ANTONIO THE GREAT LOVER by Vitaliano Brancati


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A satiric allegory that makes an analogy between Italy's bitter years of fascism when the unnatural alliance with Germany was forged, and a handsome young Sicilian who fell from grace as a great lover, this is a lame little latecomer in the Italian renaissance. In the early 1930's, tall, handsome, gentle Antonio easily outshone all rivals in the Sicilian national preoccupation of making love to every available female. When he went to Rome in search of a bureaucratic plum- which never fell to him- his conquests continued with ease until he himself was swept away by a cold blonde from the North. Broken by his experience with Ingeborg, neither his return to Sicily nor marriage to the town heiress could cure Antonio, nor was the Allied invasion- which climaxes the book- a cure for Italy's ills... Though this is well translated, the symbolism obscures what might have been a sharp vignette, and the relentless realism which is applied towards the church may offend American Catholic readers.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1952
Publisher: Roy