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Where he attempts to pass a bowel motion not nearly as successfully as Leopold Then there s a scene where Limentani calls in on his wife as she lies among her rumpled sheets recalling the scene where Leopold takes Mollie breakfast in bed And I remembered that Mollie was rather preoccupied with thinking about her lover than about Leopold just as Limentani s wife seems preoccupied with hers than with her husband There are other parallels between the two books including a meal in a restaurant involving Gorgonzola and a scene with a prostitute that may be real or may be a hallucination And #In Bassani S Book There Are Many Thoughts About Suicide #Bassani s book there are many thoughts about suicide reminded me that Leopold s father had taken his own life and that the memory of his father s tragedy along with other anxieties relating to money matters and the persecution of minorities preoccupied Bloom uring the course of his long Dublin ay But while those parallels are interesting to find The Heron satisfied me primarily for itself Bassani s book is a perfect meditation on the puniness of man s existenceIn Bassani s sixth book The Smell Of Hay a collection of short pieces some of which are the text of

he gave to literary journals s a reference to his admiration for Joyce and for Ulysses in particular I was pleased when I came across that There s also a reference to his admiration for Proust which backs up the parallels I noticed in the earlier Ferrara novels between his writing and Proust sThe edition I read was translated from Italian by Michel Arnaud and G rard Genot and was called Le H ron It is included in Le roman e Ferrare a compilation of Bassani s six Ferrara novelsThe first edition of The Novel Published In 1968 novel published in 1968 a painting by Francis Bacon on the cover This review contains spoilersThe main character is 45 year old man It s just after WW II in Italy He still lives in his childhood home with his mother who sets out his underwear for his hunting trip even though he has a wife and a young aughter who live with him too He worries that the communists then a strong political force in Italian politics will take away his 1000 acre estate The man character is Jewish and suffered Innumeracy during the war under the fascist era in Italy We get noetails of his ordeal other than that he may have gone into exile for a while and that he had to put his estate into the name of his Catholic A Scream Goes Through the House daughter in law and that s still the case He feels separate from all those around him like he is looking at life through a pane of glass He watches a group of richiners enjoying themselves and then he watches the comradery of a group of working men playing cards rinking and smoking He feels like an outcast he feels an inability to enjoy himself or to care about anything or anyoneHe has feelings of absurdity No relations with his wife and not even much affection for his aughter he s not even sure he is her father He Zami doesn t know why he and his wifeon t separate It s probably because it would reuire some volition on his part to Vertical Mind do so and he has none He has nothing to look forward to nothing to care about He s lost touch with his only friend a cousin In his own words he feels plunged into a grim well of slothful sadness Most of the book is about his preparing for a hunting trip that he s not really interested in going on he gives his gun to his guide and lets himo the shooting He thinks You only have to look at the affairs of life from a certain Gentleman Jack distance to conclude that they were worth all of them only what they were worth namely nothing or almost nothing And that life has become for him a monotonous round of eating andefecating of rinking and urinating of sleeping and waking up of moving about and standing still While hunting we are introduced to the azed befuddled and confused heron that gets mixed in with the The Light is the Darkness ducks After the hunt he gives all the birds away he becomes enad with the stuffed animals in a taxidermist shop and imagines that they look alive than if they were alive He finds a solution to his problemsMelancholy andepressing but good literature A lot of local color of a rural marshy small town area near Ferrara in northern Italy Bassani 1916 2000 wrote a half A Map to the Next World dozen novels and won all of Italy s major literary prizes including the Strega He is credited with editing and bringing Lampedusa s The Leopard to press posthumously after other publishers rejected it Perhaps he is best known for his novel made into a film of the same name The Garden of the Finzi Continistop marshes of northern Italy fromreamstimecomphoto of author from manuelblascuatroblogspotcom. F the elta show a landscape in which the natural elements with all of their charm clash with the anguished feelings of Edgardo Limentani the protagonist of The Her. ,

