Posts Tagged ‘Canale Mussolini’

Ospite di RaiLetteratura

La videochat di martedì 3 dicembre 2013 condotta da Isabella Donfrancesco negli studi di Rai Educational.


12 2013

The Mussolini Canal su The Sunday Herald

[Recensione di The Mussolini Canal sul Sunday Herald firmata da Rosemary Goring]

In the week that the last old-style Man Booker prize was awarded, one can’t help wishing that in its bid to widen its horizons, the prize organisers had decided in future to include English translations as well as all works in English published in Britain.

Were that the case, a novel such as The Mussolini Canal would be a shoo-in.

Winner of Italy’s prestigious Strega Prize in 2010, this is Antonio Pennacchi’s second novel, his first, Il Fasciocomunista, having won the Premio Napoli. As the labyrinthine story unfolds, the reader scarcely needs Pennacchi’s prefatory note that: “For what it’s worth, this is the book I came into the world to write.” In every line The Mussolini Canal feels personal, as if its plot and cast emerge not from the writer’s imagination but from his marrow. A hefty work, of more than 500 pages, it is so beguiling one does not want it to end. Rambunctious and picaresque, it is the story of a generation of poverty-stricken peasants from the Veneto and Tuscany, who were enticed south in the 1930s by the promise of land in the dreaded Pontine marshes, near Rome. Until that time, nobody sane would have gone there, the place a mosquito-infested swamp. But under Mussolini’s fledgling rule, the marshes were properly drained for the first time in history, allowing land to be reclaimed, and many lives with it. Read the rest of this entry →


10 2013

Louisiana Literature 2013 – Canale Mussolini in Danimarca

Antonio Pennacchi al Louisiana Literature 2013

Fotografo: Klaus Holsting

Il Louisiana Literature è un festival letterario che si svolge ogni anno nel Louisiana Museum di Humlebaek, vicino a Copenaghen. Alla rassegna 2013 hanno partecipato 40 autori, tra i quali Ian McEwan, Colum McCann, Erlend Loe e Zadie Smith, con lezioni e letture.

Questa foto  di Antonio Pennacchi sul Mare del Nord è stata scattata da Klaus Holsting.

Questa intervista su Canale Mussolini è stata realizzata daTv2 ed è andata in onda il 28 agosto 2013:

Canale Mussolini alla televisione di stato danese


09 2013

Canale Mussolini recensito sul Tribune

The Mussolini Canal

[Entusiasta recensione apparsa sul Tribune firmata da Scarlet McGuire]
It is the voice that lifts this novel from being a fascinating story of a peasant exodus from northern Italy to the Pontine Marshes, as part of a fascist bid to reclaim agricultural land, to a magnificent rollicking saga offering a cockeyed version of modern Italian history (while sticking to the facts) which begs to be read. The irreverent voice of the narrator relates,with humour,the adventures of his 17 uncles and aunts under the grip of a gran whose bottom was much appreciated by Mussolini.
This is not a heart-wringing story of poverty and suffering, for the Peruzzi family refuse to be victims; they are the stars of their own soap opera. Pennacchi brilliantly brings them to life, from mild Unclce Adelchi, whose obsession with uniforms ultimately leads him to become a policeman, to Uncle Themistocles, who went off to fight the German in Great War. Uncle Pericles gets the lead role;fascist thug as amiable hothead. Pennacchi makes his characters loveable but they follow Mussolini.
Il Duce decided to drain the Pontine Marshes,near Rome, and bring 2,000 fascist families from northern Italy to work the reclaimed land abutting the newly built Mussolini Canal. Two storey houses were built for each family as part of an enormous model town project. While the narrator lampoons the vanity and excesses of fascism, in particular the fat dictator, he also explains its lure, and documents its failure, through the eyes of the Peruzzi family, and he understands the nostalgia of many Italians for a country which worked. Read the rest of this entry →


08 2013

Intervista su Pianura Blu- Rai3 – TgLazio

Antonio Pennacchi intervistato dal Tg3 su Pianura Blu

Intervista di Mauro Maulucci sul progetto Pianura Blu e la possibilità di rendere navigabili i canali dell’Agro Pontino. Tg3 Lazio del 18 luglio 2013. Conduttrice: Sabrina Bellomo.


