In this previously unpublished and only recently discovered diary, Iris Origo, author of the classic War in Val d’Orcia, provides a vivid account of how Mussolini decided on a course of action that would devastate his country and ultimately destroy his regime. Though the british-born origo lived with her italian husband on an estate in a remote part of Tuscany, where her godfather, she was supremely well-connected and regularly in touch with intellectual and diplomatic circles in Rome, William Phillips, was the American ambassador.
A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary, 1939-1940 New York Review Books Classics #ad - . In 1939 it was not a foregone conclusion that Mussolini would enter World War II on the side of Hitler. Her diary describes the fascist government’s growing infatuation with Nazi Germany as Hitler’s armies marched triumphantly across Europe and the campaign of propaganda and intimidation that was mounted in support of its new aims.
War in Val d'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944 New York Review Books ClassicsNYRB Classics #ad - Origo writes with sensitivity and generosity, and a story emerges of human acts of heroism and compassion, and the devastation that war can bring. In the second world war, italy was torn apart by German armies, civil war, and the Allied invasion. In a corner of tuscany, one woman—born in England, married to an Italian—kept a record of daily life in a country at war.
War in Val d'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944 New York Review Books Classics #ad - Iris origo’s powerful diary, war in Val d’Orcia, is the spare and vivid account of what happened when a peaceful farming valley became a battleground. At great personal risk, the Origos gave food and shelter to partisans, deserters, and refugees. They took in evacuees, and as the front drew closer they faced the knowledge that the lives of thirty-two small children depended on them.
Images and Shadows: Part of a Life New York Review Books ClassicsNYRB Classics #ad - Later, origo and her italian husband transformed a desolate and deforested Tuscan property into a flourishing estate, and it was there that she discovered her true calling as a writer. Origo’s father came from an old and moneyed American family, her mother was the daughter of an Irish peer, and Iris grew up in the most privileged of circumstances.
An extraordinary memoir by iris origo, who chronicled political life in A Chill in the Air and War in Val d'Orcia, the work of writing, and now turns inward to describe her own family, and the transcience of memory. Images and shadows is an autobiography that is as thoughtful as it is profoundly touching.
She reflects on the pleasures and challenges of writing and evokes the persistence and fragility of memory. In images and shadows, the books that formed her sensibility, loving father and her headstrong mother, Origo paints portraits of her shy, and describes beloved places, and how she grew up and made her way in the world.
Images and Shadows: Part of a Life New York Review Books Classics #ad - Her father died of tuberculosis when he was only thirty, Italy, and her mother moved to Fiesole, where she and Iris developed a close friendship with the great connoisseur and art historian Bernard Berenson. Images and shadows, iris origo’s autobiographical account of her early life, is as perceptive and humane and beautifully written as her celebrated memoir War in Val d’Orcia.
The Fat WoodworkerItalica Press, Inc. #ad - It is as much a portrait of the Renaissance city as of one very befuddled and delightful woodworker. Robert and valerie martone provide a solid contemporary translation that carries across the ironic distance of the original. While the prank is indeed cruel, it is so ingenious, and the victim is so comical, that the reader soon forgets the architect’s — and the author’s — malice and settles in for a delightful turn as part of the unfolding conspiracy set in motion by Brunelleschi’s circle of friends.
The tale brings the reader into the social world of florence’s craft- and tradespeople, its lawyers and judges, architects and intellectuals and gives a vibrant sense of the city’s close-knit social fabric, artists, its packed streets and busy shops and offices. It is the tale of a prank engineered by the great renaissance architect, Filippo Brunelleschi 1377-1446, played upon an unsuspecting and perhaps less-than-brilliant friend and woodworker named Manetto, in reprisal for the woodworker’s social slight.
The Fat Woodworker #ad - The fat woodworker” is a delightful story in the tradition of the Italian Renaissance “beffe, ” stories of practical, often cruel jokes. They include an introduction to the story, its author and genre, and to the social and intellectual world of Brunelleschi and Renaissance Florence. Includes introduction, glossary, bibliography.
