The Moon and the Bonfires

Recommended by Tim Parks, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #41 in Italian

The nameless narrator of The Moon and the Bonfires, Cesare Pavese's last and greatest novel, returns to Italy from California after the Second World War. He has done well in America, but success hasn't taken the edge off his memories of childhood, when he was an orphan living at the mercy of a bitterly poor farmer. He wants to learn what happened in his native village over the long, terrible years of Fascism; perhaps, he even thinks, he will settle down. And yet as he uncovers a secret and savage history from the war—a tale of betrayal and reprisal, sex and death—he finds that the past... more

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Tim Parks Pavese was a very difficult young man with all kinds of problems – above all, problems with women. He never really had a happy relationship with a woman. His notebooks are full of discussion about premature ejaculation and the difficulty of ever having a mature relationship with anybody. He became quite an important translator very early on in his life. He translated [James Joyce’s] A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and he translated Moby Dick when he was only 21 or 22, and that – for people who understand translation particularly – is an extraordinary thing to have done because you... (Source)

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