The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

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  • The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  • Giorgio Bassani
  • 22 February 2019
  • 0140027386

About the Author: Giorgio Bassani

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Epub ´ of the Epub garden free, finzi continis book, The Garden mobile, of the book, The Garden of the Finzi-ContinisGarden of the pdf, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis ePUBGiorgio Bassani was born in Bologna into of the Epub á a prosperous Jewish family of Ferrara, where he spent his childhood with his mother Dora, father Enrico a doctor , brother Paolo, and sister Jenny In he completed his studies at his secondary school, the liceo classico L Ariosto in Ferrara Music had been his first great passion and he considered a career as a pianist however literature soon became the focus of his artistic interestsIn he enrolled in the Faculty of Letters of the The Garden eBook º University of Bologna Commuting to lectures by train third class from Ferrara, he studied under the art historian Roberto Longhi His ideal of the free intellectual was the Liberal historian and philosopher Benedetto Croce Despite the anti Semitic race laws which were introduced from , he was able to graduate in , writing a thesis on the nineteenth century writer, journalist, radical and lexicographer Niccol Tommaseo As a Jew in , however, work opportunities were now limited and he became a schoolteacher in the Jewish Garden of the PDF/EPUB Á School of Ferrara in via Vignatagliata In his first book, Una citt di pianura A City of the Plain , was published under the pseudonym Giacomo Marchi in order to evade the race laws During this period, along with friends he had made in Ferrara s intellectual circle, he became a clandestine political activist His activity in the anti fascist resistance led to his arrest in May he was released on July, the day after Benito Mussolini was ousted from powerA little over a week later he married Valeria Sinigallia, whom he had met playing tennis They moved to Florence for a brief period, living under assumed names, then at the end of the year, to Rome, where he would spend the rest of his life His first volume of poems, Storie dei poveri amanti e altri versi, appeared in a second, Te lucis ante, followed in He edited the literary review Botteghe oscure for Princess Marguerite Caetani from its founding in until it halted publication in In Passeggiata prima di cena appeared and in Gli ultimi anni di Clelia Trotti In the same year he became editor of Paragone, a journal founded by Longhi and his wife Anna Banti Bassani s writings reached a wider audience in with the publication of the Premio Strega winning book of short stories, Cinque storie FerraresiAs an editorial director of Feltrinelli Bassani was responsible for the posthumous publication in of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa s Il Gattopardo, a novel which had been rejected by Elio Vittorini at Mondadori, and also by Einaudi, but which became one of the great successes of post war Italian literature Bassani s enthusiastic editing of the text, following instructions from Elena Croce daughter of Benedetto who had offered him the manuscript, later became controversial however recent editions have been published which follow the manuscriptclosely Also in Bassani s novel Gli occhiali d oro was published, an examination, in part, of the marginalisation of Jews and homosexuals Together with stories from Cinque storie ferraresi reworked and under the new title Dentro le mura it was to be form part of a series of works known collectively as Il romanzo di Ferrara which explored the town, with its Christian and Jewish elements, its perspectives and its landscapes The series also includes Il giardino dei Finzi Contini , Premio Viareggio prizewiner Dietro la porta L airone and L odore del fieno These works realistically document the Italian Jewish community under Fascism in a style that manifests the difficulties of searching for truth in the meanderings of memory and moral conscience In one of his novels was adapted as the film Long Night in Bassani passed away in , and was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Ferrara He was survived by his estranged wife Valeria and their two children Paola born .


The Garden of the Finzi-ContinisThe Garden of the Finzi-Continis Epub ´ of the Epub garden free, finzi continis book, The Garden mobile, of the book, The Garden of the Finzi-ContinisGarden of the pdf, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis ePUBThis is a haunting, elegiac novel which of the Epub á captures the mood and atmosphere of Italy and in particular Ferrara in the last summers of the thirties, focusing on an aristocratic Jewish family moving imperceptibly towards its doom Vittorio De Sica turned the book into a film in , winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in.

