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A Piercing Cry

Translation of "Un grido lacerante</I>

Samuel Mark Lewis

A Piercing Cry, along with Artemisia, is a novel of female development. The question «who am I?,» posed in Anna Banti's first novel Itinerario di Paolina, comes full circle in this, her final testimonial work. The central dilemma faced by the protagonist is also mirrored in the author's own life: whether her true vocation was as an art historian or as a writer of fiction. By revisiting the crucial events of her past, Agnese Lanzi dismantles all her certainties and questions the true value of her achievements. This largely autobiographical work, which comes at the end of Banti's career, is a story of both love and renunciation. The high value placed on art resonates throughout the novel. A Piercing Cry is a journey of self-discovery for a woman who boldly confesses her most cherished ambitions and most intimate compromises. Banti leads the reader along a hazardous yet illuminating path of emotional struggle and personal triumph.