A Private Affair
Posthumously published in Italy in 1963, and now translated into English for the very first time, Beppe Fenoglio's World War II novel A Private Affair is regarded as one of the greatest works of 20th-century Italian literature. After the fateful day of September 8,1943—when Italy surrendered to the Allies and was occupied by the Wehrmacht—Milton, a university student, joins the anti-German partisan militia in the mountainous areas of the Piedmont. It is a hard life of watches, patrols, ambushes, and close escapes, but Milton seems to live in a kind of daze, heedless of the danger of being captured by Fascist bands, and immersed in his own world of thoughts and memories. History and life are fused together through a masterful use of flashback, while Milton’s romantic, obsessive, and desperate quest for love and truth carries a wealth of connotations that still reverberate to this day. Beppe Fenoglio (1922–1963) is best known for his autobiographical work, Johnny the Partisan.
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