Born into the Austro-Hungarian aristocratic class, Rezzori saw his family reduced to nomadic refugees by WW I. Despite his parents' marital break-up and the occupation of his native duchy, Bukovina, by Rumania in 1919 and by Russia in 1940, his family lived under the illusion of pseudofeudal grandeur. In this intense group portrait, the author of the novel Memoirs of an Anti-Semite limns five key people who molded him. His overprotective, proud mother, a woman of ``lifelong rancor,'' was a mismatch for his cheerful, voluble father, an architect and hunting enthusiast set in his rigid ways and pathological prejudices. Cassandra, his nanny, a peasant woman who wore exotic garb, kept up his spirits with clownish pranks. We also meet Bunchy, his worldly German governess, and his sister with whom Rezzori had a sibling rivalry, but whose death at age 22 haunts him. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989 Release date: 12/01/1989 Genre: Nonfiction
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