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10 thoughts on “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

  1. Kalliope says:

    An Elegy encapsulated in a garden Recalled through the torn veils of memory this semiautobiographical interlude evokes the life of the Finzi Contini, a Jewish and wealthy Ferrarese family, during the ominous late 1930s.Those lives are revived during a visit to an Etruscan cemetery twenty years later Another kind of garden.The novel opens for us a garden of lost youth, where illusions grew in a fertile ground and where the possibilities seemed endless Echoes of the primeval garden, of an overg An Elegy encapsulated in a garden Recalled through the torn veils of memory this semiautobiographical interlude evokes the life of the Finzi Contini, a Jewish and wealthy Ferrarese family, during the ominous late 1930s.Those lives are revived during a visit to an Etruscan cemetery twenty years later Another kind of garden.The novel opens for us a garden of lost youth, where illusions grew in a fertile ground and where the possibilities seemed endless Echoes of the primeval garden, of an overgrown paradise, or of theHortus Conclusus of protected virginity, welcome us from the beginning since the title of the book acts as a kind of Welcoming Banner.The tale has then the sweet and bitter taste of tragic nostalgia Tragic because we know what is coming the Italy of the black shirts The inevitability of catastrophes in history easily seems evitable in posterity But Bassani immerses us in the original development of events, and in its necessity we feel the imminence of tragedy It shrouds with dark tones the scented story of youth, innocence and longing for love And we are not mistaken in our expectations as we come up to the enclosing, limiting, ending wall.But we are to remember and books can be like the centennial trees Witnesses of past ages

  2. Fionnuala says:

    The short prologue to this book describes a visit by the narrator and his friends to the ancient burial site of the Etruscans at Cerveteri near Rome sometime in the 1950s In the course of the visit, a discussion arises between one of the friends and his young daughter about why it might be less sad to visit a burial ground from long ago than to visit a present day one The father claims that it is because we knew and loved the people who are buried in our modern graveyards, whereas the amount o The short prologue to this book describes a visit by the narrator and his friends to the ancient burial site of the Etruscans at Cerveteri near Rome sometime in the 1950s In the course of the visit, a discussion arises between one of the friends and his young daughter about why it might be less sad to visit a burial ground from long ago than to visit a present day one The father claims that it is because we knew and loved the people who are buried in our modern graveyards, whereas the amount of time that has passed makes it as if the people buried in ancient sites never really lived at all, or as if they were always dead But his young daughter is not convinced For her the Etruscans deserve our sadness just as much as do our recent dead Time does not make them less worthy of remembrance That prologue seems to underline Giorgio Bassani s intention for his Ferrara novels, of which this book is the third In this episode I see a strengthening of his determination to preserve the memory of the community he belonged to while growing up in Ferrara in the 1930s, and which has been well dispersed by the time he was writing this book in the late 1950s He wants to make sure that Time does not make it as if the community never existed, especially since many of its members, in contrast to the Etruscans with their well furnished tombs complete with food, utensils, mosaics, chairs and beds, never had any tomb at all The Finzi Contini family at the centre of this story seem to live as royally as the Etruscans Their house and gardens are exceptionally large and imposing, and they possess a large and imposing tomb in the Jewish graveyard in Ferrara Their lives and their after lives seem well taken care of In this beautifully written narrative, Giorgio Bassani has ensured that this particular family, who lived as if already safely buried behind the high walls of their garden, are fully deserving of our remembrance I doubt there is a reader who could ever forget them For those who are interested in the parallels I ve been finding between Bassani s Ferrara cycle and Marcel Proust s Recherche du Temps Perdu, let me say that there are evenhere than in the second book, The Gold Rimmed Spectacles.The narrator is the same as in that book, and he remains unnamed In this episode he recounts his memories of the Finzi Contini family, from when he first became aware of them as a young boy in the late 1920s until he left Ferrara at the outbreak of the war.Like Marcel Proust s unnamed narrator s obsession with the Guermantes family, which began with a sighting in the church at Combray when he was a child, and which grew and grew with the passing years, Bassani s narrator first spots the Finzi Contini family in the local synagogue Each year during Passover, Rosh HaShannah and Hanukkah, he gets another sighting, and becomesandinterested in this family he rarely sees elsewhere He becomes particularly fascinated with the son and daughter of the house, Alberto and Mic l, who have private lessons and therefore don t attend the local school One day when he is a young teenager, he has a brief encounter with Mic l across the Finzi Contini garden wall just as Proust s narrator does with Gilberte Swann through the garden railings of Tansonville From that day onwards, his interest in the Finzi Continis transforms into an interest in Mic l alone just as Proust s narrator becomes obsessed with Gilberte during his teenage years to the exclusion of all else Both narrators have to wait a few years before they again encounter the object of their affection and the encounters happen in similar circumstances an invitation to the loved one s home, for afternoon tea and conversation in the case of Gilberte, for afternoon tea and tennis, in the case of Mic l Then, in both cases, another period of separation, during which they suffer jealous torment, before a later encounter takes place These parallels may not seem much to other readers but they strike me as significant, and I ll be on the lookout foras I read on through the final books in the cycle

