Novelle Rusticane

Novelle Rusticane FIRST PUBLISHED in a single volume in the stories collected in Little Novels of Sicily are drawn from the Sicily of Giovanni Verga s childhood reported at the time to be the poorest place in Eu

  • Title: Novelle Rusticane
  • Author: Giovanni Verga Vinni Lucherini
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 179
  • Format: Paperback
  • FIRST PUBLISHED in a single volume in 1883, the stories collected in Little Novels of Sicily are drawn from the Sicily of Giovanni Verga s childhood, reported at the time to be the poorest place in Europe Verga s style is swift, sure, and implacable he plunges into his stories almost in midbreath, and tells them with a stark economy of words There s something dark and tFIRST PUBLISHED in a single volume in 1883, the stories collected in Little Novels of Sicily are drawn from the Sicily of Giovanni Verga s childhood, reported at the time to be the poorest place in Europe Verga s style is swift, sure, and implacable he plunges into his stories almost in midbreath, and tells them with a stark economy of words There s something dark and tightly coiled at the heart of each story, an ironic, bitter resolution that is belied by the deceptive simplicity of Verga s prose, and Verga strikes just when the reader s not expecting it.Translator D H Lawrence surely found echoes of his own upbringing in Verga s sketches of Sicilian life the class struggle between property owners and tenants, the relationship between men and the land, and the unsentimental, sometimes startlingly lyric evocation of the landscape Just as Lawrence veers between loving and despising the industrial North and its people, so too Verga shifts between affection for and ironic detachment from the superstitious, uneducated, downtrodden working poor of Sicily If Verga reserves pity for anyone or anything, it is the children and the animals, but he doesn t spare them In his experience, it is the innocents who suffer first and last and always The Little Novels of Sicily have that sense of the wholeness of life, the spare exuberance, the endless inflections and overtones, and the magnificent and thrilling vitality of major literature The New York Times In these stories the whole Sicily of the 1860s lives before us and whether his subject be the brutal bloodshed of an abortive revolution or the simple human comedy that can attend even deep mourning, Verga never loses his complete artistic mastery of his material The Times Literary Supplement

    One thought on “Novelle Rusticane”

    1. This is a slim volume of short stories set in Sicily by one of Italy's most acclaimed writers, but took me a while to read, because they are just difficult. The landscape is heartless, the people are either desperately poor or terribly corrupt, and illness colors the air.The translator, D.H. Lawrence, says in his introduction:"During the 'fifties and 'sixties, Sicily is said to have been the poorest place in Europe: absolutely penniless. A Sicilian peasant might live through his whole life witho [...]

    2. Ah, read about a time when men were men and mules were nervoustually a time when family was the main difference between survival and calamity. A time when both rich and poor suffered, but the poor sacrificed. Marriage and its requisite dowry was a major factor in determining one's future. A woman with no dowry was likely to become a spinster. If and when the barons were overthrown did not necessarily result in equal distribution of the booty and chaos resulted. Yes the feudal system was rough bu [...]

    3. Giovanni Verga’s 'Little Novels of Sicily' sounded so charming, so downright quaint to this reader’s ear, that I was unprepared for the picaresqueness and even the morbidity of these stories. But they are deeply affecting, and strike an unusual balance between expressiveness and subtlety, which I suppose is only helped by having a translator like D.H. Lawrence.My awareness of this novel depends on the particular judgment of Harold Bloom, who places 'Little Novels' on his canonical list, but [...]

    4. This is one of my favorite books. The stories are lyrical and atmospheric, and they give insight into the lives of Sicilian peasants. I have always loved Giuseppe di Lampedusa's THE LEOPARD, which is the most well-known novel of Sicily. Lampedusa details the last years of a dying Sicilian prince. Verga's book is about people from the lowest classes--peasants, serfs and a few scoundrels--but it is an equally gorgeous book. My favorite story, "Malaria," reads like a lyric prose poem. Who knew that [...]

    5. First published in Italian in 1883, this collection was later translated into English by DH Lawrence. Poverty is the great equalizer, and the powerful are those of wealth, who have the God-given right to determine the lives of others. The voice of those without is so clear, their passive acceptance of fate.

    6. Perhaps it's DH Lawrence's translations (I admit to never being a Lawrence fan), but I felt the stories to be wooden at times, though I loved the plots, the characters and the overall 'movement' of these stories. Often Verga starts us with one character and ends someplace for away with the focus on another character giving these short stories the scope and range of a novel.

    7. I really enjoyed this book as I am researching the reasons people left Sicily between 1880 and 1920 for America. The stories give me a sense of place and time, of the poverty and hopelessness the people faced.

    8. A great Sicilian realist who can re-create a forgotten world more powerfully than almost any novelist I can think of. You don't just read these stories; you live them.

    9. I read this book because we are soon going to visit Sicily so I thought it would get me in the mood. It was mildly enjoyable and served the purpose but I wouldn't particularly recommend it.

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