Corrado Alvaro, “Memoria del cuore. Racconti della guerra 1915-1918”, by Anne-Christine Faitrop-Porta

In the centennial of the start of the First World War, Città del Sole Edizioni releases a collection of short stories by Corrado Alvaro, “Memoria del cuore. Racconti della guerra 1915-1918”, by the scholar Anne-Christine Faitrop-Porta.

Fifteen stories already published in journals or collections, some of which represent key parts or passages from the famous novel Twenty years, a work in which, along with the Poems grigioverdi (military khaki), the great Calabrian writer had already recounted his experience as a young soldier, transforming it into that of a generation that, from World War I, would come away irreparably changed.memoria del cuore

Stories of attacks and expectations, departures and arrivals; young lives wasted, falling prey to the heat and dreams of courage, but also of homesickness, of loves and hope lost. It is a war of peasants torn from their land, consumed in the trenches to fight enemies who are hard to recognize. A war of waiting women, the mute observers living precarious lives, the only ones who with one look can recognize and identity their scattered existence, destined to disappear into an anonymous death.

Little gems of style, these stories are some of the recurring themes of Alvaro: nature, the colors, the dance, the same female figures. Precious pages that lead the reader to gain a deeper knowledge of the writer and the era.  As underlined by the curator in his extensive and thorough introduction, Alvaro expands here on “the revelation of the war as a life experience shared with the enemy,” and beyond the patriotic and Annuzian style rhetoric, his independent and penetrating voice recalls the psychologic truth, before the history, of a conflict that was to shatter the romantic nineteenth century and open to the sense of loss and abandonment, typical of the restless 1900s.

Anne-Christine Faitrop-Porta prints another valuable work on the figure, Alvaro Corrado, with numerous writings and publications dedicated to the writer of St. Luke, and lastly, always for the Città del Sole Edizioni, “Cose di Francia” (Things of France), a collection of articles, reviews and essays on French culture, published last year.