Moon and the Bonfire

by Cesare Pavese | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0340424338 Global Overview for this book
Registered by stephjb of Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on 5/12/2016
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by stephjb from Torquay, Devon United Kingdom on Thursday, May 12, 2016
Bought at Totnes Community Bookshop, Castle Street, Totnes

Journal Entry 2 by stephjb at Totnes , Devon United Kingdom on Thursday, May 12, 2016
I found a copy of The Moon And The Bonfires in Totnes Community Bookshop on Tuesday. As the novella was published in 1950, I am counting it as my 1950s read for the 2016 Goodreads / Bookcrossing Decade Challenge.

Anguilla, who we only ever know through his childhood nickname meaning 'the eel' was an orphan, raised in poverty by foster parents in a relatively remote Italian valley. As a child he seems to have accepted his lowly status, but never felt as though he fitted in and really belonged. As the book starts, Anguilla is returning to the valley after years spent away travelling and making a relative fortune in America. He is self-consciously aware of his new position in society and wanted his return to make waves. However lives and deaths have happened in his absence and the people he imagined himself impressing are no longer around to witness his triumph.

I wasn't overkeen on Pavese's writing style and especially not his frequent derogatory remarks about women although I expect these could be explained away by the era of the writing. However, as the story progresses and Anguilla reminisces about his childhood and adolescence, I was drawn more into the tale. Pavese's descriptions of everyday deprivation and poverty are shocking and I understood how this could result in routine violence and tragedy. The Moon And The Bonfire takes its title from local superstitions which lead Anguilla, despite his early contrary protestations, to realise that this simple valley is where he truly belongs, even lacking a known family history to back up that knowledge. Anguilla feels the passing of the seasons and the rhythm of the rural year although modernity and wartime suspicions have destroyed much of what he expected to return to. The Moon And The Bonfire is ultimately a moving tribute to a lost way of living.

Journal Entry 3 by stephjb at Dornafield Campsite in Ipplepen, Devon United Kingdom on Thursday, May 12, 2016

Released 3 yrs ago (5/12/2016 UTC) at Dornafield Campsite in Ipplepen, Devon United Kingdom

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