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Conversations in Sicily

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  988 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
It stands as a modern classic not only for its powerful thematic resonance as one of the great novels of Italian anti-fascism but also as a trailblazer for its style, which blends literary modernism with the pre-modern fable in a prose of lyric beauty. Comparing Vittorini's work to Picasso's, Italo Calvino described Conversations as "the book-Guernica."

The novel begins at
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Paperback, 202 pages
Published December 17th 2000 by New Directions (first published 1937)
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William1
Jul 07, 2012 William1 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable. Every ten pages or so resolve themselves in little narrative paradoxes that reminded me of Zen koans. It's not hard to see why Hemingway was attracted to it. Moreover, it filled out the Sicilian landscape for me that I was already used to from Sciascia and Verga.
S©aP
Diffido sempre di certe... esegesi, a meno che non si tratti di poesia, di un testo antico, ricco di arcaismi, oppure - con le debite cautele - di un testo sacro. Retaggi dell'insegnamento ricevuto, tutt'ora buono, nonché primi rudimenti di reale democrazia. La Comunicazione è, e resta, un sistema a due vie; altrimenti è altro.
Difficile, quindi, digerire le prime 135 pagine di questo libro. Saggi, spiegazioni, tutorial e, soprattutto, esegesi. Di un moderno romanzo in prosa. Che peso!
Terminare
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Arwen56
Conversazione in Sicilia non è un libro semplice da leggere, benché estremamente scarno. Il registro narrativo è molto spiazzante. C’è un mix di situazioni realistiche e oniriche al contempo. E’ una specie di “Fellini 8 e mezzo” letterario, se vogliamo.
Come vi immaginerete, dunque, di interpretazioni ne sono state date tante. Ma ciascuno deve trovare la propria, senza dar retta a quelle altrui.
Io mi sono innamorata del piccolo e soave siciliano che porge disperato le arance a sua moglie. Mi so
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Stas

Quote 1.

And the knife grinder: "Pepperoni, milk, goats, pigs and cows...Mice."
And I: "Bears, wolves."
And the knife grinder: "Birds. Trees and smoke, snow..."
And I: "Sickness, healing. I know, I know. Death, immortality, and resurrection."
"Ah!" the knife grinder shouted.
"What?" I asked.
"It's amazing," the knife grinder said. "Ah! and Oh! Uh! Eh!"
And I: "I suppose."

Quote 2.

"I thought of my father and myself, all men, with our need for soft hands touching us, and I thought I understood so
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Bert
Sep 01, 2016 Bert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orgasmic
Strangely beautiful and elusive, written in clean sentences full of melancholy and the plight of humanity, and the Sicilian landscape of prickly pears, snowcapped mountains, old stone houses. Maybe not sure exactly if this was all alluding to something (it was written during the 30s and under Fascist rule) but as a novel about homecoming and the otherness of remembering your childhood, and the 'twice real'-ness of re-encountering the people and places from your past, I pretty much loved this.
Tijana
Dec 29, 2015 Tijana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reprize
Repriza posle jedanaest godina. Još je bolje nego što sam upamtila. Najbolja komunistička knjiga koja nikad nije bila u lektiri! (budimo iskreni: svrstavanje u lektiru tako strašno snižava koeficijent voljenosti neke knjige, jadan Tihi Don i jadni mi što smo ga na silu čitali kad nije trebalo)

A sad ozbiljno: Razgovor na Siciliji je tako retka i neobična knjiga da mora vatreno da se voli, ali uopšte ne može primereno da se hvali.
Ivana
Oct 20, 2012 Ivana rated it really liked it
Italo Calvino said this is "the book- Guernica". I can see why he said it, like the famous Guernica this novel is fragmented, full of pain and inspired by horrors of war. However, personally I would opt for one of Dali's painting if I had to make a comparison. Conversation in Sicily has that unusual, uncanny, surreal and dreamy quality od Dali's art.


