THE BROKEN TOWER by Piero Sanavio


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The dank emanations from medieval demonology, a shameless, raunchy appropriation of commedia dell'arte grotesqueries, and contemporary domestic scenes of la dolce venery give this frenzied melange from Italy a fluorescent glow with little illumination. The narrative begins on real ground level, outlining the plight of Paolo, youngest son of a well-to-do family, in love with Ornetta, the cool little daughter of a storekeeper. While Paolo blunders into a sexual stalemate, one Mattio--whose cloven hoof is just barely concealed-- hears the troubles of Anita, wed to a man she detests and pregnant by a lover. Once the principals and their problems are well into their unhappy situations, the author slithers into an allegory-morality clapping forth a harlequinade in which the lovely and Unlovely are done in. In an apocryphal close, Mattio -- who appears in both first and third person -- kills both parents after envisioning the inevitable triumph of Death in Western destiny. All this is accomplished in dramatic sequences, mad journals and assorted blitherings. Armageddon by way of traditional sulfureous all-time favorites. Pretentious.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill