Mastro-Don Gesualdo: A Novel

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9780520050778: Mastro-Don Gesualdo: A Novel

On the face of things, Mastro Don Gesualdo is a success. Born a peasant but a man' with an eye for everything going', he becomes one of the richest men in Sicily, marrying an aristocrat with his daughter destined, in time, to wed a duke. But Gesualdo falls foul of the rigid class structure of mid-19th century Sicily. His title Mastro Don, 'Worker Gentleman', is ironic in itself. Peasants and gentry alike resent his extraordinary success. And when the pattern of society is threatened by revolt, Gesualdo is the rebels' first target.

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Language Notes:

Text: English, Italian (translation)

Review:

Realistic novel of Sicilian life by Giovanni Verga, published in Italian in 1889. Mastro-don can be translated "Sir-Workman," a title that embodies the story's central dilemma. The protagonist, Gesualdo Motta, is a peasant who becomes a wealthy landowner through hard work and judicious business practices, but he cannot rise socially despite his marriage to the noble Bianca Trao. The decadence of the unbending Trao family is repeatedly contrasted with the honesty, strength, vitality, ingenuity, and ambition of Gesualdo. He is unable to understand why he becomes alienated from both the gentry and the peasantry; this lack of insight is the source of his tragedy. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

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Verga, Giovanni
Published by University of California Press (1984)
ISBN 10: 0520050770 ISBN 13: 9780520050778
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Book Description University of California Press, 1984. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110520050770

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