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L'aironeThis one was harder to grasp just from a basic story telling perspective It takes place after the war all his novellas use the tension of taking place either before and after the war and holocaust which is treated like an unmentionable void Edgardo is a middle aged man who goes on a hunting trip or shooting party as they called it But it becomes clear that he is broken Anyway I wanted to read some criticism of this book and only found an article about all his work by MARTA FIGLEROWICZ is author of Flat Protagonists A Theory #Of Novel Character Oxford #Novel Character Oxford Spaces of Feeling Affect and Awareness in Modernist Literature CornellShe wrote thisBassani s work forges paradoxical ties between a capacity to empathize with persecuted others and a willingness to be honest about the contingency and incomplete knowability of one s moral compass We never make our moral choices in solitude Bassani insistsThat is as good a escription of these novels as I ve found What he seems to be struggling with is how good people can be persuaded to go bad still relevant I think I was entranced by this short post war novel by Giorgio Bassani The lure of eath and estrangement from reality are the foremost themes Edgardo Limentani a middle aged Jewish landowner is still exhausted by the long struggle to survive racial persecution From the first line Not immediately but climbing with some effort up from the bottomless pit of consciousnessit is persecution From the first line Not immediately but climbing with some effort up from the bottomless pit of consciousnessit is if Edgardo struggles to emerge from a eath like state and seems Crum drawn back towards it at several stages There is a relentless sense ofoom that pervades the novel but the end section in which we are prepared for the worst is left hanging Perhaps the protagonist will find himself incapable of pulling the trigger in much the same way as he Heathen Days did when confronted with the mournful heron in the marshesBeautiful l Directly after completing Bassani s Behind the Door 4th in Novel of Ferrara in which a 1516 year old boy learns some tough lessons about friendships and betrayals I moved on to The Heron a singleay in the life of an older man and perhaps Bernices Childrens Stories deals with the conseuences of early pain In Door there s a penis size issue but in Heron that concern turns into a bowel movement problem Yea life happens Read them together Both are beautifully writtentranslated The pits I mean to say or so I think garbage and that it identifies with the trash can by use of over abundance of the words absurd andisgusting no Oil Rig Jobs Reloaded doubt I say or have said rather in attempt or trying to seem existential and commas you must be able to tellOh and he In the Ranchers Footsteps decided not to give the reader an ounce of credit Oh and too if youidn t like the above absurdly Norman Borlaug disgusting run on sentence you probably would not be pleased by The HeronThe pits This novel emphasizes the agony in protagonist It s aay in the life of an Italian Jew who survived the war the Billy and the Major day is in December 1947 and lives in a state of anguishisgusted with himself and with just about everyone and everything passive numb angry Count Zero (Sprawl, depressed There is little pleasure in this novel even in the style There is no wisdom It isn t evenark It is existential pure and simpleI read to the end of this short novel primarily to see where the author was going with it and because Bassani is a major Italian author important to my year of Italian literature There s no oubt that this is powerfully written but after the intimacy of the other Ferrara stories the switch to a 3rd person narrative and a move beyond the walls of the city gave this a ifferent feel A sort of one The Front Page day in the life of Edgardo Limentani it features a man not wounded by life but broken Filled withespair and a Location Lighting for Television deep paralysis the symbolism of the heron feels a tad heavy handed not something I usually associate with the usual subtlety of Bassani My least favourite of Bassani s writings Woke up fell out of bedDragged a comb across my headFound my way Athenagoras downstairs andrank a cupAnd looking up I noticed I was lateMade my way upstairs and had a smokeAnd somebody spoke and I went into a The Enemy dream A Day in the Life LennonMcCartneyIidn t think of The Beatles lyrics until I was almost finished with the book But from the very first pages I The Neverending Story did think of Leopold Bloom And because Iid I couldn t stop seeing him in Edgardo Limentani Edgardo wakes up but lingers in bed knowing he s going to be late he goes to the toilet to try to move his bowels he speaks to his unfaithful wife who s in bed they have one The Vanquished daughter aso the Blooms he has a cup of coffee before heading out In the midst of his peregrinations Edgardo who s only eaten a bite of a sandwich be. Bassani Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, describes a land beyond the city and surrounding countryside It is a land that lives also in the water so the active population is made up of people who wor. Fore getting in a hunting blind has a late lunchescribed in Ancient Iraq detail and a hallucinatory encounter with a prostitute He reluctantly tolerates tiresome individuals he takes repose in a Catholic church though he s Jewish He puts off going home as long as he possibly can Edgardo sepression becomes apparent as the story continues yet he too achieves a sort of happiness at ay s endAll of the above is not to say this is merely a retelling of Joyce s Ulysses It s also uite ifferent in several ways including its mood Bassani s story is suffused with a melancholic sadness there s no humor as in the Joyce In a beautiful passage a heron is injured and tries to survive Even before he says so it s obvious Edgardo identifies with the ungainly bird Also beautiful are Edgardo s thoughts on the futility of life I was prepared to islike early scene of Edgardo #VIEWING HIMSELF IN THE BUT IT S ESSENTIAL #himself in the mirror but it s essential a later contemplation of his reflection in a shop window Reading this novella in The Novel of Ferrara it came with a surprise at how ifferent stylistically it is from Bassani s other writings Gone is the volubility of his sentences Gone is the unnamed first person narrator Its elegiac mood is classic Bassani however and it ties in with the other stories in being set in the Ferrara area and with its inclusion of names like Clelia Trotti s In a neglected part of town Edgardo looks at the street signs These streets have been renamed for people like Trotti The new names had been slapped on so haphazardly Over The Original Names the original names the signs have lost some of their letters Edgardo stays there contemplating the signs until he has Drop It, Rocket! deciphered all the names This was the last of Bassani s Ferrara novel seuence to be published in Jamie McKendrick s new translation for Penguin This one is a short character study telling the story of aay in the life of a Jewish minor aristocrat in 1947As in most of the other novels in the series this one is largely about the lingering after effects of Fascism but it is also about the I'm a Ballerina! death of a lifestyle rather like The Leopard A man let s call him L is beset by terrible angst He is an Italian Jew who has survived the war but finds himself beleaguered from all sides the government is crippling him with taxes his tenants are laying claim to his property his accountant is sleeping with his wife and he feels very threatened by the undercurrent of anti Jewish feeling left over from the war years He tries to calm his terrors by reliving a favourite occupation of his youthuck shooting Having risen early he makes his way to the marsh area south of the city where he meets up with a boatman who takes him out to the best spot for shooting water fowl But once he gets there L feels unable to shoot anything He hands his expensive guns over to the boatman choosing instead to huddle in the cold nursing the wounds of his life Meanwhile a heron flies in a great arc across the sky and Panda-monium in China (Hannah and the Angels, disappears over the horizon Shortly afterwards the heron returns in theirection of the boat in spite of the boatman s sporadic shooting at ucks and other water fowl Even as L is willing the stubborn heron to fly away to safety the boatman raises his gun and shoots at the bird The shot cripples one of his wings This is the most beautiful part of this very beautifully written book Bassani escribes the confusion and agony of the injured bird in terms that subtly mirror his main character s own confusion and agony It is very artfully Catalyst done and left me with even respect for Giorgio Bassani s writing skills than I already had and with a new respect for the veryignified bird that is the heron After a series of books in which he has used unnamed first person narrators Giorgio Bassani surprised me in this fifth book in his Ferrara series by switching to a third person point of view and by giving his main character a name Limentani Edgardo LimentaniBut if Bassani hadn t given him a name I might have been tempted to give him one myself This time I have chosen not Giorgio as I ve been inclined to choose in the other books but instead Leopoldo Yes Leopoldo as in Leopold Bloom from Ulysses Very early in Bassani s novel I had begun to be reminded of Leopold and of his many peregrinations and tribulations And the I read the I thought about him As in Ulysses Bassani s narrative takes place over the course of one long ay as Limentani sets out from his house in Ferrara and eventually makes his way back to that same house late in the evening The book begins with Limentani opening his eyes and facing the morning light We accompany him to the toilet. K there or go there on purpose This special land belongs to men who fish with boats and also with barrels to huntOn a cold winter Sunday in 1947 the open horizons