Childhood of Nivasio Dolcemare

Alberto Savinio, Author Eridanos Press $21 (146p) ISBN 978-0-941419-04-8
As explained in the foreword by art critic Ashton, Savinio is the pseudonym of Giorgio de Chirico's brother Andreas. Multitalented Savinio was also a musician and painter who created a minor stir in the surrealist circle. This quasi-autobiographical novel, set in Athens, a cultural backwater Savinio perceives with ambivalent feelings, follows the protagonist, Nivasio Dolcemare from his birth through adolescence. He experiences the rites of passage of an upperclass boytutored by a German governess, seduced by a maid in his early teensand finally enlists in the Italian army as a foot soldier in 1915. Many of the anecdotes about eccentric turn-of-the-century aristocrats are amusing, and the frequent surrealistic images of mirrors, hands and mannequins interestingly reflect themes from the de Chiricos' visual art. Savinio, however, presents his material with a maddening discontinuity. The aloof, ironical style Ashton refers to as ""paraphrases . . . an ongoing prose poem'' may disengage some contemporary readers. More appealing is the quasi-essay included on the development of the Olympic games. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 146 pages - 978-0-941419-05-5
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