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Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini (Il romanzo di Ferrara #3)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,416 Ratings  ·  195 Reviews
Gli orrori della persecuzione fascista e razzista, la crudeltà della storia, l'incantesimo dell'infanzia e la felicità del sogno: sono gli elementi intrecciati con grazia e eleganza, di questo romanzo triste e dolcissimo. La prima edizione del romanzo è del 1962.
Paperback, Einaudi tascabili, 293 pages
Published 1999 by Einaudi (first published 1962)
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Kalliope



An Elegy encapsulated in a garden.

Recalled through the torn veils of memory this semiautobiographical interlude evokes the life of the Finzi-Contini, a Jewish and wealthy Ferrarese family, during the ominous late 1930s.

Those lives are revived during a visit to an Etruscan cemetery twenty years later. Another kind of garden.

The novel opens for us a garden of lost youth, where illusions grew in a fertile ground and where the possibilities seemed endless. Echoes of the primeval garden, of an overg
...more
Teresa
Oct 26, 2015 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
... for me, no less than for her, the memory of things was much more important than the possession of them, and in comparison with that memory all possession, in itself, seemed just disappointing, delusive, flat, insufficient....The way I longed for the present to become the past at once, so that I could love it and gaze fondly at it any time...It was our vice, this: looking backward as we went ahead.
The inner flap of this edition mentions Marcel Proust, but even without that I'm sure I would'v
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Whitaker
You really can't read about a garden in a book from the Western tradition without thinking of that very first one: the Garden of Eden. Not when that garden is so much front and centre of a novel that it's in the title. And especially not when that garden is a walled-off sanctuary from the oppression of Facist Italy. There's even an alluring Eve.

Any evocation of the Garden of Eden is, however, also an evocation of its consequence: the Fall and the loss of innocence. The Garden of the Finzi-Conti
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
There is no such thing as a happy place. All places bring sadness. Think even of places with the loudest laughter, like a carnival. Late in the night, when all the visitors had left, you'll see the ferris wheel and the other rides unmoving. This one gay place suddenly desolate, eery. In China there's an abandoned theme park. It has become, to the local inhabitants nearby, like a ghost town.

In the back cover blurb and in the five-page prologue of this novel you'll learn at once that except for th
...more
Nick Pageant
Aug 22, 2015 Nick Pageant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giulio-books, lit
Gorgeous. Proper review when I've recovered.
Alessia
Dec 17, 2011 Alessia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quando la mia professoressa mi ha comunicato che per quest'anno avrei dovuto leggere "Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini", non ero poi così entusiasta della cosa, perché mi erano giunti commenti poco positivi su questo libro. Leggendolo, mi sono ricreduta ampiamente.
E' un lungo ricordo, questo libro, un modo come un altro per far rivivere un amore che non c'è più, ucciso dalla follia del nazismo, un amore mai corrisposto, ma pur sempre amore. Questo libro è il tentativo disperato di Giorgio Bassani
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Denis
Dec 01, 2008 Denis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Masterpiece. One of Italy's greatest novels, about Jewish people during the rise of fascism, but also about many other things that are universal: youth, the lure of beauty, unrequited love, untold desires, decadence. It's as elegiac and heartbreaking as a piece of great literature can be. One of those novels that touch the heart and the mind, that illuminates the human spirit, and whose melancholic enchantments remain haunting long after the book is closed.
Sandra
Jul 18, 2015 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, italia
Un romanzo di formazione, una storia di iniziazione all’amore e alle sofferenze della vita adulta, una testimonianza della situazione degli ebrei italiani durante gli anni che precedettero immediatamente la guerra e delle conseguenze delle leggi razziali, tutto questo può dirsi e molto altro ancora di un romanzo che è un capolavoro della letteratura ; tutto questo è stato per me, trascinata nella lettura come dalla piena di un fiume dalla scrittura limpida e perfetta di Giorgio Bassani, ed immer ...more
Geoff
Apr 03, 2013 Geoff marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
God damn mutherfucking William fucking Weaver is the fucking translator par exce-motherfucking-llence of god damn Italo fucking Calvino and no shit he went and fucking translated this bitch ass fucking book by Giorgio fuckshit Bassani well good god damn I guess I better look into this sonofabitch of a fucking book, eh Amazon.com.
Tintaglia
Apr 17, 2015 Tintaglia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, classics
4.5
Come sia riuscita a tenermi lontana da tutta una serie di classici così belli è uno dei misteri della scuola italiana.
Steven
Set in the northern Italian city of Ferrara against the rise of fascism during Mussolini's reign in power, it's late 1930's and our narrator, like Giorgio Bassani himself, is a member of Ferrara’s Jewish community, and this novel chronicles the early stages of the persecution of Italian Jews (and little did I realise many Jews actually joined the Fascist Party), and at first the racial laws don't really seem to bother many of the characters involved. As a student our narrator is blacklisted from ...more
Iain McNab
Jul 27, 2011 Iain McNab rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book, a heavily autobiographical novel published in 1962. In my opinion it brilliantly embeds a personal memory of first love into a specific historical and social context - the condition of Italian Jews in late 1930s Ferrara, as the Fascist Racial Laws are introduced and Italy begins to align itself more closely with Nazi Germany. So much is packed into just 250 pages of resonating prose - and yet the power of the book as a memorial for a doomed family, a vanished way of lif ...more
Ubik 2.0
“…a poco più di un metro di distanza, eppure lontanissimi, intangibili come se li proteggesse tutt’attorno una parete di cristallo.”

