Umbertina: A Novel

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Umbertina : a novel (Book, ) []
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  • Contemporary Italian American Writing.

I tell this story because it relates to a major problem facing Italian-American writers. Editors, influenced by Hollywood, popular taste, or their own bias, expect goons in action in Italian-American stories. The writer with a thoughtful, literary turn of mind is unlikely to find a sympathetic audience among them.

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Early modernist writers, from Henry James and E. Forster through Arthur Miller, portray Italians and Italian-Americans as violent, primitive, and, if educated, devious. For these writers Italians and Italian-Americans represent animal vitality, but they are clearly shown as brutal, morally stunted, or pathetic remnants of a fallen civilization. In the end, Edward Gibbon's 18th-century classic "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," which reveals great love for empire but disdain for the multicultured Italy of its day, may be a more fundamental part of American bias against Italians and Italian-Americans than "Scarface," "The Godfather," or "The Sopranos.

In TV shows, advertisements, children's cartoons, and even some university programs emphasizing cultural diversity, that bias persists despite the Italian-American intellectual foundation on the grandeur of Dante, the stateliness of Virgil, the experimentation of Pirandello, and the metaphysical complexity of Petrarch and the Troubadours. Italian-Americans are consistently portrayed as either loud or stupidly laconic. Yet their life has evolved from a thoughtful, realistic literary tradition whose strength Boccaccio, Primo Levi, and Italo Calvino derives from humor and intellectual analysis.

Italian-American writers have continued that powerful tradition, at times with Italian-American subjects, at others with purely American themes, as with Don Delillo and Richard Russo, whose novel "Empire Falls," evoking Gibbon but not Italy, won this year's Pulitzer Prize in literature, the first for an Italian-American. While most readers have heard of Mr. Delillo and Mr.

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Russo, few will know Helen Barolini, the dean of Italian-American writers, whose "Umbertina," a novel, "Chiaroscuro," a book of essays, and "More Italian Hours," a recent collection of stories, form a triptych of Italian-American culture evolving through the 20th century. Writers on Italian-American themes are important, too. J Wj "; the classification was invented by Herbert Putnam in , just before he assumed the librarianship of Congress.

It was designed for the purposes and collection of the Library of Congress to replace the fixed location system developed by Thomas Jefferson. By the time Putnam departed from his post in , all the classes except K and parts of B were well developed.

LCC has been criticized for lacking a sound theoretical basis. Although it divides subjects into broad categories, it is enumerative in nature; that is, it provides a guide to the books in one library's collections, not a classification of the world. Others include Medicine R. Subclass AC -- Collections.

Theosophy , etc. Soviet Union. Maps Subclass GA — Mathematical geography. Land use. Social problems. Social reform Subclass HQ — The family. Subclass HT — Communities. Races Subclass HV — Social pathology. Social and public welfare.

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  5. Criminology Subclass HX — Socialism. It was dedicated on September 26, in a ceremony presided over by President of the United States Richard Nixon ; the museum closed in following the opening of an immigration museum on nearby Ellis Island.

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    Calabria Calabria , known in antiquity as Bruttium , is a region in Southern Italy. The region is bordered to the north by the Basilicata Region , to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea , to the east by the Ionian Sea ; the region has a population of just under 2 million. The demonym of Calabria is calabrese in Calabrian in English. In ancient times the name Calabria referred, not as in modern times to the toe, but to the heel tip of Italy , from Tarentum southwards, a region nowadays known as Salento.

    Starting in the third century BC, the name Calabria was given to the Adriatic coast of the Salento peninsula in modern Apulia.

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    In the late first century BC this name came to extend to the entirety of the Salento, when the Roman emperor Augustus divided Italy into regions; the whole region of Apulia received the name Regio II Calabria. By this time modern Calabria was still known as Bruttium, after the Bruttians who inhabited the region.

    Though the Calabrian part of the duchy was conquered by the Longobards during the eighth and ninth centuries AD, the Byzantines continued to use the name Calabria for their remaining territory in Bruttium; the modern name Italy derives from Italia, first used as a name for the southern part of modern Calabria.

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    Over time the Greeks started to use it for the rest of the southern Italian peninsula as well. Three mountain ranges are present: Pollino , La Sila and Aspromonte. All three mountain ranges are unique with their own fauna; the Pollino Mountains in the north of the region are rugged and form a natural barrier separating Calabria from the rest of Italy.

    Parts of the area are wooded, while others are vast, wind-swept plateaus with little vegetation; these mountains are home to a rare Bosnian Pine variety and are included in the Pollino National Park. The Pollino National Park has the distinction of being the largest national park in Italy and covers about 1, La Sila, referred to as the "Great Wood of Italy", is a vast mountainous plateau about 1, metres above sea level and stretches for nearly 2, square kilometres along the central part of Calabria; the highest point is Botte Donato.

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    The area boasts dense coniferous forests. La Sila has some of the tallest trees in Italy which are called the "Giants of the Sila" and can reach up to 40 metres in height. The Sila National Park is known to have the purest air in Europe ; the Aspromonte massif forms the southernmost tip of the Italian peninsula bordered by the sea on three sides. This unique mountainous structure reaches its highest point at Montalto, at 1, metres, is full of wide, man-made terraces that slope down towards the sea.

    In general, most of the lower terrain in Calabria has been agricultural for centuries, exhibits indigenous scrubland as well as introduced plants such as the prickly pear cactus ; the lowest slopes are rich in citrus fruit orchards.

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    The Diamante citron is one of the citrus fruits. Moving upwards and chestnut trees appear while in the higher regions there are dense forests of oak, pine and fir trees. Mountain areas have a typical mountainous climate with frequent snow during winter. Erratic behavior of the Tyrrhenian Sea can bring heavy rainfall on the western slopes of the region, while hot air from Africa makes the east coast of Calabria dry and warm; the mountains that run along the region influence the climate and temperature of the region.

    The east coast has wider temperature ranges than the west coast; the geography of the region causes more rain to fall along the west coast than that of the east coast, which occurs during winter and autumn and less during the summer months. Below are the two extremes of climate present in Calabria, both the warm mediterranean subtype on the coastline and the highland climate of Monte Scuro ; when describing the geology of Calabria, it is considered as part of the " Calabrian Arc", an arc-shaped geographic domain extending from the southern part of the Basilicata Region to the northeast of Sicily, including the Peloritano Mountains.

    The Calabrian area shows basement of Paleozoic. Jay Parini Jay Parini is an American writer and academic. He is known for novels, biography and criticism. Having published novels about Leo Tolstoy , Walter Benjamin , Herman Melville , Jay Parini is regarded as one of the leading innovators in the genre of biographical fiction.

    He graduated from Lafayette College in and was awarded a doctorate by the University of St. Andrews in , he taught at Dartmouth College from to , has taught since at Middlebury College , where he is the D. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of Ralston College , a liberal arts college in Savannah , founded in February, Parini has written eight novels, many of which are about the lives of literary icons, narratives from his own personal life, his international best-selling novel The Last Station is about the final months of Leo Tolstoy.

    With Devon Jersild , Parini adapted his historical novel Benjamin's Crossing into a screenplay, in pre-production.

    Umbertina: A Novel

    However, First Lady Laura Bush canceled the event after learning the poets were intending to protest against the Iraq War. Noelia Rodriguez , a spokeswoman for Mrs. Bush respects the right of all Americans to express their opinions, too, has opinions and believes it would be inappropriate to turn a literary event into a political forum. