Archive for the ‘italy’ Category
Federico Felliniâ€™s oeuvre is widely recognized as a major contribution to modern culture. Indeed, according to Wikipedia, his movie, 8 Â½ is ranked the third best film of all time by the British Film Institute (2002). His last movie, made in 1990, three years before his death, was La voce della luna (The Voice of the Moon). He was having trouble raising the funds for the movie and made a commercial for an Italian bank. The woman in the commercial bore a striking resemblance to his last lover, Rosita Steenbeek, a young Dutch actress. This period, leading to the end of his Felliniâ€™s life is the story being told in DIRECTOR’S CUT.
Saint Cecilia is listed in the Catholic Mass’ Commemoration of the Dead. Her feast day is easy to remember because it is the same day President Kennedy was assassinated: November 22. She is the patron saint of musicians and Church music because she is said to have sung as she was dying. According to hagiography, she was a Roman noble woman who converted to Christianity toward the end of the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 A.D.). An only child, she married a man, Valerian, who along with his brother preceded her in martyrdom for their mutually-held religion. Cecilia survived several attempted executions, but finally after lingering a few days, she, still young, passed into Church history. The verifiable information about Saint Cecilia’s life is quite sparse, and so a novelist has plenty of elbow room for embellishment. Linda Ferri’s CECILIA takes apt advantage of this opportunity for invention in the name of rounding out characters, time, and place.
This debut novel is the memoir of a newspaper and the story of the people who work there. Formatted in much the same way as OLIVE KITTERIDGE, each chapter can stand on its own as a short story about one of the newspaper’s employees. Each chapter fits well into the whole and provides insight into the chapters that follow. Interspersed between the chapters about employees’ lives outside their time at the newspaper, is another story, the history of the newspaper itself and of the characters that both create and dismantle it. Tom Rachman writes with a sharp eye and a cunning wit. Often the chapters end with a sharp turn of events or a huge surprise. Because his writing is top-notch, I was surprised that this is a debut novel.
THE SOLITUDE OF PRIME NUMBERS is written by Paolo Giordano, an Italian physicist who is also the youngest winner of the Premio Strega, a prestigious literary award. Currently he is working on a doctorate in particle physics and resides in Italy. It is not every day that a physicist writes a beautiful and stirring novel such as this one.
Set in the industrialized northeast region of Italy, Poisonville begins with the brutal murder of lawyer Giovanni Barovier, fiancÃ©e of Francesco Visentin, another lawyer and son of the areaâ€™s second richest family.