Ernesto

Umberto Saba, Author, Mark Thompson, Translator Carcanet Press, $15.95 (166p) ISBN 978-0-85635-559-2
The distinguished Italian poet, too little known in America, never allowed this autobiographical novella of first love to be published in his lifetime. Ernesto is not yet 16 at the turn of the century when he is approached by an unlettered day laborer who praises his beauty. For a month, the two have a rapturous liaison. But given the difference in their stations, the affair can't last, and Ernesto, unwilling to offend, quits his jobthe last job, he confides to his reader, he is ever to hold. We see him at the close with a new friend, Ilio, who, like himself, plays the violin and who, the reader is given to understand, will make music for Ernesto throughout his life. This is a lyrical memoir, filled with the enchantment of Trieste as it opens itself to the wide eyes of a boy on a voyage of discovery. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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