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The Devil in the Hills by Cesare Pavese
To ask other readers questions about The Devil in the Hillsplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Devil in the Hills. Lists with This Book. Dec 03, Steven Godin rated it really liked it Shelves: In what is Pavese’s most personal novel, The Devil in the Hills is a tale of lost youth and friendship, changing from adolescence to manhood, set in the Italian landscape of Pavese’s own boyhood.
The novel begins in Turin, before the narrator – a young man, and his two friends, Oreste and Pieretto spend a sun-baked summer in the Piedmont countryside.
Evidently in a stupor from lack of sleep, they are whiling away the days teasing each other, sunbathing naked, talking of girls and of hunting amon In what is Pavese’s most personal novel, The Devil in the Hills is a tale of lost youth and friendship, changing from adolescence to manhood, set in the Italian landscape of Pavese’s own boyhood. Evidently in a stupor from lack of sleep, they are whiling away the days teasing each other, sunbathing naked, talking of girls and of hunting among other things.
They run into the wealthy and debauched Poli slumped at the wheel of his car, a man slightly older than them, who is one for excess, drugs, and high living, and even though they think him a bit of a fool, in the way he carries himself with profanity, somehow they are fascinated by his ways, and start to linger in his uneven world, ending up eventually at his plush villa in the hills, a place of parties and heavy drinking with wild Milanese socialites.
There they meet his wife Gabriella, and learn their relationship is an untypical one. Beautifully evocative in terms of place and time, Pavese uses the sweeping hills, vineyards, and small villages of northern Italy to create a very outdoor, wide open feel, from wildlife and insects buzzing, to the hot dazzling sun during day, and a big glowing moon at night looking down on the characters. His prose is simple, matter-of-fact, and a little turbulent in places I’m simply putting that down to the translationbut what I liked about the novel overall is that he never gives too much away, and in the three friends Pavese puts them in moments of boastful self confidence, and uneasy tension when dealing with certain situations, that made them feel like children again.
The story didn’t really develop in the ways I’d hoped, and one could argue it kind of runs into a brick wall, but in terms of the pleasures and apprehension faced with young men of this era it works pretty well.
There was a lush cinematic feel to it for the most part, that especially towards the end had me thinking of Fellini. Pavese also felt a little like an on form Scott Fitzgerald in places, so I’m all for that. Some wonderful passages of writing were slightly let down by the novels tonality, which felt a little out of key, but I still found much to savour. View all 8 comments. Jun 27, Greg rated it liked it Shelves: Do you know whom I along with just about every other person in the civilized world hate?
I think they might be the most hated group of people in the history of the world. Even hipsters hate hipsters! I only mention my obvious disdain for hipsters am I a hipster, well obviously no, almost no one will admit to being one, but while my tastes border along the Do you know whom I along with just about every other person in the civilized world hate? I only mention my obvious disdain for hipsters am I a hipster, well obviously no, almost no one will admit to being one, but while my tastes border along the tastes of aging hipsters at times I just have nothing positive going for me that would make me at all ‘hip’, but feel free to think of me as one if you would like and I might be thinking of you as one too because this book is basically a hipster novel, except that it’s from Italy in the ‘s or early 30’s I’m too bored to look up exactly when, let’s just say before Mussolini, or before WWII.
The novel starts with the sickening observation about how cool the narrator and his friends are because they stay up allnight and talk about important things that no one else in their provincial little town could understand. Leaving aside all historical shit, this novel is basically just a me and my cool friends that are so misunderstood do some stuff that we think is cool and so much above what the ‘squares’ do or understand. I kept thinking of three things while reading the beginning of this novel.
One was a friend of mine when I was about the age of the characters here, and how much he was like them and how even then his affectations annoyed me, the second thing were the scenes in The Subterraneans where the Kerouac and Co.
Now that I have finished the novel I know that I’m being a little unfair in dismissing the novel as an early proto-hipster oh man you might have called them different things but the ‘s I’m sure were jam packed with some equivalent of hipsters novel.
Yeah, towards the end there are some interesting parts to the novel, but all in all it’s just the same as reading any novel that’s primary raison d’etre seems to be to show how ‘cool’ the characters are in a hipster-ish note, when other hipster-ish characters arrive in this book, the main hipsters immediately feel like the out of towners are poseurs, see hipsters have never liked other hipsters and can feel the inauthenticity immediatelyit’s just a matter of substituting different activities for different time periods.