Recuperando una serie di classici del Novecento italiano (sfuggiti per svariate ragioni, subordinati ad altre letterature a me più affini, colpevolmente trascurati o addirittura boicottati a lungo) prima o poi avrei dovuto imbattermi in questo notissimo romanzo, dal titolo talmente familiare da far ritenere di averlo certamente letto in passato, anche se così non è.
...more
Marcela
Mar 28, 2016 Marcela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
4.5. Un libro precioso. El tema y el tono es la nostalgia, así que le gustará a todos los nostálgicos y aquellos que añoran y aprecian los valores de la aristocracia. Es también una historia de juventud y del descubrimiento del amor, "a coming of age story".
Las minuciosas descripciones del narrador, sin llegar a ser tediosas, logran recrear perfectamente el ambiente de la época, del jardín de los Finzi-Contini (jardines como los del mejor de los palacios) y de la amistad que une al narrador con
...more
Chiara (Catullina)
Oct 29, 2015 Chiara (Catullina) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-dorfles
"Ti passerà (...) e molto più presto di quanto tu non creda. Certo, mi dispiace: immagino quello che senti in questo momento. Però un pochino anche t'invidio, sai? Nella vita, se uno vuol capire, capire veramente come stanno le cose di questo mondo, deve morire almeno una volta. E allora, dato che la legge è questa, meglio morire da giovani, quando uno ha tanto tempo davanti a sé per tirarsi su e risuscitare..."


Una storia liscia, pulita, "rotonda". Scritta con uno stile pacato, morbido. Come una
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Amandine
Review: italiano / français

Ho prima avuto un pò di male a veramente essere nella storia, ma alla fine della parte seconda, ho riuscito: comincia a piacermi e non ho più fermato la mia lettura. E la storia della famiglia ebrea dei Finzi-Contini avanti la seconda Guerra mondiale. Il narratore s'innamora della figlia di questa famiglia, Micol, ma lei non vuole di lui e è la sola a capire che non sono fatti l'uno per l'altro.
La fine, il lettore la conosce già dall'inizio, nel prologo: la famiglia n
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Nancy
This novel has been languishing on my bookshelves for years and years. I can't quite say why I never started reading it, but I think I shied away from the subject matter.

I don't know if another translation would have made a difference in my reading experience, but I had a really hard time getting into this book. The descriptive passages were just too dense; the details in the writing overwhelmed me; and, I was waiting for something to happen (other than the inevitable political upheaval).

As I ap
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Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
The Finzi-Continis were Italians living in Ferrara, Italy in 1938. They were rich, beautiful, unapproachable and Jewish. They lived in a walled dream world until they were forced to open the gates.

It was 1938! World War II was looming in the air! Yet still, what would you do, if you were living then, mingling with the Contini's in their beautiful, luxurious house? Leave alone that, how would you feel in the company of beautiful, gay, young people? As if that is not enough, in the company of a be
...more
qtasha
I was hoping this would be like another Brideshead Revisited , I just don't feel anything for this book maybe the text got lost in translation. Well I felt a little something when I learned what happened to Micol and the rest her wealthy family because of the racial laws in Italy at that time the brother in his bad and good luck died of natural causes before the deportment of the Jewish in Italy. I would maybe read it again because I didn't read this book with a deep focus like I should've it d ...more
Diletta
Bello, delicato, infido.
Sylvie
Aug 19, 2016 Sylvie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Het leven zoals het is in het Ferrara van de jaren 1930, of het leven zoals Bassani het zich herinnerde. Mussolini loopt meer en meer in de sporen van Hitler en vaardigt rassenwetten uit. De joden in Ferrara die vooral uit welgestelde burgers bestaan, laten maar begaan. De adellijke familie Finzi-Contini stelt haar tuin ter beschikking aan de joden die uit de tennisclub geweerd worden. Er wordt een beetje over politiek gepraat maar er wordt vooral getennist en gewacht. De verteller is dolverlief ...more
Martin
Not painful to read, but also not very much 'fun'. It flows, yes, but nothing much happens.
So The Drama between the unnamed narrator and Micòl, the object of his (non-reciprocated) affection.

I don't see what the big fuss is about with this book. Maybe I just don't get it? I don't know. Perhaps.

