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Cristo si è fermato a Eboli

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  5,888 ratings  ·  482 reviews
Il più famoso libro del medico e pittore Carlo Levi. La scoperta del problema meridionale non solo come episodio di una condizione arcaica, intollerabile nella nostra società, ma anche come teatro di una straordinaria civiltà contadina. «Eboli,--dicono i lucani tra cui Levi fu mandato al confino dal fascismo,--è l’ultimo paese di cristiani. Cristiano è uguale a uomo. Nei p ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published December 31st 1990 by Einaudi (first published 1945)
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Daniele Ferrante I am from Puglia, and there are still large parts of the region where people keep traditions, behaviours and way of thoughts that couldn't be ascribed…moreI am from Puglia, and there are still large parts of the region where people keep traditions, behaviours and way of thoughts that couldn't be ascribed to today's culture. Something has changed, globalisation and "italianization" came here too, but sometimes you still could be surprised by how medieval or pagan culture still survives here.
I can't imagine how it could be fifty or a hundred years ago, and I can't guess how it is in Calabria, probably the poorest region in italy.(less)

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Laura
Nov 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know how once in a while you run into a book that's so good you don't want it to end, so you draw read it very slowly, drawing it out? For me, this was one of those books.

Christ Stopped at Eboli is the story of Levi's year living in Basilicata, in the south of Italy, where Mussolini exiled him for anti-Fascist activities. Levi, who was a doctor by training but a painter by trade, lived among a population mostly composed of peasants, along with a few run-of-the-mill bureaucrats. The book is a
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
569. ‭Cristo si è fermato a Eboli = Christ Stopped at Eboli, Carlo Levi
Christ Stopped at Eboli (Italian: Cristo si è fermato a Eboli) is a memoir by Carlo Levi, published in 1945, giving an account of his exile from 1935-1936 to Grassano and Aliano, remote towns in southern Italy, in the region of Lucania which is known today as Basilicata. In the book he gives Aliano the invented name 'Gagliano'. The title of the book comes from an expression by the people of 'Gagliano' who say of themselves, '
...more
Tom LA
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can find sone more thoughts and comments on my youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1Se...


Carlo Levi was sent in exile to a Southern Italian village (current name Aliano) in the mid 1930's as a political prisoner because of his anti-fascism. This book is his recollection of one of the three years he spent there. 

The village is very small, isolated, and was ridden with misery and illness.

What could have been a dreadfully boring memoir becomes a beautiful, poetic work of a
...more
Jacob Overmark
I would have liked to meet Carlo Levi.

Despite being held a political prisoner in the blooming Fascism days of the mid-thirties Italy, he did not turn sour. At least not in his rendering of one year in one of the most rural areas of Italy.

Not that he in any way withheld his stand against Fascism and how the new “state religion” left its mark on the country, but he made a point of meeting friend and foe with an open mind.

Eboli, where once the train tracks parted, never to reach into the rural area
...more
Jan-Maat
Christ stopped at Eboli, down on the coast, up the in the hills the world remains pre-Christian. This is the author's account of life in one of those hill villages while in internal exile under the fascists.

Levi presents most of the villagers as being so isolated from the mainstream of Italian culture that they have a pre-christian or pagan mentality or weltanschauung. For example at Christmas the poor people give presents to the rich - unlike in the Bible story were the Kings give presents to t
...more
Evan
"Nothing had ever come [from Rome] but the tax collector and speeches over the radio."

In Christ Stopped at Eboli, Carlo Levi describes a place that time forgot as beautifully as one could possibly describe such a place; a place so misbegotten and forlorn and godless that Christ himself, so the legend went, stopped at another town and came no further. Levi is the nominal protagonist of the book, since this is his memoir of one-year in 1935-1936 in Aliano, Italy, (renamed Gagliano in the book) as
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core
A wonderfully written book about the sorry condition in Southern Italy before the onset of WWII by an anti-fascist Italian writer, journalist, artist and doctor, Carlo Levi (1902-1975). This is the type of book that you tend to hold on to each word because the writing is so beautiful that you would not want the story to end. Adding to this is the fact that this novel or memoir was actually written as a protest to Benito "Il Duce" Mussolini's (1883-1945) government.

The title refers to the what th
...more
Inderjit Sanghera
The same sonorous, self-effacing style, along with a startling profundity and wisdom, is imbued in the works of Carlos Levi as with his illustrious namesake, Primo. 'Christ Stopped at Eboli' follows the exile of Carlo Levi to the remote villages of 'Grassano' and 'Gagliano' in the Italian south. 

