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The Salt of the Earth

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  8 reviews
'One of the great Central European war stories' - Los Angeles Review of Books

At the beginning of the twentieth century the villagers of the Carpathian mountains lead a simple life, much as they have always done. The modern world has yet to reach the inhabitants of this isolated and remote region of the Habsburg Empire. Among them is Piotr, a bandy-legged peasant, who wants
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 29th 2018 by Pushkin Press (first published 1935)
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Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review to follow (3.5 stars)
Il sale della terra è un romanzo storico di grande interesse ma è fuorviante pensare che l’elemento cardine della narrazione sia la Prima Guerra Mondiale; invece questa è solo l’occasione contingente che dà a Wittilin l’opportunità di approfondire la tematica, a lui cara, dell’annientamento dell’individualità operata dai sistemi sociali, in questo caso specifico rappresentati dall’esercito imperiale, e della conseguente incapacità del singolo di agire sulla base di valori non veicolati dalla pro ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was a very interesting book set in Poland at the beginning of Word War One. This story is different than most war stories because it takes place before the main character (Piotr) even sees combat. The Salt of the Earth is the first novel in a trilogy that was never completed so I would assume that the rest of the war appears in the other novels.

Piotr is an illiterate peasant who is called up to fight for the Emperor Franz Joseph. He is a very simple person who doesn't even know left from r
Nicki Markus
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-historical
I found The Salt of the Earth a captivating read. I loved the narrative prose style and adored the characters, especially Piotr. It is a tale with an important message on war, yet it is also a beautifully written story of a man ripped out of his familiar world and tossed into another. It's a shame Wittlin never got to finish the trilogy, as when the book ended I was sad not to know how things would work out for Piotr. Would he make it through the war and get back home? Overall, I would recommend ...more
Oct 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trudno mi ocenić tę książkę. Prolog bardzo mi się podobał, potem już znacznie mniej. Przez cały czas miałam poczucie, że to, o czym czytam, jest wstępem - irytującym w jakiś sposób - do tego, o czym chcę przeczytać, co by mnie naprawdę zainteresowało - opisu zderzenia wyobrażeń bohaterów o świecie, o panującym ładzie, z rzeczywistością wojny, zmian geopolitycznych etc. Chciałam przeczytać nie o początkowej fazie wojnie, ale o jej zaawansowanej fazie. Wszystko dla mnie jakoś za wolno się działo. ...more
Otto Lambauer
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1937 schreibt wittlin dieses buch über die k.u.k. Armee, den beginn des grossen krieges. unbekannt bleibt der erste mensch, der in diesem kriege das leben verlor. unbekannt bleibt der mensch, der ihn erschlug. unbekannt bleibt der letzte mensch, der in diesem krieg gefallen ist. mein wort hebt ihn aus dererde, in der er liegt: er wird mir die ausgrabung verzeihen. unbekannt bleibt der unbekannte soldat. so leitet wittlich den roman ein, in dem er über die kriegsmaschinerie erzählt, ohne jemals e ...more
Agata Się
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Bardzo sprawnie napisana. wymieszanie wątków mitycznych, chrześcijańskich, prawosławnych, ludycznych, pogańskich. Jeśli Piotr ppdobnu do ks. Piotra z Dziadów w swoich widzeniach, to tym bardziej na plus. Powieść o prostocie, niezrozumieniu, bałaganie i zawikłaniu małego w wielką historię. Bardzo szkoda mi było psa Basa.
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