Dante Alighieri Society Book Club
Friday, July 17, 2015 7 pm 630 N Old Woodward – Time: 7-9 pm
Suite 102 Birmingham, MI 48009
Agostino By Alberto Moravia
Thirteen-year-old Agostino is spending the summer at a Tuscan sea-side resort with his beautiful widowed mother. When she takes up with a cocksure new companion, Agostino, feeling ignored and un-loved, begins hanging around with a group of local young toughs. Though repelled by their squalor and brutality, and repeatedly hu-miliated for his weakness and ignorance when it comes to women and sex, the boy is increasingly, masochistically drawn to the gang and its rough games. He finds himself unable to make sense of his troubled feelings. Hoping to be full of manly calm, he is instead be-set by guilty curiosity and an urgent desire to sever, at any cost, the thread of troubled sensuality that binds him to his mother. Psychologically brilliant …this dreamy, haunting study of a young boy’s painful initiation into sexual consciousness is so psychological-ly rich and vividly imagined—in Moore’s plangent translation—that it resembles a painting as much as a novella. This book both re-wards admirers of its illustrious author while providing an entry point for curious readers. Either way, the twinned landscapes of frustrated Oedipal longing and the Fascist-era coastline evoke a tainted beauty both sensuous and violent. Perceptive and razor-sharp insights into the agony of adolescence. Moravia writes with spare attention; the reader becomes enraptured in this sensual world just as Agostino himself begins to take notice of it. It was originally published in 1945, this novel about the loss of innocence shines in a new translation. Alberto Moravia’s classic, startling portrait of innocence lost was written in 1942 but rejected by Fas-cist censors and not published until 1945, when it became a best seller and secured the author the first literary prize of his career. Revived here in a new translation by Michael F. Moore, Agostino is poised to captivate a twenty-first-century audience. Michael F. Moore has given us a wonderful new translation of a classic coming-of-age story set in the modern world. His translation is seamless and loyal to the original yet updat-ed enough to appeal to contemporary readers.
Coordinated by Paola Melara De Sandre