  3. Teresa says:

    Edited 6 7 19 see last section4.5 stars for me, no less than for her, the memory of things was muchimportant than the possession of them, and in comparison with that memory all possession, in itself, seemed just disappointing, delusive, flat, insufficient.The way I longed for the present to become the past at once, so that I could love it and gaze fondly at it any timeIt was our vice, this looking backward as we went ahead translated by William Weaver The inner flap of this edi Edited 6 7 19 see last section4.5 stars for me, no less than for her, the memory of things was muchimportant than the possession of them, and in comparison with that memory all possession, in itself, seemed just disappointing, delusive, flat, insufficient.The way I longed for the present to become the past at once, so that I could love it and gaze fondly at it any timeIt was our vice, this looking backward as we went ahead translated by William Weaver The inner flap of this edition mentions Marcel Proust, but even without that I m sure I would ve thought of him, not only with the above passage, but with the unnamed narrator s love for the tennis playing Mic l, at an age when love equals jealousy, a love without the understanding that the insecurities and accusations that arise from the lesser emotion will not endear you to the beloved Though she s seen through the narrator s rear view mirror, Mic l is no Proustian Albertine For only one thing, Mic l s family, not the narrator s, is the one with money butimportantly, unlike Albertine, Mic l is not a concept but a character who speaks her mind, acts and reacts though perhaps the two differences are not unrelated It is Ferrara, though, with its city walls and ducal gardens, that is the main character, a city as insular as Mic l s family.We know from the beginning that this Jewish family living in Fascist Italy in the late 1930s is doomed They continue to live as they always do, ignoring a certain future, even making plans to enlarge a tennis court that their non Jewish friends are forbidden to play on Political thought is represented in the character of their Communist friend, the forward thinking Malnate, but even he cannot escape The familiarity of the novel s tone nagged at me, though I can t put my finger on why it felt that way and I m not thinking of Proust now Most likely, that feeling came from other backwards looking novels of love and loss I ve read that have become an amorphous mass in my so called memory bank, but that doesn t mean this one isn t a special one.Because of events listed in the author s biography on the book jacket, I assumed this novel was semi autobiographical but it was only today, after paging to the front of the book before writing this review, that I noticed the dedication To Mic l I read the first translated into English edition and encountered a couple of disconcerting, glaringly obvious, misplaced modifiers I trust those were corrected in later editions Reread In Within the Walls and The Gold Rimmed Spectacles, the works that come before this novel in this edition Bassani s narrator seems to be commenting on community members staying purposely unaware, not open, to what is about to happen With my second read of The Garden of the Finzi Continis, I find Bassani s narrator also not facing up to reality, choosing to be in a state of dreaming, of the past, in lieu of facing the present Rereading this review, I saw that I marked the same passage different translations during my two reads see the top of the page to compare that to this She could sense it very clearly for me, no less than for her, the past counted farthan the present, remembering something farthan possessing it Compared to memory, every possession can only ever seem disappointing, banal, inadequateShe understood me so well My anxiety that the present immediately turned into the past so that I could love it and dream about it at leisure was just like hers, was identical It was our vice, this to go forward with our heads forever turned back translated by Jamie McKendrick I reread the novel in this edition

