9 ene. 2009

(35)

*Calvino. Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno. 1947. 195 pp.

This is Calvino's first novel, set in WWIII. A boy, Pin, has a sister who is a prostitute. A German sailor, a client of the sister, has a pistol. The local men at the bar tell Pin to steal it, but when he does, they don't seem that interested any more. He hides it in the place where spiders build their nests (hence the title of the novel.) The German's arrest him and beat him; he escapes from jail along with a resistance leader, Lupo Rosso (the red wolf) and makes his way to an encampment of partisans in the mountains, along with "Cugino" (the cousin). He is basically a "bambino" in the world of "grandi." He doesn't really understand the adult world, but has no childhood to speak of. I couldn't really get a fix on his exact age, but took him to be 12 or so.

There's also an interesting preface written by Calvino in 1967, 20 years after the initial publication of the novel.