Rebecca
Apr 02, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Quanti anni sono passati da quel remoto pomeriggio di giugno? Più di trenta. Tuttavia, se chiudo gli occhi, Micol Finzi-Contini è ancora là, affacciata al muro di cinta del suo giardino, che mi guarda e mi parla. Era poco più che una bambina, nel 1929, una tredicenne magra e bionda con grandi occhi chiari, magnetici. Io, un ragazzetto in calzoni corti, molto borghese e moltp vanitoso, che un piccolo guaio scolastico bastava a gettare nella disperazione più infantile. Ci fissavamo entrambi. Al d ...more
Gina Rheault
Nov 04, 2013 Gina Rheault rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic, rich people playing tennis and philosophizing love story with a backdrop of Italy, 1930's. The story so focuses on lifestyle that it could have been set almost anywhere in the elite Western world, including the inescapable fact of being Jewish. The consequences of being Jewish varied from country to country, and what slips into the love story is the Italian story, there in the north, on the border with Germany, with a Mussolini making friends with a Hitler, with local insults and excl ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Another that was not what I expected. For some reason, I had this marked as being WWII, and I thought it had something to do with hiding Jews. So much for my having an idea of what is on my shelves. It is really pre-WWII, and, while the "racial laws" are starting to be enacted, there is no hiding. The garden is that of the wealthiest Jewish family in town. There is a tennis court so that when the Jews are barred from the town tennis club, many congregate at the home of the Finzi-Continis. Ok, no ...more
Simona
Jan 04, 2014 Simona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Se come si dice "Il buongiorno si vede dal mattino", il mio 2014 è iniziato nel migliore dei modi, dal punto di vista letterario.
Attraverso la voce del narratore - protagonista, impariamo a conoscere la famiglia Finzi - Contini: il padre Ermanno, la madre Olga, e soprattutto i figli Micòl e Alberto. Con loro apprendiamo la vita, il vissuto di quel luogo in cui i sogni, le aspettative e le delusioni si mescolano in un crescendo di emozioni fino all'epilogo finale e alle leggi razziali che lascer
...more
Bruce
Feb 05, 2016 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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(P)Ila
Dec 17, 2015 (P)Ila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Per nulla amante della letteratura italiana, mai avrei pensato di assegnare un voto così alto a questo libro ma Bassani mi ha conquistata.

Nella Ferrara degli anni '40 in pieno regime fascista, il Narratore, di cui mai verremo a sapere il nome, ci racconta la storia, la sua, di un amore tormentato perchè mai corrisposto e di un'amicizia interrotta, della speranza che dovrà arrendersi davanti all'evidenza e di una vita pervasa dalla malinconia.
L'amore inizia come un sentimento adolescenziale che d
...more
Panagiotis
Jun 17, 2014 Panagiotis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Δεν παιδεύτηκα πολύ με τούτο εδώ. Πως έχεις αναποδογυρίσει ένα πλάνο, το έχεις γυροφέρει και προβάρει και τελικά το φέρνεις εις πέρας επιτυχώς - κάπως έτσι το διάβασα. Έχοντας φτάσει στα όρια του μύθου της αναγνωστικής μου λίστας, ήξερα τι είναι και πως έφτασε η ώρα να το διαβάσω.

Ξεγελάει το μικρό του μέγεθος. Γιατί, πυκνογραμμένο καθώς είναι, βρίθει ιδεών, παρουσιάζει τόσο ζωντανούς χαρακτήρες, καθένας με τα πάθη του, που θες να επεξεργαστείς το γραπτό και λίγο να αφουγκραστείς τον απόηχο μερικ
...more
Evelyn
Mar 07, 2016 Evelyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This story of a tragic unrequited love affair between a middle class Jewish student and a member of a privileged but dissolute and dissipated upper-class Jewish family is set against the backdrop of the imposition of laws by the Italian fascist regime gradually stripping Jews of their rights as Italian citizens.

The story starts very slowly and builds to its climax in the year 1939 when the friendships among the protagonists are terminated due to misunderstandings and class and religious differe
...more
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  • To Each His Own
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  • That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana
  • History
  • La donna della domenica
  • Don Giovanni in Sicilia
  • La ragazza di Bube
  • As a Man Grows Older
  • The Silent Duchess
  • Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year
  • Conversations in Sicily
  • The Viceroys
  • Fontamara
  • A Woman
  • La boutique del mistero
  • Lessico famigliare
  • Il male oscuro
  • I Malavoglia
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Bassani was born in Bologna into a prosperous Jewish family of Ferrara, where he spent his childhood with his mother Dora, father Enrico (a doctor), brother Paolo, and sister Jenny. In 1934 he completed his studies at his secondary school, the liceo classico L. Ariosto in Ferrara. Music had been his first great passion and he considered a career as a pianist; however literature soon became the foc ...more
More about Giorgio Bassani...

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“In life, if one wants seriously to understand how the world works, he must die at least once.” 11 likes
“Even in a city as small as Ferrara, you can manage, if you like, to disappear for years and years, one from another, living side by side like the dead” 3 likes
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