and the perceptions of the other characters. The reader will be pleasantly surprised at how well-developed and interesting all these characters are. Needless to say, Volponi's savage wit turns these human stories into a brilliant commentary on how history is perceived and the state of politics at the time. His use of comedy is totally unexpected and skillfully deployed, e.g. the count shows that his is taking over in his own right by locking his aunt's in a closet at one point. Also who would expect an Italian writer have one of his characters say, "He had always been distrustful of novels and always hated the opera as the highest expression of national vulgarity." Opera is a "vulgar corruption of the purity of music of other times-a consumer product emblematic of the quality of national unification." How could one not laugh along with the writer? The entire is rapped around with with an atmosphere of fog and snow as these characters carry on, not realizing that their pasts no longer exist and sadly we sympathize with their plight. If there are harbingers of the future, it is the references to the ubiquitous TV's, the birds, and the enigmatic Dirce who seems to be the most able to cope with the future by accepting it if not understanding it. She, the least probable character is the catalyst of much of the action and I feel is the voice of Volponi. All in all a masterpiece which ranks with some of the great masterpieces of contemporary literature.
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.