This is not a typical novel, but then most antiwar prose is not typical, at least the one that is any good. It is not driven by plot. If it can be
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Maryam Hosseini
Nov 27, 2014 Maryam Hosseini rated it really liked it
الزاما نه هـر انسـانی گوهـر آدمـی دارد . یکی سـتمـدیده اسـت یکی سـتـمگر؛
بنـی آدم هـمه اعضـای یک پـیکر نیسـتند ، فقـط عضـو سـتم دیده ی پـیکر اسـت که بنـی ادم اسـت . بنـی آدم را بکشـید ، او آدم تر می شـود
.به هـمین ترتـیب انسـان بیـمار ، انسـان گرسـنه، از بقـیه انسـان تر اسـت

...نســل بشـری پابرهـنه هـا ، نسـل بشـری تر است
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...خوشا به حال کسی که چیزی برای به خاطر آوردن دارد
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مکالمه در سیسیل، الیو ویتورینی، منوچهر افسری،کتاب زمان
Will E
Mar 29, 2011 Will E rated it it was ok
Shelves: modern, italian, european
I always feel a slight bit of shame when I say this, but I just didn't "get it." It's supposed to be a criticism of fascism but... I guess I can see something like that poking through. Maybe if I knew a bit more about Italian history? Also I just couldn't get into the style of the writing (translation?). Occasionally pretty funny, and VERY infrequently profound and/or beautiful. This book is just not for me, I guess.
Lu
Nov 19, 2016 Lu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aubiobook
La filosofia spiccia e concreta delle persone reali, del mondo piccolo e povero ma grande nelle sue piccole cose.
Infondo, "Come certo molti altri sulla faccia della Terra, soffro anche io per il dolore del mondo offeso".
Ferda Nihat Koksoy
Feb 03, 2014 Ferda Nihat Koksoy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novel
SİCİLYA KONUŞMALARI
***Yazarın 15 yaşına kadarki çocukluğu I.Dünya Savaşı sırasında Sicilya'da geçmiştir. Kitabı yazdığı 30'lu yaşlarının başında ise II.Dünya Savaşı sürmektedir ve yazar gençliğinin başında terk ettiği Sicilya'ya 15 yıl sonra ilk dönmektedir***

Aklımdan çıkaramadığım ÖLEN İNSAN YIĞINLARI ve YOK OLUP GİTMEKTE OLAN İNSANLIKLA ilgili öfke nöbetleri yaşamaktaydım; Çocukluğumda da, yılın günleri, 365 kapkara, biçimsiz fare gibiydi. Anlamsız bir düş, sessiz bir umutsuzluktu yaşamak ben
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Fatih Balkış
Jan 29, 2017 Fatih Balkış rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elio Vittorini İtalya’nın en esinleyici yazarlarından biridir. Başta Calvino olmak üzere, hemen tüm çağdaş İtalyan yazarlar, onun grotesk öğelerle bezenmiş üslubundan etkilenmişlerdir. Yoksulluğun hüküm sürdüğü iki dünya savaşı arasında ilk yazınsal denemelerini yazan Vittonini, Sicilya Konuşmaları (1941) ve Fil (1947) adlı romanlarında topyekûn savaşa girmiş halkının masalsı hikâyesini, çarpıcı bir komediye dönüşür. İlginç olan Vittorini’nin bu metinleri ele alış biçimidir. Yaşamdan alınmış ve ...more
Vale (BooksAndTea58)
I had to read this for my literature class (I'm Italian) and I enjoyed it.. Not because of the characters but because of the important messages expressed throughout the book, I've found so many quotes which I liked and found really relatable to nowadays society.

Ho letto questo libro come lettura per la scuola (sono al quinto anno di liceo linguistico) e l'ho davvero apprezzato.. non tanto per I personaggi (soprattutto Silvestro, il protagonista, non mi è andato molto a genio durante tutto il ro
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Mahmoud Zaki
الكتابة ، التمثيل ، المسرح ، شتي أنواع الثقافة والفن والأدب ، هي سلاح من نوعًا ما ، هي مقاومة تخرج في أصعب وأحلك اللحظات ، هي مياه تسري في كل الاماكن لا يمنعها مانع ولايسدها سد ..

" أطراف حديث في صقلية " هي رواية الواقعية الجديدة يمكن قراءتها علي طريقتين ..
أولهما طريقة واقعية الحلم وهنا يعتمد إليو علي ما يراه في أحلامه وهلوساته أو طريقة الحوار التي تدور بينه وبين اصداقاءه وبينه وبين نفسه ، فتجد نفسك حائرًا لعدم وجود حبكة كاملة أو خيط روائي يجمع بين كل هذا فتشعر إنك أمام سيرة ذاتية .

