donderdag 28 november 2013

Thus Spake Bellavista: Naples, Love and Liberty (Picador Bks.) - Luciano De Crescenzo (Boek)

From Publishers Weekly
A bestselling novelist in Europe, DeCrescenzo is here translated into English for the first time. And what a rollicking, erudite, irreverent debut it is, with the eponymous Bellavista taking the role of Socratic interlocutor and, often, responder. The format is striking: long, excoriating diatribes against power and its alter ego, sex, alternating with intimate vignettes of everyday Neapolitan life. Professor Bellavista harangues his listenersthree out-of-work family men, a pompous doctor and an engineer from Rome, who serves as narratorabout the virtues of Naples, City of Love, whose only religion is soccer and whose denizens unknowingly practice the Epicurean Middle Way. There his audience hits the streets, to take the city's pulse, and talk gives way to action. We meet Gennarino the kamikaze, who manages to be hit by a bus every week or so in order to collect insurance, a specialty he has honed to such high art that the insurance companies offer him a retainer to stop suing them. Although philosophical argument and classical reference sometimes pall, such leavening anecdotes, as well as the fluid translation, keep things spinning.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
"Philosophical essays or short stories? Let's say both, because while the chapters with odd numbers aspire to category, though their style is purely conversational, the even-numbered chapters belong to the second, being simply anecdotes of everyday Neopolitan life. . . . Marotta and Plato are the book's twin guides and mentors: Marotta for the anecdotal pieces, Plato for the dialogues between Professor Bellavista--our Socrates--and his group of more or less unemployed student philosophers." So explains the author in his introduction to this sea of interrelated fictions that rises in waves of good mirth among calms of serioparodical philosophical speculation and discourse. De Crescenzo is rightfully popular in Europe, and his first book to appear in English has been translated with sympathy, sensitivity, and wit.
- Marcia G. Fuchs, Guilford Free Lib., Ct.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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