The Novel of FerraraW. W. Norton & Company #ad - Suffused with new life by acclaimed translator and poet Jamie McKendrick, this seminal work seals Bassani’s reputation as “a quietly insistent chronicler of our age’s various menaces to liberty” Jonathan Keates. Giorgio bassani’s six classic books, collected for the first time in English as the epic masterwork they were intended to be.
Among the masters of twentieth-century literature, Giorgio Bassani and his Northern Italian hometown of Ferrara “are as inseparable as James Joyce and Dublin or Italo Svevo and Trieste” from the Introduction. Now published in english for the first time as the unified masterwork bassani intended, the Gold-Rimmed Spectacles, fully revised by the author at the end of his life: Within the Walls, The Heron, The Novel of Ferrara brings together Bassani’s six classics, Behind the Door, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, and The Smell of Hay.
The Novel of Ferrara #ad - Set in the northern italian town of ferrara before, and after the second world war, treacherous price that people will pay for a sense of belonging; the Jewish aristocrat whose social position has been erased; the indomitable schoolteacher, Celia Trotti, these interlocking stories present a fully rounded world of unforgettable characters: the respected doctor whose homosexuality is tolerated until he is humiliatingly exposed by an exploitative youth; a survivor of the Nazi death camps whose neighbors’ celebration of his return gradually turns to ostracism; a young man discovering the ugly, during, whose Communist idealism disturbs and challenges a postwar generation.
The novel of ferrara memorializes not only the Ferrarese people, but the city itself, which assumes a character and a voice deeply inflected by the Jewish community to which the narrator belongs.
Inhuman Land: Searching for the Truth in Soviet Russia, 1941-1942 New York Review BooksNYRB Classics #ad - A classic work of reportage about the Katyń Massacre during World War II by a soldier who narrowly escaped the atrocity himself. In 1941, and children who were starving, tens of thousands of poles—men, sickly, women, when Germany turned against the USSR, and impoverished—were released from Soviet prison camps and allowed to join the Polish Army being formed in the south of Russia.
One of the survivors who made the difficult winter journey was the painter and reserve officer Józef Czapski. General anders, the army’s commander in chief, most important, assigned Czapski the task of receiving the Poles arriving for military training; gathering accounts of what their fates had been; organizing education, and news for the soldiers; and, culture, investigating the disappearance of thousands of missing Polish officers.
Inhuman Land: Searching for the Truth in Soviet Russia, 1941-1942 New York Review Books #ad - Blocked at every level by the soviet authorities, Czapski was unaware that in April 1940 many officers had been shot dead in Katyn forest, a crime for which Soviet Russia never accepted responsibility. Czapski’s account of the years following his release from the camp and the formation of the Polish Army, and its arduous trek through Central Asia and the Middle East to fight on the Italian front offers a stark depiction of Stalin’s Russia at war and of the suffering, stoicism, and bravery of his fellow Poles.
A work of clear observation and deep compassion, Inhuman Land is one of the twentieth century’s indispensable acts of literary witness.
A Month in SienaRandom House #ad - That month would be an extraordinary period in the writer’s life: an exploration of how art can console and disturb in equal measure, as well as an intimate encounter with a city and its inhabitants. This is a gorgeous meditation on how centuries-old art can illuminate our own inner landscape—current relationships, long-lasting love, grief, intimacy, and solitude—and shed further light on the present world around us.
Praise for a month in siena“as exquisitely structured as The Return, yearning, loss, driven by desire, illuminated by the kindness of strangers. A month in Siena is a triumph. Peter Carey. Named one of the best books of the year by the washington post and evening standard after finishing his powerful memoir The Return, seeking solace and pleasure, Hisham Matar, traveled to Siena, Italy.
A Month in Siena #ad - Artists he had admired throughout his life, evoke earlier engagements he’d had with works by Caravaggio and Poussin, including Duccio and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, and the personal experiences that surrounded those moments. Including beautiful full-color reproductions of the artworks, those paintings, A Month in Siena is about what occurred between Matar, and the city.
