Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Alberto Moravia Enthusiasm

Long-ish essay on the great Italian novelist Alberto Moravia (link via bookforum)

It was against this widespread alienation or male di vivere (evil of living) that poet and Nobel Prize winner Eugenio Montale (1896–1981) had also asserted himself, through negativity, as a force of resistance. The humanism of Montale was found in his responses to contingencies that paradoxically arose to illuminate his life and relationships. Moravia too sets out from a radical negativity, but in the domain of prose. This much he has in common with Montale: a stoical and metaphysical curiosity about the nature of existence and the dark conviction that, while only love can repair the brokenness of the world, in actuality this love is more often negated than fulfilled.

Moravia's novel Contempt is a huge personal favourite. I had written about it and his other novella Conjugal Love here and here.

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