أما الطريقة
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Jeanette
Jul 24, 2015 Jeanette rated it really liked it
The first 8 or 9 pages I audibly sighed. Not my style, I thought. So arrogant, so self-centered, so male "all about me" with most others not given names, just basic descriptive categories. Women, wives, girlfriends basically in the "them" category of mere landscape mention.

But no, it was fabulous. I almost gave it a 5. He hits the very essence of Sicilian perceptions and self-identity. And the exact kinds of communication and sensibilities that result.

In the rock, in the prickly pear, in the Mo
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Roseb612
Dec 31, 2013 Roseb612 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Krátké, ale okouzlující čtení - chvílemi velmi připomínající magický realismus. Hlavní hrdina je na začátku kompletně pohlcen apatií - paradoxně mi pár prvních stránek této knihy tento pocit vystihovalo mnohem lépe než celý Dostojevského Zločin a trest, který jsem před nedávnem dočetla.Postupem děje se začíná realita prolínat se sny, některé kapitoly jsou až básnické (scéna v hostinci) včetně výstavby textu. Někdo z předchozích recenzentů to tady přirovnával k hudbě a opravdu na tom něco bude. K ...more
Craig
May 22, 2015 Craig rated it really liked it
"and the words were night in the night and we were shadows"

Like song and music this work flows incantatory spells into one's being.

"Thus those who suffered personal misfortune and those who suffered the pain of the wronged world were together in the nude tomb of wine, and could be like spirits, finally parted from this world of suffering and wrongs".

Embraced, it closes.
Roberta
Aug 04, 2016 Roberta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Semplicemente stupendo
Elizabeth
Jul 12, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Beautiful.
Dan Vine
Mar 17, 2017 Dan Vine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
An enigmatic and highly evocative book.
Banu Pluie
Sicilya Konuşmaları





Çok ama çok sevdiğim Gabriele‘nin yaşadığı - aslında biraz da taptığı- topraklara karşı geçmiş yıllardaki kadar olmasa da hala bir ilgim olduğunu saklayacak değilim. Yine sebelerden birinin bu, diğerinin de Helikopter‘den olmasından elime aldığım Sicilya Konuşmaları okumak benim için bir günlük ziyafet olacaktı. Oldu da.



Bu keyfi kitabın tamamından almadığımı kendimi yanlış bir yargıdan korumak için belirtmeliyim. Sıkıntılı hisseden ve çoğunlukla sıradan sorumlulukları yerine
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Seth
Jun 24, 2012 Seth rated it really liked it
This relatively obscure (and difficult-to-find) short novel is not at all what I expected. I learned about it from reading “The Age of Doubt,” #14 in Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano series. Camilleri indicated that “Conversations in Sicily” offered a critique of the rise of fascism in Italy. No doubt, but the short novel is so subtle and allegorical that the point is never made explicitly. There are only allusions, including to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and flights of magical realism. Perha ...more
Alan
When you are reading this at a far-remove from 1930's Italy it is probably easy to just take it as a quirky travelogue rather than as "one of the great novels of Italian anti-fascism" as it is described in the book's English translation promo here on Goodreads.

