Posts Tagged ‘The Mussolini Canal’

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 →

28

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

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 →

19

08 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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09

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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04

06 2013