The 2013 Italian Session will take place on Thursday, July 11 at 6:00 pm at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York – 686 Park Avenue New York, NY 10065 (between 68th and 69th Streets).

The discussion will be moderated by Professor Francesca Parmeggiani (Fordham University)

To RSVP for this event, please send us an email at

The Book: The Moon and the Bonfires, by Cesare Pavese

The Moon and the Bonfires - Book CoverThe nameless narrator of The Moon and the Bonfires, Cesare Pavese‘s last and greatest novel, returns to Italy from California after the Second World War. He has done well in America, but success hasn’t taken the edge off his memories of childhood, when he was an orphan living at the mercy of a bitterly poor farmer. He wants to learn what happened in his native village over the long, terrible years of Fascism; perhaps, he even thinks, he will settle down. And yet as he uncovers a secret and savage history from the war-a tale of betrayal and reprisal, sex and death-he finds that the past still haunts the present. The Moon and the Bonfires is a novel of intense lyricism and tragic import, a masterpiece of twentieth-century literature that has been unavailable to American readers for close to fifty years. Here it appears in a vigorous new English version by R. W. Flint, whose earlier translations of Pavese‘s fiction were acclaimed by Leslie Fiedler as “absolutely lucid and completely incantatory.” A New York Review books original.

The author:

Cesare Pavese, (born Sept. 9, 1908, Santo Stefano Belbo, Italy-died Aug. 27, 1950, Turin), Italian poet, critic, novelist, and translator, who introduced many modern U.S. and English writers to Italy. He is widely considered among the major authors of the 20th century in his home country. Denied an outlet for his creative powers by Fascist control of literature, Pavese translated many 20th-century U.S. writers in the 1930s and ’40s. His work probably did more to foster the reading and appreciation of U.S. writers in Italy than that of any other single man.

The Reviews:

The New York Review of Books:Pavese made an attempt, heroic and successful, to encompass national and social concerns. His novels about Italy in the later stages of the Second World War formed a “historical cycle of my own times”… Among the [Italian neo-realist] novelists, Cesare Pavese had, as he was not too modest to suspect, the greatest mastery.” - Richard Ellman

The New York Times Book Review: “There is something about [Pavese] – and the translation does not lose it – that is insinuating, haunting and lyrically pervasive.”

The Daily Telegraph: “…one of the word’s great creative depressives. The Moon and the Bonfires [is] his masterpiece on the aftermath of the partisan war in the hills around Turin.”

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