Three fictions set in an Italy of abysmal poverty and medieval superstition feature characters who use their wit and compassion to pull themselves out of bizarre situations.
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Polish
Originally published in the '60s, these three short works by one of Poland's best-known writers searchingly probe the contradictions, baroque mysteries and fanatic rituals that color the Catholic religion. Characters are seized by crises of faith--they rage and despair in the face of their own frailty, but ultimately resign themselves to events beyond their control. Herling ( A World Apart ), who has lived in Italy for 50 years, sets these pieces in his adopted country, using finely honed prose to summon visions of the past. The best entry, "The Tower," visits a devout leper in the 18th century; after watching his sister die of the disease, he must face his own death alone, confined in a tower. The title novella is the weakest link, never gaining focus or momentum despite its dramatic plot, in which a tragic accident proves to have been the result of tormented passions involving a mason, his fiancee and a priest. But Herling's style cannot be faulted: his sensitivity to the natural world and his lyrical language beautifully capture the sensuous backdrops of his dramas of salvation.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Viking Adult, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110670840025