I’m being unfair though. I know I am. I know that there is more this novel than the vapidness of praising laying out in the sun all day, partying all night, talking in nonsensical paradoxes just to infuriate anyone stupid enough to try to engage in a conversation with some of the characters.
But all of those things just seemed to screaming for my attention and anything subtle in the novel got lost in the ‘look how cool’ I was in my youth feeling that the novel has. Hipsters with tattoos or jewelry of brass-knuckles. Every time I see one of them I want to punch them really hard, their ironic posturing of safe-retro-violence makes me want to bring down real violence on to them.
View all 5 comments. Tre amici universitari trascorrono i mesi estivi a Torino sentendosi vivi soprattutto durante le scorribande notturne piene di chiacchiere e multiformi, per quanto lontane, tentazioni. May 07, Ian rated it really liked it. Initially I read this for the sole reason that it is set in the Piedmontese hills of Italy, where we will be holidaying this summer.
It is Pavese’s homeland and his affection for the landscape and climate are evident throughout. It is testament to Pavese’s skill that I found myself empathising with the characters, precisely the sort of idle student types that normally wind me up with their ignorance and self-absorption. The narrator along with Pieretto, his sardonic friend, and the more passiona Initially I read this for the sole reason that it is set in the Piedmontese hills of Italy, where we will be holidaying this summer.
The narrator along with Pieretto, his sardonic friend, and the more passionate Oreste, end up staying with Poli, a wealthy dilettante, larded with cocaine and ennui. The plot progresses at the pace of the changing of the seasons, but I still found it affecting.
Aug 04, Todd Grimson rated it it was amazing. Somewhat forgotten now, Pavese was the most “Americanized” of Italian novelists, having translated Hemingway, Faulkner and others. This had the effect of making his own prose especially lucid and clear when translated into English.
Scott Fitzgerald at the top of his form. Antonioni mixed with Rohmer. Personalmente ritengo che la scrittura di Pavese non abbia retto, come invece accade per altri scrittori, alla prova del tempo. Sicuramente vengono descritti egregiamente le ambientazioni ed i personaggi, si respira un’aria di altri tempi.
Ma la trama non mi ha particolarmente coinvolta, l’ho trovata “lenta”. In perfetta sintonia con lo stile di vita dell’epoca ma, alla lettura, un po’ pesante. Tu fiuti l’aria e senti il bosco e ti accorgi che piante e bestie se ne infischiano di te. Tutto vive e si macera in se stesso. Jul 16, Jonathan yates rated it it was ok.
I’m not sure if it was the story or the translation, but this was disjointed and there was very little to grasp on to as far as a story or a character. Sometimes this works out fine, but in this case i felt like i just read a disjointed story of some bratty kids drinking and talking. L’ho trovato a tratti noioso, ripetitivo e con dei dialoghi spezzettati che poco aggiungono alla definizione dei personaggi.
Il diavolo sulle colline : Cesare Pavese :
Iliti Djavo na brezuljku. Likovi plitki i neshvatljivi. Dogadjaji nemaju oznaceni vremenski period. Kratko stivo za procitati ali nista sto prirasta srcu. Qesto libro non mi ha fatto impazzire. Need to re-read once I am more fluent in italian.
The Devil in the Hills
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Cesare Pavese was born in a small town in which his father, an official, owned property. He attended school and later, university, in Turin.
Denied an outlet for his creative powers by Fascist sule of literature, Pavese translated many 20th-century U. He also published criticism, posthumously collected in La letteratura americana e altri saggi ; American Literature, Essays and Opinions, His work probably did more to foster the reading and appreciation of U. A founder and, sukle his death, an editor of the publishing house of Einaudi, Pavese also edited the anti-Fascist review La Cultura. His first volume of lyric poetry, Lavorare stanca ; Hard Labour,followed his release from prison.
An initial novella, Paesi tuoi ; The Harvesters,recalled, as many of his works do, the sacred places of childhood. Between and he lived with partisans of the anti-Fascist Resistance in the hills of Piedmont.
The bulk of Pavese’s work, mostly short stories and novellas, appeared between the end col,ine the war and his death. Partly through the influence of Melville, Pavese became preoccupied with myth, symbol, and archetype.
Several other works are notable, especially La bella estate ; in The Political Prisoner,