FREE @ EMBASSY OF ITALY - ITALIAN LITERATURE
THE REPRISAL - LA RAPPRESAGLIA
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THE EMBASSY OF ITALY + ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE
LA RAPPRESAGLIA: LITERATURE, MOTHERHOOD + RESISTANCE
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
EMBASSY OF ITALY – Auditorium
3000 Whitehaven St. NW |Washington, DC 20008
(Just above Dupont/Sheridan Circles @ intersection with MASS. Ave.)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laudomia BONANNI (L’Aquila 1907~Rome 2002)
The BOOK: La RAPPRESAGLIA – The REPRISAL
Sara TEARDO (PRINCETON University) and Laura BENEDETTI (GEORGETOWN University) will present the writer Laudomia BONANNI (1907 – 2002) and her posthumous novel, "La rappresaglia", recently translated into English by Sara Teardo and Susan Stewart (The Reprisal, University of Chicago Press 2013).
In the cold, bitter winter of 1943, the hostile German army occupies central and northern Italy, and groups of partisans flee to the mountains waging a guerrilla war against the former ally and their Fascist collaborators. In a small village in Abruzzo, a band of Fascist misfits fearing attacks from their fellow villagers, flees to an abandoned monastery, where they intend to wait for “the dust to settle.” The first day, they capture a woman wandering in the woods and hiding weapons on the pack of her donkey – weapons probably destined to partisans. As they soon find out, the woman, nicknamed La Rossa, is in the last stages of her pregnancy. Tried as an enemy by an improvised war tribunal and accused without decisive proofs, the woman is convicted and sentenced to be executed after her child has been born. La Rossa proves to be a difficult prisoner, chastising her custodians and haughtily retorting all their comments. Her only interlocutor is a young seminarian who visits the monastery one day and decides to stay in an attempt to help and convince the woman to save her soul. As days pass, tension amounts among the characters and relationships grow stronger. When Christmas arrives, the men are shown at their most human. But La Rossa’s labors take everybody back to reality. Another trial is requested before the death sentence is confirmed and carried out. This tragic, absurd and ill-fated event will leave an indelible mark in everyone’s life.