  4. Steven Godin says:

    Set in the northern Italian city of Ferrara against the rise of fascism during Mussolini s reign in power, it s late 1930 s and our narrator, like Giorgio Bassani himself, is a member of Ferrara s Jewish community, and this novel chronicles the early stages of the persecution of Italian Jews and little did I realise many Jews actually joined the Fascist Party , and at first the racial laws don t really seem to bother many of the characters involved As a student our narrator is blacklisted from Set in the northern Italian city of Ferrara against the rise of fascism during Mussolini s reign in power, it s late 1930 s and our narrator, like Giorgio Bassani himself, is a member of Ferrara s Jewish community, and this novel chronicles the early stages of the persecution of Italian Jews and little did I realise many Jews actually joined the Fascist Party , and at first the racial laws don t really seem to bother many of the characters involved As a student our narrator is blacklisted from his local tennis club so is invited onto the estate of the wealthy and previously aloof Finzi Contini family which brings back memory s of his younger years where he had some feelings for the daughter Micol, so now along with her brother Alberto and some other intelligent friends they share many good times together in the gardens and later on he gets to know other members of the family and spendstime in their house, it isn t long before his feelings grow for Micol and is clearly much in love with her, but there is a sense that Micol and Alberto have led such a pampered life full of affluency that this may explain some of their behaviour at times especially Micol who I do believe was also in love but somehow struggled to show it Although this sort of reads like a love story it s farrealistic than it is romantic in terms of how it deals with human emotions, also I would definitely class this as a slow burner but this works so well because you really get drawn into the characters and their surroundings, so plot makes way for mood and atmosphere during an important moment in their lives where war is looming, the Finzi Contini estate becomes a safe haven and feels almost like a lost Eden in the eyes of those who spend time there As I can only go by the translation done very well by Jamie Mckendrick for this edition Bassani s quality of writing shines throughout and he was clearly one of the great European novelists

  5. Hugh says:

    A historical novel set among an Italian Jewish community in the late 1930s, this book has lyrical descriptive passages and a moving elegiac storyline Very enjoyable.Like so many of the books I read long before joining GR, I would have to read this again to write a review that does it justice It is part of a cycle of novels set in Ferrara and all of the others are now available in the same Penguin Modern Classics series Like another of my favourite books, Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley, i A historical novel set among an Italian Jewish community in the late 1930s, this book has lyrical descriptive passages and a moving elegiac storyline Very enjoyable.Like so many of the books I read long before joining GR, I would have to read this again to write a review that does it justice It is part of a cycle of novels set in Ferrara and all of the others are now available in the same Penguin Modern Classics series Like another of my favourite books, Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley, it transcends the series it is part of and can be read as a self contained novel

  6. David says:

    Paradise Found I remember hearing about this film made of this book back in the 1970s Academy Award for best foreign film and then a recent spate of reviews prompted me to read.The book was mesmerizing although in a very Graham Greene like speed Told from the un named author, he recalls the memories of the Finzi Continis of Ferrara, Italy just leading up to the War The book focuses on the young adult lives of Mic l and her brother Alberto and their eccentric Jewish parents In pre war Italy Paradise Found I remember hearing about this film made of this book back in the 1970s Academy Award for best foreign film and then a recent spate of reviews prompted me to read.The book was mesmerizing although in a very Graham Greene like speed Told from the un named author, he recalls the memories of the Finzi Continis of Ferrara, Italy just leading up to the War The book focuses on the young adult lives of Mic l and her brother Alberto and their eccentric Jewish parents In pre war Italy the Race Law had been passed that eroded the lives of Jews They couldn t marry outside of their religion Then the youths were stripped of other rights and it all seemed to pose big issues But in the garden, the youths whiled away the hours playing tennis, talking poetry and literature and basically enjoying life as the country headed toward war Were they naive Sheltered One can assume that although they attended university, they chose not to get involved with the fascist politics of the day This underlying issue and their seemingly obliviousness made the story so compelling At one point, the author speaks of a family dinner where almost everyone will soon perish Haunting Self absorbed Maybe the only way they could control their lives Toss in a love story and the book fills out an almost painful to read plot as we know what is coming That certainly grabbed me.Now to find a copy of that 1970 movie

