Cavalleria Rusticana and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)

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9780140447415: Cavalleria Rusticana and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)

The stories of Giovanni Verga (1840-1922) are wonderful evocations of ordinary Italian life, focusing in particular on his native Sicily. In an original and dynamic prose style, he portrays such eternal human themes as love, honour and adultery with rich and colourful language. The inspiration for Mascagni's opera, 'Cavalleria Rusticana' depicts a young man's triumphal return home from the army, spoilt when he learns that his beloved is engaged to another man. Verga's acute awareness of the hardships and aspirations of peasant life can be seen in stories such as 'Nedda', 'Picturesque Lives' and 'Black Bread', while others such as 'The Reverend' and 'Don Licciu Papa' show the dominance of the church and the law in the Sicilian communities he portrays so vividly.

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Review:

'At his best, as G.H.McWilliam's distinguished new translations of the stories allow us to see, Verga is quite the equal of Chekhov' -- London Review of Books

'D.H. Lawrence, who lived for a while in Sicily, discovered Verga's work with great excitement and translated him in the 1920s. He rightly called 'Jeli the Shepherd' and another story, 'Rosso Malpelo', two of the greatest ever written. At his best, as G.H.McWilliam's distinguished new translations of the stories allow us to see, Verga is quite the equal of Chekhov, in the fiercely unsentimental depiction of ordinary rural life, in the coaxing of opaque inner lives, and most of all in his self-smothering ability to see life not as a writer might see it, but entirely from within the minds of his mostly uneducated characters. More than Chekhov indeed, who was always an intellectual, if an uncannily bashful one, Verga writes from within a community - that of Sicilian peasant villages during the 1860s and 1870s. In English, his only obvious counterparts are Hardy and Lawrence, except that Verga is not interested in intellectuals or outsiders; his priests, for instance, are essentially indistinguishable from his peasants - they are as lean in spirit as everyone else in town, even if they aren't so poor' -- London Review of Books

'McWilliam points out in his excellent introduction that Verga's earlier work continued to be popular well into the 20th century, and more popular than his later fiction about Sicilian peasants: by 1907, McWilliam says, Verga's romantic novel Storia di una capinera (1871) - about a doomed affair between a young novice and a gentleman - had been reprinted 22 times, while The House by the Medlar Tree had only gone into five impressions.' -- London Review of Books

'McWilliam, who is an emeritus professor of Italian at Leicester, calls Verga 'the greatest Italian short-story writer since Boccaccio', but adds that he is 'grossly underrated' outside Italy, largely because of the difficulty of translating him. McWilliam's labours read superbly well. They are cleansing; a lot of wordy grime has been removed (I am thinking of the translations that were made in the 1930s and 1950s). There is a vernacular ease of address, and yet hardly a moment at which the English version seems too local - i.e. English. The effect is oddly as if they had been translated twice, once into English, and then into a regional English which does not exist. The work retains its universality, and one suspects that these translations will last a long time. Nowhere is Verga's narrative power (or McWilliam's subtle tracings of that power) better evidenced than in the heartbreaking tale, 'Rosso Malpelo' -- London Review of Books

'The work retains its universality, and one suspects that these translations will last a long time' -- London Review of Books

About the Author:

Giovanni Verga (1840-1922) was born into a bourgeois family in Sicily and began writing historical romances as a teenager. His later fiction was more naturalistic and dramatic in style and dealt largely with Sicilian rural life. He was introduced to the English-speaking world in the translations of D. H. Lawrence and is now considered to be one of the major Italian nineteenth-century authors. Harry McWilliam has translated Boccaccio's DECAMERON for Penguin.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The stories of Giovanni Verga (1840-1922) are wonderful evocations of ordinary Italian life, focusing in particular on his native, Sicily. In an original and dynamic prose style, he portrays such eternal human themes as love, honour and adultery with rich and colourful language. The inspiration for Mascagni s opera, Cavalleria Rusticana depicts a young man s triumphal return home from the army, spoilt when he learns that his beloved is engaged to another man. Verga s acute awareness of the hardships and aspirations of peasant life can be seen in stories such as Nedda , Picturesque Lives and Black Bread , while others such as The Reverend and Don Licciu Papa show the dominance of the church and the law in the Sicilian communities he portrays so vividly. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140447415

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The stories of Giovanni Verga (1840-1922) are wonderful evocations of ordinary Italian life, focusing in particular on his native Sicily. In an original and dynamic prose style, he portrays such eternal human themes as love, honour and adultery with rich and colourful language. The inspiration for Mascagni s opera, Cavalleria Rusticana depicts a young man s triumphal return home from the army, spoilt when he learns that his beloved is engaged to another man. Verga s acute awareness of the hardships and aspirations of peasant life can be seen in stories such as Nedda , Picturesque Lives and Black Bread , while others such as The Reverend and Don Licciu Papa show the dominance of the church and the law in the Sicilian communities he portrays so vividly. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140447415

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Book Description Penguin Classics, 2000. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Born into a well-to-do Sicilian family, Giovanni Verga became an active observer of Milanese salon society in the 1870s and 1880s but eventually found in the everyday lives of Sicilian peasants the inspiration for his finest narratives. Love, adultery, and honor are recurring themes in the stories collected here, set against the scorched landscapes of the slopes of Mount Etna and the Plain of Catania.Verga's rich naturalism and originality of style are faithfully rendered in G. H. McWilliam's superb translations. In addition to the title story, the basis for Pietro Mascagni's operatic masterpiece, this volume includes "Nedda, " the groundbreaking narrative of Italian verismo, as well as "Jeli the Shepherd" and "Rosso Malpelo, " which D. H. Lawrence considered two of the finest stories ever written. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0140447415

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