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That Awful Mess on Via Merulana by Carlo…
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That Awful Mess on Via Merulana (1957)

by Carlo Emilio Gadda

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 22 mentions

English (7)  Italian (7)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Romanzo decisamente difficile, da leggere ma soprattutto da giudicare. L'ambientazione, le descrizioni la resa dei personaggi e lo stile di scrittura sono indubbiamente di gran valore. Il finale lascia un po' dubbiosi sul fatto che potesse essere reso meglio. Analizzandolo invece con i canoni del romanzo giallo o poliziesco non lascia molto invece, la trama e' molto frammentata da descrizioni e divagazioni che, sebbene rappresentino il piatto forte del romanzo e lo avvicinino ad essere un capolavoro dell'ultima letteratura italiana, ne rendono la lettura estremamente faticosa: si arriva infatti prima della meta' del romanzo a dimenticarci del delitto e a mandare avanti poco agevolmente la lettura solo gustando le ambientazioni e i linguaggi usati. La critica letteraria probabilmente non sbaglia ad avvicinarlo al capolavoro, ma per i canoni del giallo e' quasi totalmente fuori genere, ed e' sicuramente inadatto per una lettura poco impegnata. ( )
  Mlvtrglvn | Jan 5, 2018 |
Halfway through:

Made a foray into one of the more difficult books I’ve ever read—and that’s saying something since I never shrink from a challenging read. But this thing . . . hooboy. Its language is evocative, invented, infinitely referential and most probably lost in translation. But it still has a power and rhythm that is undeniable under all that varicolored wrapping. The fact that someone has written a murder mystery and I care less about the identity of the killer halfway through the novel and more about the world engulfing that bloody act is an accomplishment alone. That it is also gorgeously confusing and makes the brain itch with urushiol-soaked taffeta is worth every damn paragraph. I can’t wait to get to Italo Calvino’s introduction when I’m done.

“The glinting eyes of the hereditary syphilitic (also syphilitic in his own right), the illiterate day-laborer’s jaws, the rachitic acromegalic face already filled the pages of Italia Illustrata: already, once they were confirmed, all the Maria Barbisas of Italy were beginning to fall in love with him, already they began to invulvulate him, Italy’s Magdas, Milenas, Filomenas, as soon as they stepped down from the altar: in white veils, crowned with orange blossoms, photographed coming out of the narthex, dreaming of orgies and the educatory exploits of the swinging cudgel.”

—That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana by Carlo Emilio Gadda

Upon completion:

Never will I come across a book quite like this again. Some honeybees that bumped against sepals on their way to the heart of the flower:

“A widespread and delicate ovaricity, that’s the word, permeated the whole stalk of their soul: like ancient essences, in the ground and the meadows of the Marsica, in the stalk of a flower: pressed at length until they explode in the sweet perfume of the corolla: but their corolla, these women’s, was the nose, which they could blow as much as they pleased.”

“If you’re carrying a heavy suitcase, you don’t get past the Customs in Paradise . . .”

“Don’t do good if you are not prepared to receive evil.”

—That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana ( )
  ToddSherman | Aug 24, 2017 |
O pasticciaccio é excelente, filosófico e genial. Fiquei fascinada pelo livro, mas logo tive a decepção de notar que meu italiano não é nem de perto bom o suficiente para ler esse livro e entender o magistral uso dos dialetos, e que eu dependo das traduções.
( )
  JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
I thought this was a very difficult read. As a crime novel, it is slow and undramatic, due to the many dense, wordy passages, which are at times exceptionally hard to follow: littered with in-jokes, obscure references and Proustian ramblings. Unrewarding. ( )
  dannybrown76 | Oct 6, 2011 |
I found this novel difficult to grasp and obscure and so not an enjoyable read at all. ( )
1 vote Tifi | Aug 11, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carlo Emilio Gaddaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Calvino, ItaloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Denissen, FransTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gelli, Pierosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinotti, Giorgionota disecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weaver, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Everybody called him Don Ciccio by now.
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Book description
From the back cover -
In a large apartment house in central Rome, two crimes are committed within a matter of days: a burglary, in which a good deal of money and precious jewels are taken, and a murder, as a young woman whose husband is out of town is found with her throat cut. Called in to investigate, melancholy Detective Ciccio, a secret admirer of the murdered woman and a friend of her husband, discovers that almost everyone in the apartment building is somehow involved in the case, and with each new development the mystery only deepens and broadens. Gadda's sublimely different detective story presents a scathing picture of fascist Italy while tracking the elusiveness of the truth, the impossibility of proof, and the infinite workings of fate, showing how they come into conflict with the demands of justice and love.
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Gadda's sublimely different detective story presents a scathing picture of fascist Italy while tracking the elusiveness of the truth, the impossibility of proof, and the infinite complexity of the workings of fate, showing how they come into conflict with the demands of justice and love -- book jacket.… (more)

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