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uesta raccolta di saggi e articoli scritti in vari anni dalla Ginzburg affinano e migliorano il suo stile dimostrando le straordinarie capacità comunicative dell'autrice uesto libro pubblicato tra due grandi opere come Le voci della sera e Lessico famigliare non risulta ridimensionato dall'accostamento con le due opere più celebri della scrittice Le piccole virtù presenta abbozzi riflessioni e constatazioni della realtà che circondava la Ginzburg l'ambiente londinese dove viveva il suo rapporto con il secondo marito tra passione e incomprensione episodi rievocati di un'infanzia e una giovinezza trascorsa da tempo ma mai dimenticateIl titolo della raccolta di carattere antifrastico chiarifica che per l'autrice le piccole virtù che consistono soprattutto in un'ostentato perbenismo e in una bonomia di maniera sconsiderata e semplicistica sono le principali cause di incomprensione semplicioneria stupidità dolori e sofferenze Il tutto ci viene presentato nel consueto stile diretto immediato ma sapientemente evocativo con cui la Ginzburg manifestava una dote di ingenuità che riesce ad arrivare al nocciolo delle vicende e dei problemi uesto stile è capace con pochi tratteggi di rievocare atmosfere e ambienti non solo fisici ma soprattutto mentali e uesta ingenuo candore misto a acuta ponderatezza riescono a dare a uest'opera il tocco di maestria che tramuta una raccolta di saggi in un grande lavoro artistico


10 thoughts on “Le piccole virtù

  1. says:

    From married life to the murder of her husband the Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg shows a deft lightness of touch in these eleven moving and personal essays written between 1944 and 1960 Ginzburg’s deceptively simple style is inspiring making this easy to read for just about anybody and has at least one something we can all relate to Some of the essays chronicle Ginzburg’s time in exile with her family during the Second World War others compare the life she experienced in Italy with life in England or the particular differences of preference and temperament between Ginzburg and her second husband The title essay considers what we should teach children—not the little virtues but the great ones according to Ginzburg “Not thrift but generosity and an indifference to money; not caution but courage and a contempt for danger; not shrewdness but frankness and a love of truth; not tact but love for one’s neighbour and self denial; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know” Even these few words alone were enough to sit up and take noticeA charming piece on early married life gives way to the memory of her first husband a writer professor and resistance leader who was imprisoned and murdered by Fascist police in 1944 “But that was the best time of my life and only now that it has gone from me for ever – only now do I realise it” In another about shoes Ginzburg asks rather suddenly about her sons “What road will they choose to walk down?” She has been thinking about her worn out shoes and the comfortable and protective pairs provided to her children at their grandmother’s house “Will they decide to give up everything that is pleasant but not necessary” she writes “or will they affirm that everything is necessary and that men have the right to wear sound solid shoes on their feet?”Most often in these essays her children are ever present in the background they are safe with her mother while she lives in Rome with a female friend or they appear only through their toys which cover the floor beneath the table where her husband wrote at their home in the Abruzzi in Fascist imposed exile Caring for her children is not necessarily a pleasure so much as a duty one that sometimes interferes with art but it is nevertheless central to her role as a parent When she is away from her children she anticipates returning to them and to a life of domestic comforts becoming a different person than the woman who writes whenever she pleases Then she writes she “shall take my children in hand and overcome the temptation to let my life go to pieces I shall become serious and motherly as always happens when I am with them”The most poignant piece of all for me was on her friend the poet and novelist Cesare Pavese written a few years after he took his own life “in a hotel near the station; he wanted to die like a stranger in the city to which he belonged” One of the marks of Natalia Ginzburg's originality is her use of the constructive possibilities of apathy In several of her essays I wondered why I was bothering to read this at all but continued like a moth to a light because Ginzburg's plain conversational style kept me engaged she knew how to pull in a reader sentence after sentence Although not everything got me worked up at least two thirds I was very impressed with Written with a family warmth and a touch of wisdom that as a human being it was simply impossible not to be affected by in some way


  2. says:

