History A Novel

ISBN-10: 1586420046
ISBN-13: 9781586420048
Edition: 2nd 2000
List price: $24.95 Buy it from $15.73
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Description: History was written nearly thirty years after Elsa Morante and Alberto Moravia spent a year in hiding among remote farming villages in the mountains south of Rome. There she witnessed the full impact of the war and first formed the ambition to write  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Steerforth Press
Publication date: 2/8/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 768
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 1.980
Language: English

History was written nearly thirty years after Elsa Morante and Alberto Moravia spent a year in hiding among remote farming villages in the mountains south of Rome. There she witnessed the full impact of the war and first formed the ambition to write an account of what history - the great political events driven by men of power, wealth, and ambition - does when it reaches the realm of ordinary people struggling for life and bread. The central character in this powerful and unforgiving novel is Ida Mancuso, a schoolteacher whose husband has died and whose feckless teenage son treats the war as his playground. A German soldier on his way to North Africa rapes her, falls in love with her, and leaves her pregnant with a boy whose survival becomes Ida's passion. Around these two other characters come and go, each caught up by the war which is like a river in flood. We catch glimpses of bombing raids, street crimes, a cattle car from which human cries emerge, an Italian soldier succumbing to frostbite on the Russian front, the dumb endurance of peasants who have lived their whole lives with nothing and now must get by with less than nothing. "One of the few novels in any language that renders the full horror of Hitler's war, the war that never gets into the books . . ."-- Alfred Kazan, Esquire "A storyteller who spellbinds."-- Stephen Spender, The New York Review of Books "A marvel of a novel . . . all the pleasures that fiction can offer."-- Doris Grumbach, Saturday Review

Prolific and highly successful, Elsa Morante distinguished herself as a novelist, short story writer, and poet. The Marxist critic Gyorgy Lukacs hailed Morante's early House of the Liars (1948) as "the greatest modern Italian novel," but it was Arthur's Island (1957) that brought her international fame and an independent income. Her great financial triumph was, however, History (1974), which was the first Italian novel to be marketed with high-pressure promotional advertising, making use of publisher, mass media, and political party resources to push sales up to 600,000 copies in less than six months. Morante married Alberto Moravia in 1941, and they separated in 1962.

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