07 2013

Atheist Spirituality su Canale Mussolini

The Mussolini Canal [Sul sito Atheist Spirituality una riflessione sulla traduzione inglese di Canale Mussolini firmata Geoff Crocker]

This is a long but charming tale of the Peruzzi family who are evicted from their sharecropping life in northern Italy, and join an exodus south to tame and farm the Pontine Marshes. Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is mentioned in the text, and has echoes in this exodus, as it does in the moving finale for Armida. But the charming family story too readily becomes a device to excuse fascism. Socialism is for intellectuals and the truly destitute, who burn the haystacks of farmers who refuse to take on an extra quota of labour. The hardworking poor who have some chance of survival and improvement cling to a stable social structure, and oppose the very poor who have no chance but to overthrow the feudal order. So feudalism morphs into fascism. Similarly, protection of endangered species and of the environment are luxuries the farmer striving to survive cannot afford. Bring on the DDT!

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07 2013

The Mussolini Canal su The Warwick Review

[Questa recensione di Canale Mussolini firmata da Caterina Sinibaldi apparirà sul numero di Giugno 2013 della rivista del dipartimento di Letteratura Inglese della Warwick University]

In this great family saga, Pennacchi follows the lives of two generations of Perruzzis, sharecroppers from the Veneto region, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the aftermath of World War II and the fall of Fascism. The first part of the book takes place in the Veneto villages of Copparo and Codigoro; in the second part, as a result of Mussolini’s revaluation of the lira (the so-called quota 90), the Perruzzi family is forced to migrate to the Lazio region, where they will work on the reclamation of the Pontine Marshes.

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06 2013

The Mussolini Canal su Historical Novel Society

The Mussolini Canal

[Recensione della versione inglese di Canale Mussolini (traduzione di Judith Landry) firmata da Alan Fisk sul numero 64 della Historical Novel Review]

Many dictators from Nero to Napoleon had set out to drain the Italy’s malarial Pontine Marshes, but it was Mussolini who finally succeeded. The Peruzzi family, sharecroppers from northern Italy who had lost their livelihood, become part of the 30,000 migrants who settled in the marshes to build the Mussolini Canal, which carried away excess river water that would resurrect the marsh if given a chance.

There is no hero in this novel, but instead a whole crowd of heroes and heroines in the vast, tough Peruzzi family, who take whatever the 20th century can throw at them and throw as much as they can back at it. Their lives are moved by Socialism and then Fascism, including their very personal relationship with Mussolini himself.

No hero, and no plot, but instead an absorbing and lively story of the Peruzzi family and their lives of poverty and struggle, love and hate. This is a long novel, but I was sorry to see it end, and I can’t remember when I last said that about a book.


05 2013

Il Tg1 premia Canale Mussolini “Libro dell’anno”

I lettori che hanno votato nel sondaggio del Tg1 hanno eletto Canale Mussolini libro dell’anno. Domenica 16 gennaio Antonio Pennacchi ha ricevuto il premio dal Tg1 all’interno della rubrica dedicata ai libri “Billy”.

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01 2011

Nuove storie dal Canale – Itinerario ispirato ai luoghi descritti nel libro

Riceviamo e pubblichiamo il resoconto del viaggio che ha portato Riccardo Pece e un gruppo di amici a scoprire i luoghi descritti nel libro Canale Mussolini.

“Dal treno proveniente da Roma questa volta scendono turisti. Non più i coloni mossi dalla fame alla ricerca di una speranza di vita nuova.
Un tuffo in un passato rimosso, solcato da un canale e da una storia. Uno spartiacque che ormai esiste nella sola memoria ma che presidia ancor oggi l’Agro Bonificato.

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01 2011