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Fontamara by Ignazio Silone
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Fontamara (1930)

by Ignazio Silone

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Abruzzo Trilogy (1)

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530529,671 (3.63)31
Fontamara is one of the Italian classics of the twentieth century. It was written in 1933 and was well-known in translation before it could be published in Italy. In England it was very popular in its Pengiun edition. Its author, Ignazio Silone, was a controversial figure throughout his life.He was a communist until 1931, later referring to himself as a "Socialist without a party and a Christian without a church"' He wrote Fontamara first and foremost as an antifascist, setting it in his own region of Abruzzo, east of Rome. He describes the sufferings of the peasants, the cafoni, still living under feudalism and further burdened under the new fascist regime of Mussolini. The story itself is a good read, toldwith humour and suspense. The themes embrace politics and religion, revolution and mysticism. They raise such Italian problems as regionalism, the clash of ideologies and the ways of portraying them in literary form. The form of the narrative itself is an experiment in getting across a vital messagein a fraught time. This edition includes an introduction and notes which help to set the novel in its historical and political context, both in Italy and the rest of Europe in the decade before the Second World War. The vocabulary section is exhaustive, making the text suitable for those just coming to grips with thelanguage.… (more)
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» See also 31 mentions

Italian (4)  English (2)  All languages (6)
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Fontamara is a political novel with a very clear agenda. It was first published in 1930 when Ignazio Silone (Secondo Tranquilli) was in political exile in Switzerland, and at the simplest level it is a story criticising the Fascist government in Italy, and exposing the duplicity of the Church and the professional classes during that regime. But Silone's agenda is clearly something more than this. He had been a founding member of the Italian Communist Party, and he spent three years hiding out amongst the peasants after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He weaves his vision of the solution through this narrative of the peasants' troubles, and it is a solution strongly influenced by Marxist ideology. The peasants need to alter their approach; they need to put aside their traditional methods of coping with adversity: no more wailing, cursing, and fighting amongst themselves. And no more viewing their situation as God-given, or random, or in all ways beyond their influencing. The first step is to question; the second is to unite. And they need to identify themselves with the struggle of their class: the sacrifice of the individual is noble if it advances the aims of the many. Continued ( )
1 vote apenguinaweek | Aug 10, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ignazio Siloneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Allen, J.F.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brunt, NiniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, GwendaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mosbacher, EricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Gli strani fatti che sto per raccontare si svolsero nel corso di un'estate a Fontamara.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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