DOCTOR GIOVANNI by Arturo Vivante


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A mistily limp little idyll of a young man's search for romantic love in post-war Italy. With medical school and the army behind him, the extent of Giovanni's tenderer adventures had been a goodnight kiss. A quiet nun whose soul seemed on the brink of accepting his and a mysterious dark girl on a lonely train are abortive preludes to real adventure, as Giovanni sets off on a bicycle trip to Rome. The strange enchantment of a beautiful woman in her sixties almost leads to an affair, but Giovanni cannot bridge the years, although the lady is willing. Finally he falls desperately in love with Daphne, an American artist, and the two flee to a deserted tower on the coast. However, before love can be consummated Daphne becomes ill, confesses that she is in communion with her dead husband, whose wartime death had occurred on the coast. They return to town and love is gone. Vivante has a gentle way with a lovely landscape and affections hinted at. However, his characters, like Daphne, cannot quite bear the light of day.

Pub Date: May 12th, 1969
Publisher: Little, Brown