Fall 1954 • Vol. XVI No. 4 NonfictionOctober 1, 1954 |

Introducing Cesare Pavese

At the moment when Italy is becoming for us a country of the imagination, a contemporary cultural fact for the first time in perhaps fifty years, we have a special obligation to come to terms with the writer who moves her newest authors most deeply, who seems to them, indeed, to have defined their newness, their very function. Cesare Pavese is that writer, the best of recent Italian novelists, though so far less known and honored in our country than Moravia, Vittorini, Berto or Pratolini—in some quarters even ranked under a sentimental entertainer like Guareschi, the creator of the insufferable Don Camillo. We have been slowly graduating from the notion that under Mussolini the Italian novel died except as maintained in exile by Ignazio Silone, confessing that both the overestimation of the author of Fontamara and the blindness to his contemporaries which sustained it were primarily the products of political piety rather than of critical insight. And we have begun reprinting such

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Leslie A. Fiedler (1917-2003) was an influential American literary critic. Well known for Love and Death in the American Novel (1960), Fiedler penned many other works and was also a teacher. He was heavily interested in mythology and advocated genre fiction.

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