Family Chronicle (English and Italian Edition)

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9780934977074: Family Chronicle (English and Italian Edition)
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“Family Chronicle” tells the story of two brothers: one leads a life of privilege, while the other survives as a struggling writer. Pratolini's brilliant prose reveals the depth of spiritual strength in these two men as they draw together once again and develop bonds of love and trust for one another. “Family Chronicle” (Cronaca familiare) has been critically and popularly recognized as among the most important Italian novels of the twentieth century. Vasco Pratolini, one of Italy's leading neo-realist novelists and screen writers, frames his tale against the backdrop of the urban poor of Florence, the rise of Fascism, and the disastrous effects of World War II.

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From the Author:

This book is not a work of the imagination. It is the author's conversation with his dead brother. In writing it the author was looking for consolation, nothing more. He has the remorse of having barely understood his brother's spirituality, and too late. These pages are therefore offered as an inadequate atonement.

About the Author:

Vasco Pratolini was born in Rome in 1917. Between the two world wars he grew up in Florence in a workingman's section that stretches from behind Piazza Signoria to the church of Santa Croce. The elegance of Via Tornabuoni or Piazza Signoria is far from this area, though both are just around the corner.

Pratolini went to live alone after he had trained as a typographer. And at this time he was able to study and learn as he had long desired, and he set himself on a course of self-education that included the reading of Dante, Manzoni and Dickens, among others. His health deteriorated seriously, and he spent two years in several sanitariums for the cure of tuberculosis. On his return to Florence he began to write short pieces, concentrating on memories of his childhood in the proletarian environment there.

His acquaintance with the writer Elio Vittorini in Rome, and with other intellectuals influenced both his literary and political ideas. Pratolini rejected the elitist and self-contained hermetic mode of writing then fashionable, for a realistic portrayal of the lower classes in provincial settings. This puts him in the same realistic camp as writers like Moravia, Gadda, Silone, and Verga before them. From a passive Fascist he became a socialist, a turn of conscience that led him to fight with the partisans in 1943-45.

In Florence from August 1938 to August 1939 Pratolini and the poet Alfonso Gatto jointly edited a magazine, Campo di Marte, whose avowed purpose was "to educate the people" about all the arts. From the first issue the Dottrina Fascista came under fire as being "out of phase with the real needs of our times;" and it could have been no surprise to the editors when the publication of their cultural magazine was suppressed.

Pratolini wrote other successful novels, set in Florence, such as La cronaca dei povei amanti, Le ragazze di San Frediano, and Metello, each combining a lyrical tone with a particular social perspective and an artistic melding of private and public history. Family Chronicle was written rapidly in 1945, in a pause between the writing of other longer novels.

Pratolini was also well-known as a screenwriter and worked on many neorealist films, perhaps most notably, Rocco and His Brothers. Pratolini recently died and his obituary appeared in the New York Times.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780704301467: Family Chronicle

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ISBN 10:  0704301466 ISBN 13:  9780704301467
Publisher: Quartet Books, 1991
Softcover

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