From the pulitzer prize–winning author of The Return comes a profoundly moving contemplation of the relationship between art and life. Always finding comfort and clarity in great art, Matar immersed himself in eight significant works from the Sienese School of painting, which flourished from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries.
Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp New York Review Books ClassicsNYRB Classics #ad - Recalling that triumphant wager, like sheherazade, the intricacies of Proust’s world night after night, unfolding, Czapski showed to men at the end of their tether that the past remained present and there was a future in which to hope. Eric karpeles has translated this brilliant and altogether unparalleled feat of the critical imagination into English for the first time, in reckoning with Proust’s great meditation on memory, and in a thoughtful introduction he brings out how, Czapski helped his fellow officers to remember that there was a world apart from the world of the camp.
Proust had staked the art of the novelist against the losses of a lifetime and the imminence of death. The first translation of painter and writer Józef Czapski's inspiring lectures on Proust, first delivered in a prison camp in the Soviet Union during World War II. During the second world war, as a prisoner of war in a soviet camp, and with nothing but memory to go on, the Polish artist and soldier Józef Czapski brought Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time to life for an audience of prison inmates.
Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp New York Review Books Classics #ad - In a series of lectures, depth, sketched major and minor characters in striking detail, Czapski described the arc and import of Proust’s masterpiece, and movingly evoked the work’s originality, and beauty.
The Order of the DayOther Press #ad - The true behind-the-scenes account of the Anschluss—a patchwork of minor flourishes of strength and fine words, fevered telephone calls, and vulgar threats—all reveal a starkly different picture. It is not strength of character or the determination of a people that wins the day, but rather a combination of intimidation and bluff.
With this vivid, Éric vuillard warns against the peril of willfully blind acquiescence, and offers a reminder that, compelling history, ultimately, the worst is not inescapable. They are there to extract funds for the accession to power of the National Socialist Party and its Chancellor. This opening scene sets a tone of consent that will lead to the worst possible repercussions.
The Order of the Day #ad - March 12, 1938, the annexation of austria is on the agenda: A grotesque day intended to make history—the newsreels capture a motorized army on the move, a terrible, inexorable power. February 20, 1933, an unremarkable day during a harsh Berlin winter: A meeting of twenty-four German captains of industry and senior Nazi officials is being held in secret in the plush lounge of the Reichstag.
But behind goebbels’s splendid propaganda, an ersatz Blitzkrieg unfolds, the Panzers breaking down en masse on the roads into Austria. An npr best book of the yearwinner of the 2017 prix goncourt, hubris, this behind-the-scenes account of the manipulation, and greed that together led to Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria brilliantly dismantles the myth of an effortless victory and offers a dire warning for our current political crisis.
Notebooks: 1936-1947 New York Review Books ClassicsNYRB Classics #ad - Serge’s notebooks were discovered in 2010 and appear here for the first time in their entirety in English. In 1940, serge fled france for mexico, after the Nazis marched into Paris, where he would spend the rest of his life. Serge paints haunting portraits of osip mandelstam, and “the Old Man” Trotsky; argues with André Breton; and, Stefan Zweig, awaiting his wife’s delayed arrival from Europe, writes her passionate love letters.
In the darkest of circumstances, thinks critically, he responds imaginatively, feels deeply, and finds reason to hope. They are a a message in a bottle from one of the great spirits, and great writers, of our shipwrecked time. He looks back on his life and the fate of the Revolution. Available for the first time, victor serge's intimate account of the last decade of his life gives a vivid look into the Franco-Russian revolutionary's life, from his liberation from Stalin's Russia to his "Mexico Years, " when he wrote his greatest works.
Notebooks: 1936-1947 New York Review Books Classics #ad - In 1936, victor serge—poet, and revolutionary—left the Soviet Union for Paris, novelist, the rare opponent of Stalin to escape the Terror. His years in mexico were marked by isolation, outrage, curiosity, peril, however, a passionate love of life, and grief; his Notebooks, poverty, brim with resilience, and superb writing.
He describes the sweep of the Mexican landscape, visits an erupting volcano, and immerses himself in the country’s history and culture. He broods on the course of the war and the world to come after.