Her mother came from a Jewish family in Modena and her father was Sicilian. Except for a period during World War II , she resided in her home city until her death in She married the novelist Alberto Moravia in , and through him she met many of the leading Italian thinkers and writers of the day. Morante began writing short stories which appeared in various publications and periodicals, including periodicals for children, in the s. Her first book was a collection of some of the stories, Il Gioco Segreto, published in
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Here is History to you. Just the way it is and just the way we contributed to make it. Mostly set in Rome during and shortly after the Second World War , History is a poignant book of epic allure about boundless motherly love, the complexity of family ties, identity, race, violence, war and loss.
When Useppe is born in after Ida got raped by a German soldier, her son Nino is fifteen. Their lives involuntarily sway along on the ruthless waves of the Second World War. Nino joins the resistance and is a permanent source of unrest and worry for Ida. Taking care of the little Useppe, a sickly but precocious and cheerful child, forces her to hold her ground in utterly precarious circumstances - homeless in a city that is being bombed, where food and shelter are scarce and each day is a struggle for survival.
As a partly-Jewish woman like Morante herself , Ida also struggles with the terrifying doom of discovery and deportation, a vexing anxiety she cannot share with anyone for fear of being turned in. Yet in all the horror and bleakness Morante — who considered herself first and foremost a poet — unapologetically weaves poetry through the narrative and into those arduous lives of Ida, Nino and Useppe — even if the stars are the only thing that is left, they will continue to bring a sparkle of brightness in the deepest despair.
But in contrast to the unnatural irreality of a total, monotonous, debilitating, stupid and pointless accident, the stars would also stand still, according to him And in view of this, experience has taught me that, unfortunately, for many, even poetry can be used as an alibi. As if poetry should content itself with its own beauty, as if it were only an elegant arabesque designed on paper. So I must warn you that this book, before it is a work of poetry, first, must be an act of accusation and a prayer.
It is hard to imagine that the novel was criticised by some voices of the Italian left for finding not enough rage against the oppressors in it. This is an angry, raw, powerful and devastating novel on how History with a capital H affect the lives of ordinary people, a novel which is not unlikely to infuriate the reader, not leaving any illusion on human nature in its shocking depiction of the theme of the violent abuse of power versus the powerless and even less on the emptiness of political ideologies of whatever penchant.
And, nevertheless, an urgent and desperate question, addressed to everyone for a possibly common awakening. All the seeds failed, except one. History continues…. Maar tegenover de tegennatuurlijke irrealiteit van een totaal, eentonig, slopend, stompzinnig en zinloos ongeluk zouden volgens hem ook de gesternten stilstaan Het is een aangrijpend boek van epische allure over grenzeloze moederliefde, de complexiteit van familiebanden, oorlog en verlies. Deels op haar eigen oorlogservaringen gebaseerd, beschrijft Morante het leven van Ida Mancuzo, een weduwe die tijdens de jaren dertig en veertig in Rome woont met haar twee zonen.
Wanneer Useppe in geboren wordt, is zoon Nino vijftien. Hun levens deinen onwillekeurig mee op de meedogenloze golven van de grote Geschiedenis en de Tweede Wereldoorlog.
Nino treedt toe tot het verzet en vormt voor Ida een permanente bron van onrust. De zorg voor de kleine Useppe, ziekelijk maar vroegrijp en levenslustig, noopt haar zich staande te houden in de hachelijkste omstandigheden, onder bombardementen, dakloos, in een stad waar de meest elementaire levensmiddelen ontbreken. Als halfjoodse worstelt ze bovendien met het angstwekkende doembeeld van ontdekking en deportatie, een angst die ze met niemand kan delen uit vrees voor verklikking.
Vervolging, onrechtvaardigheid, waanzin en dood leiden uiteindelijk wel tot een ronduit hartverscheurende, tragische afloop, die me lang bleef achtervolgen.
On rereading it, I still found it disturbing and shocking, but I have also grown to admire it—perhaps because it is so dark and resists any attempt to classify it. In writing this novel, Morante may have knowingly sacrificed clarity and logic in order to express her vision of a chaotic world. The idyllic years she spends with her only son—Manuel, the narrator of the novel—are shattered when she contracts an incurable disease probably syphilis and becomes a nymphomaniac. Now, at the age of 43, Manuel, an unattractive, self-loathing, recovering drug addict who works a dead-end job at a small publishing house, decides to travel to her hometown in Spain in order to look for her. Filled with dreams and remembrances the novel creates a Sebaldian landscape of memory out of this painful journey, painting a portrait that is both touching and bleak. She began writing short stories in the s, and her first book, a collection of short stories, was published in , the same year she married the prominent Italian author Alberto Moravia.
Aracoeli di Elsa Morante: trama