  7. Roman Clodia says:

    What impossible people they were he d say What a strange, absurd tangle of incurable contradictions they represented socially If The Gold Rimmed Spectacles conflated the tragedy of Dr Fadigati with the announcements of Mussolini s Racial Laws, then this book turns the pages back to our unnamed narrator s boyhood and adolescence and parallels his painful first love with the increasing power of Italy s fascist regime We know from the outset that the Jewish Finzi Continis don t survive tWhat impossible people they were he d say What a strange, absurd tangle of incurable contradictions they represented socially If The Gold Rimmed Spectacles conflated the tragedy of Dr Fadigati with the announcements of Mussolini s Racial Laws, then this book turns the pages back to our unnamed narrator s boyhood and adolescence and parallels his painful first love with the increasing power of Italy s fascist regime We know from the outset that the Jewish Finzi Continis don t survive the Holocaust, and the book positions story telling as an act of memorialisation, creating a monumental sepulchre for people whose fate remains unknown, who disappeared beneath the sheer incomprehensible numbers of the killed and unburied.It would be so easy then to sentimentalise this story and it s a marker of Bassani s stature as a novelist that he doesn t do this On one hand the Finzi Continis are enchanting and charming, not least Micol, the girl with whom the narrator becomes obsessed Their family linguistics, known as Finzi Continish reminded me of the Mitfords who also had an internal language that bound them Yet, on the other, again, perhaps, like the Mitfords , there are darker elements attached to the family they are proud of their wealth, arrogant, and deliberately isolate themselves from Ferrara with their walled house and gardens and the narrator comments on their aristocratic, subterranean, persistent anti Semitism It s this nuanced approach to the complexities of personality and politics that make this book so outstanding.The eponymous garden itself becomes a layered place, both a golden lost Eden from which the inhabitants are exiled but also a site of separation and division Our narrator first meets Micol when she stands on a ladder, leaning over the wall which stands between them and it s years before he manages to actually cross that barrier And even once he does, he is forced to put himself outside it again, the proximity it creates to his idol who cannot be possessed becomes too overwhelming, too claustrophobic, too dangerous Inevitably, the walls around the Finzi Contini house echo the city walls of Ferrara herself walls create prisons as well as sanctuaries, they divide communities even while they might create boundaries that theoretically keep those inside safe they isolate as well as protect The chronology of this book is far looser than the previous volumes there s ten years between the narrator s first meeting with Micol and his invitation to a tennis party The book ends just before the outbreak of war but the story is told from the vantage point of 1957 as the narrator recuperates in tender detail his lost youth and a family whose isolationism not only couldn t protect them but might have actively contributed to their fate Is withdrawal from the world an act of arrogant pride and short sighted complicity, is a questions which haunts this book, as not even Giampiero Malnate s passionate communism can rouse the family to the realities and directons of fascism.Characters we ve met in the earlier stories play a role onceso that the previous books form a kind of reader s memory to parallel the narrator s Dr Fadigati and his tragic fate, the staunch and courageous integrity of the socialist Clelia Trotti form a background to this tale Ultimately, this feels like a loss of innocence story which traces the painful gaining of knowledge of the ravages of love and the worst excesses of humanity let loose via fascism

  8. Whitaker says:

    You really can t read about a garden in a book from the Western tradition without thinking of that very first one the Garden of Eden Not when that garden is so much front and centre of a novel that it s in the title And especially not when that garden is a walled off sanctuary from the oppression of Facist Italy There s even an alluring Eve Any evocation of the Garden of Eden is, however, also an evocation of its consequence the Fall and the loss of innocence The Garden of the Finzi Conti You really can t read about a garden in a book from the Western tradition without thinking of that very first one the Garden of Eden Not when that garden is so much front and centre of a novel that it s in the title And especially not when that garden is a walled off sanctuary from the oppression of Facist Italy There s even an alluring Eve Any evocation of the Garden of Eden is, however, also an evocation of its consequence the Fall and the loss of innocence The Garden of the Finzi Continis is a coming of age story of the narrator s loss of innocence and entry into manhood Butthan that, it is also about the loss of innocence of a generation that never thought that something like the Holocaust was even possible The Finzi Continis, a family of Italian Jews, wall themselves off in their villa with its garden paradise, dreaming their sunlit afternoons away But the year is 1939 and we know the Fall is coming the family cannot hide in a world of dream forever The novel begins in the 1960 s with a visit to the Etruscan catacombs A little girl asks her father why people visiting the catacombs do not find them as gloomy as cemeteries Her father replies that it is because they never knew the Etruscans, and don t think of them as ever having been alive The little girl then points out that by asking her question, they cannot help but recall that the Etruscans too once loved, played, and dreamed The novel ends before the Finzi Continis are expelled from their Eden They live on in Bassani s novel a moving elegy to these people who too once loved, and played, and dreamed that their innocence could never end What Others ThoughtReviewed by The Independent 12 May 2012

