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Old 04-09-2012, 04:10 PM   #21
paola
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
Why not list some of them anyway? I'd love to see what you've come up with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
Me too. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been adding nominated items to their TBR list. I have bought or also read a few of the books that haven't won. I am getting lots of great reading recommendations from this book club!
Well, it is all Italian authors of the past century:

"That Awful mess of via Merulana", by Carlo Emilio Gaddda - I've found a write up here

The original title in Italian is "Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana", in Roman slang, and I can imagine it must be very hard in translation (from what I read on Amazon, some people really suffered through it). The action takes place in the fascist pre-war years (published just after the war on a literary magazine, then a few years later again as a stand alone book), is a sad satire of Italian society in those years. The literary virtuosism is in his use of language, and I guess that may be lost in translation.

Another one is "The path of the nests of spiders" (original title "Il sentiero dei nidi di Ragno"), by Italo Calvino. Calvino, who famoulsy (for us Italians) did not win the Nobel, is probably not obscure as an author, but this is an early novel of his and quite differend in style from the rest of his production. It is really beautiful grappling with the inner contradiction of the Italian "Resistenza " (the partisans opposing the fascists during WWII) through the eyes of a young adolescent who joins a group of partisans.

Then there is "The cutting of the wood" by Carlo Cassola: it is a collection of short stories, but for me the title story stands out, it is powerful and heart wrenching, it looks like there is not much happening until the very end, jsut a couple of wodcutters in the wood, but at the end his portrayal of what love, loss and sorrow mean is haunting.

I'll stop here as otherwise I could go on forever, I just love 20th century Italian literature, but if you have questions I'd be happy to help (as far as my limited knowledge goes, though)!

Coming to us, I will fourth Hunger.

As my actual nomination, I was tempted to go for The butcher boy, by Patrick McCabe, but then thought that perhaps it is not obscure at all (it won the Man Booker prize here in the UK): do you know it? If not, I will tell you more about it and nominate it properly.

Last edited by paola; 04-09-2012 at 04:12 PM.
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