    We have seen reality's darkest face and it no longer horrifies us And there are still those who complain that writers use bitter violent language that they write about cruel distressing things that they present reality in the worst possible light Natalia Ginzburg The Son of God I picked this one up and started reading because it was in the Italian lit section at the library and I'm trying to read women writers It took me a while to realize that these were short essays and not short stories like I'd initially supposed Maybe it has something to do with her writing style? I found it very accessible I liked her essays a lot She writes about her struggles as a mother and a writer her time in exile her travels and personal challengesShe also wrote a very biting piece on England which I think most English people will take umbrage at but was uite interesting to me regardless Eulogy and Lament We are uickly infected by the English melancholy It is a sheepish stunned melancholy a sort of empty bewilderment and on its surface the conversations about the weather the seasons about all those things one discusses without going too deeply into anything without giving offense or being offended linger like the constant buzzing of mosuitoesThere were also essays about raising kids during the war what changes regarding parenting because of war and hardships In a way it reminded me of Zweig's reminiscences of Europe after the warWe cannot do this to children who have seen terror and horror in our facesThere is an unabridgeable abyss between us and the previous generation The dangers they lived through were trivial and their houses were rarely reduced to rubble A couple of passages I liked My vocation is to write stories invented things or things which I can remember from my own life but in any case stories things that are connected only with memory and imagination and have nothing to do with erudition This is my vocation and I shall work at it till I die As far as the things we write are concerned there is a danger in grief just as there is a danger in happiness Because poetic beauty is a mixture of ruthlessness pride irony physical tenderness of imagination and memory of clarity and obscurity and if we cannot gather all these things together we are left with something meagre unreliable and hardly alive


  3. says:

    I am in the minority when it comes to this book And I have wracked my brain trying to understand why it is held in such high high regard There are a handful of short essays in this collection that I thought were excellent but I found the majority of them almost interminable The context here and so many of the essays is World War II Italian fascism the horrors of what unfolded as communities were ravaged Her dismissive shallow essays on England can be seen as cries for home I understand That still doesn't make them great art She's at her best when she writes about vocation in this case writing Her advice in the final essay that we can only be good parents if we have a passion in our own lives is excellent But there was so much in here that I didn't like stuff that did not resonate with me at all When she writes about her longtime partner he comes across as an abusive dick and yet it seems to me that she is paying homage to this behavior This book was barely over 100 pages and it took me 10 days to read I do not mean this review to persuade anyone not to read the book Finer minds than mine have found in this book wonderful writing and timeless original thinking


  4. says:

    The little virtues by Natalia Ginzburg is a short collection of essays that contains thought provoking observations on topics such as domestic life raising children relationships as well as beautiful insights from past experiences her homeland and her call to write vocation Written in the first person her style is simple direct and intimate and conveys the author's keen eye for observation and genuine wisdom At times her tone is melancholic and a bit defeatist but never preachy A good read for a would be writer The Little Virtues is an interesting book that will make you take a closer look at your own life purpose and valuesI particularly enjoyed He and I Portrait of a Friend and Silence


  5. says:

    This collection was genius So exuisite a delight when you come across a writer who thinks for themselves She describes herself as a tiny flea of a writer but her minute observations on life fill up the heart The last essay on parenting is irreverent but so wise; I underlined every line and am learning from it


  6. says:

    Not all the essays are eually compelling in Little Virtues but those that are good are very good They are very dense not in a sense that they are difficult to read but almost every other line is something you'd want to underline and remember There are excellent points about what it means being a writer how to not raise your children and why England is the most melancholy country in the world among others What bothered me a tiny bit was the impression that she justified her being through her vocation This was a recurring theme in the book To have a vocation is something that makes you worthwhile that makes life worthwhile and your children should definitely be set on one without your interference of course it should develop organically Well done if you have a calling but it is clear most people don't and I wish she had used her intelligent observations and insights to tell us what happens when you are just floating without being here nor there how to find content then It would have been interesting to read her take on that


  7. says:

    It's a pure delight to read Ginzburg


  8. says:

    The first essay Winter in Abruzzo is brilliant and poignant She begins in everyday joys and irritations Then her tragic loss shifts the perspective deepening the precarious value of the everyday The essay on Pavese was both unsentimental and moving Some of the other essays left me baffled I gave up on the essays on England before I could learn whether that relentlessly and unkindly classifying of England was meant to funny to someone or whether the tone shifts before the end


  9. says:

    i couldn't finish it too negetive i just went through first 20 pages


  10. says:

    Eleven short stories Some are fictionalised accounts of her life during WWII and later in England Some are on broad topics She certainly did not like England loved writing seemed uite reluctant to use too many words and had various relationships The subtleties of the originality of the writing style is supposedly what makes this one an Italian classic