  9. Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly says:

    There is no such thing as a happy place All places bring sadness Think even of places with the loudest laughter, like a carnival Late in the night, when all the visitors had left, you ll see the ferris wheel and the other rides unmoving This one gay place suddenly desolate, eery In China there s an abandoned theme park It has become, to the local inhabitants nearby, like a ghost town.In the back cover blurb and in the five page prologue of this novel you ll learn at once that except for th There is no such thing as a happy place All places bring sadness Think even of places with the loudest laughter, like a carnival Late in the night, when all the visitors had left, you ll see the ferris wheel and the other rides unmoving This one gay place suddenly desolate, eery In China there s an abandoned theme park It has become, to the local inhabitants nearby, like a ghost town.In the back cover blurb and in the five page prologue of this novel you ll learn at once that except for the narrator all the principal protagonists here Italian Jews had perished during the second world war after they ve been arrested and transported to Germany But this is not what makes this novel of unrequited love haunting In fact, its story ends just before the outbreak of the war, the narrator just mentioning the deaths in a short, two page epilogue Like it doesn t really matter if these characters died the way they did.But the places Then ancient tombs of the Etruscans, dead four or five thousand years ago, their forgotten lives given recognition by a nine year old girl the mausoleum of the Finzi Continis family, with its last dead, now unattended and had lost it fight against the relentless siege of the surrounding vegetation the family s big house, where once the Finzi Continis family lived, the father, the mother, their beautiful daughter and her brother, now equally isolated and forlorn their tennis court, scene of untiring matches among the siblings and their young friends, now buried by weeds and detritus the house s once glorious garden, where the love central to the story was thought to have had its blossoming, now but a dim shadow of its old grandeur Not the memory, or the prose, but it is the places which carry the sadness of the world

  10. Marc says:

    Bassani is the chronicle writer of life in the northern Italian city of Ferrara, and in particular the Jewish inhabitants of that city In this case it concerns the period immediately prior to the Second World War, just after the promulgating of the racial laws of 1938, as a result of which the Jews in Italy came into isolation This is the background for this book The story itself is about an unnamed narrator, adolescent, who is intrigued by the secluded life of the aristocratic family Finzi C Bassani is the chronicle writer of life in the northern Italian city of Ferrara, and in particular the Jewish inhabitants of that city In this case it concerns the period immediately prior to the Second World War, just after the promulgating of the racial laws of 1938, as a result of which the Jews in Italy came into isolation This is the background for this book The story itself is about an unnamed narrator, adolescent, who is intrigued by the secluded life of the aristocratic family Finzi Contini, and especially by their villa and adjacent garden Up until this point the novel is pretty interesting, but then the narrator falls in love with the very self conscious daughter of the house, Micol, but she turns him away Only at the end does he reconcile himself with his fate, and finishes his adolescence period The whole story bathes in a kind of dusky atmosphere, which reminded me a lot of Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain Tournier and also a bit of the Flemish writer Maurice Gilliams Elias and the Nightingale But the story did not completely captivate me, especially the love story was rather boring What is worthwhile is the subtle way in which Bassini describes how the Jews in Ferrara, and certainly the Finzi Contini, consciously close their eyes to the threatening reality around them already on page 137 Micol expresses it nicely even though it refers to trees and buildings something that has had its time has to die, but with styleStylish melancholy as a way of life, that is what the Finzi Contini cultivate It s beautiful how Bassaini indicates how attractive that way of looking at things is for our young narrator, but at the same time how he also understands, that he must distance himself from it and start his real life