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Verga innovatore / Innovative Verga

L’opera caleidoscopica di Giovanni Verga in chiave iconica, sinergica e transculturale / The kaleidoscopic work of Giovanni Verga in iconic, synergetic and transcultural terms

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Edited By Dagmar Reichardt and Lia Fava Guzzetta

Questa antologia internazionale focalizza l’opera letteraria di Giovanni Verga puntando sul suo potenziale «caleidoscopico» e transculturale. Le innovazioni del grande Verista siciliano, il respiro europeo del suo pensiero, le numerose sinergie estetiche e la sensibilità della sua denuncia sociale rivelano un autore pronto a dialogare attraverso la sua arte con i più squisiti scrittori della «letteratura mondo».

This international collection focuses on the literary work of Giovanni Verga pinpointing its «kaleidoscopic» and transcultural potential. The innovations of the leading Sicilian «verista», the European drive of his thought, the many aesthetic synergies and the sensitivity of his social denunciation show an author ready to interact through his art with top writers in World Literature.

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Temptation! (Remo Ceserani †)

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Remo Ceserani*

Temptation!

The short story Tentazione! (Temptation!)1 by Giovanni Verga was written in 1883 and for the first time collected in a book titled Drammi intimi (Intimate dramas, Rome, Sommaruga, 1884). Although it is well-known – and has been translated into English at least twice, by Giovanni Cecchetti and more recently by Christine Donougher2 – it does not seem to have been studied in depth. It describes the collective rape and assassination of a peasant girl committed by three young workers from Milan: Ambrogio, a timid one who has a Filipino girl-friend, Carlo, who has been in the service, and Pigna, the gayest one, who works in a factory as a saddler. One Summer Sunday they have made together a daytrip in the country, dining and drinking and dancing in a village near the river Adda, and on their way back to the city, have met the girl by chance on a solitary path, while trying to reach the stop of the tramway that would have taken them home.

One interesting feature of the short story (no more than five pages), which hardly comes out in the English translation, is the usage of the personal pronouns. When the three young men encounter the peasant girl on the solitary path, the boldest among them, Pigna takes the initiative (he is the one who in the morning had suggested the outing of the three of them, away from any woman friend, and...

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