Led By: Antonio Romani
Time: 6 - 7:30pm
Meets: Every other Monday, six sessions
Dates: 1/30, 2/13, 2/27, 3/13, 3/27, 4/10
In moments of upheaval, works of the imagination can show us what historical reconstructions cannot: humans going against the grain in unexpected ways, pushed by inner as well as outer forces.
In Giorgio Bassani’s The Gold-rimmed Eyeglasses, a young Jewish student narrates the story of the marginalization of an esteemed doctor whose homosexuality in a provincial town in the 1930s was increasingly less tolerated, and whose Jewishness after the passage of the 1938 Fascist Racial Laws caused his life to end tragically.
Also by Bassani is The Garden of the Finzi Continis, narrated as well by a young Jewish student, who after WWII returns in memory to the idyllic sanctuary that failed to protect his love, Micol, and her family and the entire Jewish community from the brutal world outside the garden walls.
Antonio Tabucchi’s Pereira Declares celebrates the reluctant awakening and quiet boldness of a lonely journalist as he journeys from apolitical languor to full consciousness of Fascism hanging over Salazarist Lisbon in the 1930s—and, too, to filial love.
Finally, in The Little Virtues, with a trademark lightness often united with a special sense of the comic, Natalia Ginzburg distills a set of moral principles from her terrible experience before, during, and after World War II.
Antonio Romani taught Italian literature and history for two decades at several Italian high schools, and was the former owner/manager of an important independent bookstore in northern Italy. He has co-translated the poetry of the Milanese poet Giampiero Neri, and has published interviews with several contemporary Italian writers in the journal A Public Space. With his co-translator, he translated Antonio Tabucchi’s Time Ages in a Hurry, a collection of short stories published in 2014 by Archipelago Books.
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