Carlo captures the wretched, hopeless cadence of the peasant's lives, discarded by government, disregarded by society, their existence is punctuated by a deep sense of desolation. Not only is the book fa
...more
Richard Newton
A wonderful, evocative read. The description of the peasant society Levi, as a political prisoner, was exiled to live in. It can be read as a shocking reflection on poverty, exploitation and politics. But mostly it is a beautiful memoire of a culture and a people.

What makes it so good is Levi never judges or belittles local beliefs. He just states them as the ways things were. He generally avoids judgement or solution apart from one short analysis towards the end of the book and his general ton
...more
Ellie
Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year is book that is difficult to classify. It is the story, novelized but real, of author Carlo Levi, a non-practicing doctor and full-time painter who was an Italian political prisoner, sent by the fascist government in power at that time to Gagliano, a village in the poverty-stricken area of southern Italy where the peasants are starving (although taxed non-the-less) and the countryside is bleak beyond belief. Levi, a painter, renders the stark landscap ...more
Buck
I “know” Italian in the same way I “know” how to cook, throw a punch or pleasure a woman orally. Meaning, I get by, but the results are not always flattering to my self-esteem. Which is why it’s taken me three months to read the first half of Levi’s charming little memoir. And now the library wants it back. Christ stopped at Eboli; Buck stopped on page 150. We’re both slackers.

I think I might love this book, though. We’ve agreed to meet at the train station in Vienna in six months.
Dhanaraj Rajan
Let me state the verdict first: A fantastic read.

This book is supposed to be a memoir. But each chapter can be read as a short story. Carlo Levi was sent to a village in the southern most tip of Italy as a political prisoner in the years 1935 - 1936. His crime was being against the Fascist regime. Being a man from North Italy (Turin) the life in the south Italy was a different experience. And later he narrated his life in south Italy in writing and that has become a masterpiece. And I too agree
...more
Philippe
Initially I was captivated by this story but about halfway into the book I started to disengage. It all became rather trite and predictable. And Levi’s final analysis about the plight of the Mezzogiorno - as the inevitable result of the conflict between the State and an immutable peasant mindset - struck me as rather unsophisticated. Although his appeal for a governance based on autonomous, self-regulating entities resonates with a characteristic streak in Italian thinking about regional develop ...more
Elizabeth
Feb 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this might be the perfect memoir. Soulful, poetic, and in the end so rarely about the author himself. With an anthropological eye he examines the many facets of the "exotic" land to which he has been exiled--southern Italy in 1935: preChristian, he calls it, feudal. Caveat: There is much to discuss and argue about in this book, not the least of which is his pronouncement of his Gramscian political solutions to the endemic poverty he discovers in Lucania, in the second to last chapter of ...more
Marc
This is kind of a cult book, I know, but it didn't really resonate with me. I had a hard time following his representation of the people in some villages in the south of Italy as 'backward', as if they were kind of primitive tribe that not had had any contact with 'civilization'. Perhaps this seems attractive from a Romantic point of view, but I find it hard to believe this, because this is Italy, not the Amazone or Siberia. Though Levi presents his book as an antropological study with literary ...more
Bfisher
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I had been meaning to read this book ever since I read Paul Theroux's The Pillars of Hercules about twenty years ago, where Theroux described his visit to the village where Levi had been exiled, and which Levi had memorialized in Christ Stopped At Eboli.

This is a wonderful story of how often so little really changes in the countryside, especially the relationships between the peasants and their would-be rulers. It also has quite a bit to say about the often pointless oppressions of the modern st
...more
Cphe
Gently moving and beautifully written memoir. Well worth a look at.
Pamela
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, memoir
Carlo Levi was a doctor, artist, and philosopher who was an outspoken anti-fascist in Italy in the mid-1930s. A native of Turin, he was arrested and sentenced to internal exile in the south of Italy in the province of Lucania. It was this idea of internal exile that led me to this book as I was intrigued that something I associated with Dante or the early Greeks and Romans was still being used. Carlo Levi was sent to the towns of Grassano and Aliano but it is primarily the latter that he writes ...more
Jeanette
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So deep and poignant that this novel has stayed with me for decades. Somehow it encompasses the cores of Italian culture and values in one way- in its very base dichotomy. Especially during this time when that exact specific quality becomes so often conflicted, individually and in economic group, with the oppressive politico. Characterizations are supreme in this work. Locale feel superb.
Graychin
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In addition to being superbly well written (and translated), Carlo Levi’s book succeeds in achieving what only the best non-fiction does: it educates your feeling for human possibilities and expands your capacity for wonder. Levi says that he was tutored by his housekeeper in peasant magic while exiled in Lucania; I think this book is proof that he gained considerable proficiency.
Ila
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, nonfiction
Interesting view of rural poverty and culture in the Mezzogiorno. Sadly Verga's novels have me too conditioned to the vagaries of life in Italy. Perhaps I was a bit too hopeful. The translation is a bit awkward in places but not too bad. An average read. ...more
Edward
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Levi accomplishes something remarkable in finding meaning in an unlikely place, a poverty-stricken village in the south of Italy . He was condemned to house arrest there as a political prisoner during Fascist-ruled Italy in the l930’s. What he found was rampant malaria, people living at a marginal level without any hope, and a heavy-handed goverrning structure that seemed permanent.

