A GHOST IN TRIESTE

Weird Trieste! Triste Trieste! Cary (English/University of Connecticut) recalls his brief stay in Trieste—a city he visited in search of its literary glory. What a surprise when Cary finds that Trieste—literary Trieste—doesn't exist; nor, really, does cultural Trieste. Its writers, in fact, bemoan the city's utter lack of cultural flowering, knocking it for blocking ``any initiative designed to give it a cultural character of physiognomy, not only in its disintegrative atmosphere but in its individuals, who willingly isolate themselves or go elsewhere. It has a bitter air....'' So said Trieste's storyteller Giani Stuparich in 1948, who added that his life there ``is a torment and continuous vigil.'' Cary finds himself alone as a ghost in Trieste as he spends three weeks searching for the shades of Italo Svevo, Umberto Saba, and James Joyce (who, during his ten years in the city, wrote Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Giacomo Joyce, some of Pomes Penyeach, and began Ulysses). Cary—finding almost nothing but a spot or two where these famed folk sat and gazed at the Adriatic—supplies instead an amused (but less than amusing) history of the seaport, which has existed for over two millennia. The historical passages serve as factual steppingstones during the author's more baffled wanderings about the city and its hills, and during his lying awake at night listening to American sailors on shore leave laughing below his window louvers. To be sure, Cary does find a literary Trieste, but it's all in books about Trieste, whose authors he catalogues while detailing their ecstasies and laments. He also includes a sheaf of his translations of several poems written in or about the city. Delectations for the ghostly only. (Eight halftones, 17 line drawings, four maps)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-226-09528-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Univ. of Chicago

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1993

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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