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Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator Cesare Pavese (1908-1950) is generally recognized as one of the most important writers of his period. Between the years 1929 and 1933, Pavese enjoyed a rich correspondence with his Italian American friend, the musician and educator Antonio Chiuminatto (1904-1973). The nature of this correspondence is primarily related to Pavese's thirst to learn about American culture, its latest books, its most significant contemporary writers, as well as its slang. This volume presents an annotated edition of Pavese and Chiminatto's complete epistolary exchange.
Mark Pietralunga's brilliant introduction provides historical and cultural context for the letters and traces Pavese's early development as a leading Americanist and translator. The volume also includes an appendix of Chiuminatto's detailed annotations and thorough explanations of colloquial American terms and slang, drawn from the works of Sinclair Lewis, Sherwood Anderson, and William Faulkner. A lively and illuminating exchange, this collection ultimately corroborates critical opinion that America was the igniting spark of Pavese's literary beginnings as a writer and translator.