On the surface, nothing may seem to be happening in this God-forsaken (the title is a variant of that notion, the
...more
Amy
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christ Stopped at Eboli is the memoir of one remarkable man's experience in fascist Italy. Carlo Levi: painter, writer, activist,philosopher, and writer. He is all and more in this facinating volume.
Though I began this book with the languor of any student facing a particularly tiresome school project, I found it to be really good. Carlo Levi talks about life in forgotten villages of Italy, with their pseudo-gentry and peasants. It is about as far away from 21st century America as you can get,
...more
John David
This book was recommended to me probably eight years ago by a delightful old woman who worked with me by the name of Eleanor Jordan. I’d never heard of the book before, and didn’t think much of it for several years. One day, I saw it while browsing, picked it up, and just recently decided to read it, intermittently thinking of Eleanor. The title combined with the brief content summary she provided me prompted me to ask, “What is it? Fiction? A travel guide?” She just answered with her usual cand ...more
Bryan--Pumpkin Connoisseur
Carlo Levi was sentenced to three years of internal exile in 1935 for his opposition to the Fascist state in Italy, and spent much of it in the far south of Italy in the Basilicata region (between the 'toe' and the 'heel', and referred to in the book as Lucania), specifically in the village of Aliano (fictionalized as 'Gagliano'.) Christ stopped at Eboli is his account of a year spent in this remote village, where he describes the lives of the peasants and the gentry, their customs, and their po ...more
Richard
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
A wise, sympathetic, beautifully written (and excellently translated) account of a year spent in forced exile in poverty-stricken southern Italy. Levi's prose is poetic and gently ironic, but never haughty or pretentious. His descriptions of the pagan, animistic worldview of the peasants are among the best things I've read in recent memory. ...more
Fiona
Haunting account of pre-WWII life in rural Italy.
Jamie
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
While reading this book I was reminded of the first line of Shelley’s poem Ozymandias: “I met a traveler from an antique land.” Sentenced to internal exile for his opposition to Italy’s fascist government, Carlo Levi found himself in a tiny village in the far south, one that time seemed to have passed by. The title of the book comes from a local saying, that even Christ himself did not get this far into the back of beyond, and indeed, the villagers were more pagan than Christian. What Christiani ...more
Richard Levine
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Carlo Levi (b. 1902) was an Italian intellectual, a doctor and painter. For his anti-Fascist activities in Mussolini's Italy in the 1930s, he was sentenced to several years of exile. But he wasn't exiled FROM Italy; rather, he was exiled WITHIN Italy, to a remote peasant village in the southern province of Lucania (now known as Basilicata), an area poorly known or understood by sophisticated northern Italians, a place that the peasant residents themselves recognized as so uncivilized that they s ...more
Jos
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess a book about a landscape and its inhabitants is successful when you want to visit this landscape afterwards. This is the case. Levi's title is an extraordinary condensate of Lucania, a region in the southernmost part of the Italian peninsula. So remote and underdeveloped that even Christ (or the Catholic church for that instance) hasn't reached it. Quite a feat for Italy.

Levi was exiled there in 1935/36. First in Grassano, then he was relocated to Aliano (Gagliano in the book). Aliano i
...more
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Carlo Levi was an Italian-Jewish painter, writer, activist, anti-fascist, and doctor.
He is best known for his book, "Cristo si è fermato a Eboli" (Christ Stopped at Eboli), published in 1945; a memoir of his time spent in exile in Lucania, Italy, after being arrested in connection with his political activism. In 1979, the book became the basis of a movie of the same name, directed by Francesco Ros
...more

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