By Ginzburg Natalia (Author)

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The short novels (romanzi brevi) in this book are Ginzburg's favorite masterpieces from the years 1941-1961, in a new Hebrew version. "There is something astonishing in the way in which Ginzburg's books have become naturalized in Israeli literature: the expectation of the readership, the unreserved heat of the criticism [...], the success on the bestseller charts, and above all - the same kind of electricity that sometimes produces a book in the expensive, conflicted and mysterious field , between him and the readers. Rarely, if at all, does a translated book gain such entry [...] into the intimate arenas of the cultural scene" (Ronit Matlon). Five young women tell their stories "by themselves". Amulet constitutions accompany, from the side, the story of someone authoritative or revered. The plots unfold longings, plans and hopes, which end up shattering in despair and leaving a life of renunciation with clipped wings. "I shot him between the eyes," says a woman who got married in the hope that she would know where her husband was at any time. "We were husband and wife for four years. He said he wanted to leave me, but then our daughter died, and that's how we stayed together"... that's how things are told, in simple, short sentences, that Ginzburg hoped would "look like a slap in the face". Through her narrating characters, Ginzburg presents a text that sticks to bare facts and details, devoid of all sentimentality, interpretation and literature. Shocking events are dryly conveyed to Connie: "At ten in the evening the girl died"; And the narrator immediately slips into side details, where in the end the emotion is charged in full force. These heroines of Ginzburg, who seem weak-willed and phlegmatic, bring their world in sharp detail, vibrating and bursting with vitality, surprises and humor, and they direct our reactions. This is what it looks like, for example, to respond to an unexpected marriage proposal: "'Do you want to marry me?' he said suddenly. He put both hands on the steering wheel and didn't start the car: and he had such a funny face, terrified and serious, with the beret all crooked on his forehead and the eyebrows drawn [...] and I laughed and said yes. Then he started the engine and we drove off "I'm not in love," I said. Ginzburg's storytellers don't always know what names to give to the things they experience, or exactly what story they are participating in. But Ginzburg does not condescend to her characters. The Olympian position of omniscience is alien to her abundant human warmth. Her empathy gives the impression that if she were to tell about herself, she would not understand more than her hairdressers. For over thirty years, the land of unconditional love has been preserved for Ginzburg, the great European writer of the second half of the 20th century. In recent years, following the global fandom, the wheels are turning again in Europe and the United States and a revival of Natalia Ginzburg is taking place. "If Ferrante is the friend, Ginzburg is the mentor," wrote the London Guardian.

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