Friday, August 1, 2014

Agostino by Alberto Moravia

Originally written in 1940’s Italy and rejected by Fascist censors, Agostino by Alberto Moravia has been retranslated and republished by the New York Review of Books. Despite being set in a different country and different time, it tells a timeless and universal story of isolation and loss of innocence. Thirteen year old Agostino is vacationing at a beach with his attractive and newly widowed mother. An only child, he has basked in his mother’s attentions all his life. So, when she seems to enjoy the attentions of a handsome young man on the beach, Agostino begins to feel jealous, confused and rejected.To avoid his mother, he hangs out with a gang of tough working class boys, boys with whom he has nothing in common. They steal and vandalize property. They communicate each other with insults and physical blows. They humiliate Agostino emotionally and physically. Nevertheless, driven by curiosity and a desire to leave behind his childhood(and his attachment to his mother), he seeks them out daily. He comes to realize that he no longer fits into either world.

Check out Agostino by Alberto Moravia @ the library!