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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
born and raised in Veneto, the region Tim Parks talks
about in his book. I find his descriptions of aspects
of life so close to reality that at times he made me
feel homesick. The touch of his pen is elegant and his
characters so real that I could have changed the names
and he would have been talking of people I used to know.
This is not a book about Italy but rather a book about a
specific part of Italy, Veneto. Also, no attempt is made
to explain the roots of sociological facts. For example,
Parks touches upon forms of racism towards the people
coming from the Southern part of Italy but makes no effort
to go to the roots of that sentiment.
If readers were to come out from reading this book with
the impression that there is a single Italy, that would
be the wrong thing. There are almost as many Italys as
there are regions. And some of the characters Parks brings
to life could not be found in Sicily, for instance.
Parks is overall very respectful of his adoptive country,
although some criticism to the Catholic Church is here
and there to be seen. It is a little bit unfortunate that
he fails to elaborate on the fact that Catholicism is very
much an integral part of today Veneto's cultural
inheritance and contradictions not too differently of what
it could be said to hold true for Ireland.
A more extensive analysis of Italy is available in a recent
book by another Englishman, Paul Ginsborg, who in his Italy
and Its Discontents, 1980-2001 analyzes the impact of
Catholicism in today Italian society. But, this last book
does not belong in the realm of fiction.
The episode about the dog, Vega, is likely to impress
a part of the American public in a negative way, but
it is not really typical of Veneto or Italy in general.
I can say that Italians love their pets, but are less
inclined than Americans to "humanize" them as the circle
of friends is closer and loneliness less of an issue.
The author does not fail to catch these aspects even if
he is not explicit about it.
Overall, I think that the book is excellent and I wish
that many people from Veneto could read it and see
themselves in the eyes of an Englishman. They would
have a lot to think about.