The Moon and the Bonfires is the third book I have read by Cesare Pavese. And I realised that I miss this author. That’s why I read a Pavese book every year. Even though I love every book that transports me to Italy’s beautiful environment, I admire Pavese’s spirit.
The subject of The Moon and the Bonfires particularly impressed me. I also (and I’m sure many people) have the idea of going away, far away and maybe returning home back one day. The main character, Anguilla, is also returning to Italy, where he lived years ago, after living in America. The book, which occasionally tells about fragments from the past, made me very sad and immensely impressed. I couldn’t help thinking how a book that is so upsetting is loved dearly by so many. It truly is enchanting. You’ll get mad at people and humanity as you read the effects of war and, the lives that fascism has destroyed and shattered. On the other hand, you will observe life in a tiny village in Italy. And you’ll do your best to stay there for a while. Enjoy!
The Moon and the Bonfires
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 still haunts the present. The Moon and the Bonfires is a novel of intense lyricism and tragic import, a masterpiece of twentieth-century literature that has been unavailable to American readers for close to fifty years. Here it appears in a vigorous new English version by R. W. Flint, whose earlier translations of Pavese’s fiction were acclaimed by Leslie Fiedler as “absolutely lucid and completely incantatory.”
Cesare Pavese was an Italian novelist, poet, short-story writer, translator and literary critic.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: