‘Christ Stopped at Eboli’

Portrait de Carlo Levi by Carl Van Vechten, ph...

Carlo Levi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a YearChrist Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year by Carlo Levi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Three unrelated commentators encountered over the past year in my Web surfing recommended this book, and for different reasons. I recommend it to you.

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[Pause.]

Charm abounds. To wit: The following excerpt, an anecdote told to the author, follows his observation that he had the only toilet in town.

“There were eight or ten of us… all of us from the same town and acquainted with each other since we were children. Life is depressing there among the skyscrapers, where there’s every possible convenience, elevators, revolving doors, subways, endless streets and buildings, but never a bit of green earth. Homesickness used to get the better of us. On Sundays, we took a train for miles and miles in search of some open country. When finally we reached a deserted spot, we were all as happy as if a great weight had been lifted from our shoulders. And beneath a tree, all of us together would let down our trousers . . . What joy! We could feel the fresh air and all of nature around us. It wasn’t like those American toilets, shiny and all alike. We felt like boys again, as if we were back in Grassano; we were happy, we laughed and we breathed for a moment the air of home. And when he had finished we shouted together: ‘Viva l’Italia!’ ”

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