A private affair by beppe fenoglio

A private affair

notes -Beppe Fengolio (1922-1963) this is one of a number of novels published by Beppe this one was published after his early death at age 40 ,he was one of the leading lights of the neo realism movement post world war two that produced great films like bicycle thieves ,this work also contains his other main theme the rural area of  northern italy and is the setting for this book .his most famous book is Johnny partisan that was also published after his death in 1968. 

the book – 

follows a young partisan Milton  as he returns Langhe area of northern Italy , in search of a sweetheart Fulvia  that he meet in Torino  and had been writing to during the war on arrival he talks to a local inn keeper in the village   and finds that in his absences that Fulvia had been an affair with one of his friends Giorgio a fellow partisan .He then finds out that Giorgio had been captured by francos fascist forces and is in prison he then sets out to find him and what has been  happening between Giorgio and Fulvia whilst he has been away fighting ,along the way meeting the disintegrating face and places of the war ravage italy .til he himself runs in to some fascists in some woods … 

his mouth half open ,his arms hanging by his sides,Milton stood looking at Fulvia’s villa ,all alone up there on the hill that slopped towards the town of Alba .His heart stopped beating :indeed it seemed to have absconded inside his body . 

the opening of private affair translated from italian by Howard Curtis 

my view – 

This book seems to float along as i followed Milton on his quest so to speak through a broken and divide italy towards the end of the war in Italy ,Beppe seemed to have trodden the ground he wrote about which adds to the realism of this book ,the translation is fluid from Howard Curtis .The use of Milton for the name of the main character also made me think of Milton’s poetry and there is an echo of it in the losing and then trying to find Fulvia ,a sort of personnel paradise lost and regained in Italy .The hell element been the war ravage Italy .

April 2010


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