As a first-time reader I was constantly second-guessing the various statements and incidents for their possible meanings, some of which were more blatant than others e.g. [Not so obvious] when the narrator says that he can only read dictio
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Chiara (Catullina)
Non so valutarlo in maniera spassionata, l'ho letto perché parte del programma di un mio esame universitario e quindi l'ho "studiato", utilizzando una prospettiva molto oggettiva e attenta. Non so come l'avrei recepito con una lettura effettuata in maniera più leggera e di svago.
In ogni caso, Vittorini è una figura di intellettuale che stimo profondamente e Conversazione è stato per lui uno dei libri più importanti e che considerava migliori, e quindi la mia recensione non può che essere positiv
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Sergio
Feb 11, 2017 Sergio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro molto dialogato questo di Elio Vittorini, che parla di un viaggio in Sicilia intrapreso dallo scrittore in preda ad "astratti furori" alla riscoperta della sua infanzia in famiglia ma anche all' incontro di quanti come lui osteggiano il governo fascista dell'epoca. Tanti i personaggi che spiccano nel romanzo ma la figura della madre rimane il più bello e commovente
Eugene
Sep 28, 2007 Eugene rated it really liked it
a beautiful and opaque book... both more and less than it impresses to be... more, because it *is* a fugue--vittorini actually thought of it more as an opera, but in any case: a beautiful music of characters and basic desires and hopes. less, because its mystery is partly the result of some functional opacity--to hide from fascist censors--so its mystery is somewhat generated by utility rather than an inherent and natural profound ineffable-ness. the result may look the same so it's eye of the b ...more
Spiros
Oct 18, 2007 Spiros rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Nikos Kazantzakis
Shelves: italy, citylights
Though they really have little in common stylistically, Vittorini reminds me of Kazantzakis, for reasons I would be very hard pressed to pinpoint. Like much of Kazantzakis, CONVERSATIONS is in part a spiritual quest; that I would guess is the most obvious similarity. I especially enjoyed Vittorini's descriptions of Sicilian food, reflected in Signora Ferrauto's horror at her son's description of his wife's cooking. My absolutely favorite part of this book is Ferrauto's Conversation with the kni ...more
Isabel
Jan 11, 2009 Isabel rated it really liked it
"I thought of my father and myself, all men, with our need for soft hands touching us, and I thought I understood something of our uneasiness with women; of our readiness to desert them, our women with their rough, almost masculine hands, their tough hands in bed at night; and of how like slaves we would submit to calling a woman a queen who was a woman, an odalisque, when she touched us. This is why, I thought, we loved the idea of people living in luxury, the idea of the whole civil-military s ...more
Andrew Smith
Oct 08, 2015 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I realized early on in this novel that it was likely to be more rewarding if one simply gives oneself up to it rather than agonize over its every meaning, not unlike when listening to music. As such it's immensely enjoyable as a trip can be to a not-so-distant past (1940s?) and an exotic place (Sicily). It's not all sunny travelogue however, there are some dark side trips. That said, by the time one reaches the end, the melodic, and often very funny, text imparts to the reader a feeling of empat ...more
Gertrude & Victoria
Jan 27, 2009 Gertrude & Victoria rated it really liked it
Shelves: italian-library
Elio Vittorini's Conversations in Sicily is a charming story and beautiful portrait of one man, family and home, set during a tumultuous time in history, that of World War II and its subsequent years. The conversations that emerge through much of the story evoke nostalgic feelings that the reader grows attached to.

This is a simple story of a listless and confused young man who seeks a change in mood and outlook by visiting his hometown, where fond memories of his childhood are awakened. Vittorin
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Goodreads Librari...: Add book cover 2 10 Nov 23, 2015 08:01AM  
  • The Ragazzi
  • To Each His Own
  • The Child Of Pleasure
  • The Viceroys
  • L'isola di Arturo
  • Cronache di poveri amanti
  • Il bell'Antonio
  • La cognizione del dolore
  • Fontamara
  • Reeds in the Wind
  • Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore / Enrico IV
  • The Time of Indifference
  • The Moon and the Bonfire
  • La ragazza di Bube
  • Il male oscuro
  • Diceria dell'untore
  • Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year
  • The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
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Elio Vittorini (July 23, 1908 - February 12, 1966) was an Italian writer and novelist. He was a contemporary of Cesare Pavese and an influential voice in the modernist school of novel writing. His best-known work is the anti-fascist novel Conversations in Sicily, for which he was jailed when it was published in 1941. The first U.S. edition of the novel, published in 1949, included an introduction ...more
More about Elio Vittorini...

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“Člověk v sedmi letech nezná světské špatnosti, nezná bolest a nezná nedoufání, neskličují ho vidiny, ale zná ženu. Nikdy zplozenec mužského pohlaví nezná ženu tak jako v sedmi letech. Je pro něho tehdy nikoliv oporou, nikoliv radostí a ani žertem. Je jistotou světa; je nesmrtelná.” 1 likes
“Thus those who suffered personal misfortune and those who suffered the pain of the wronged world were together in the nude tomb of wine, and could be like spirits, finally parted from this world of suffering and wrongs.” 0 likes
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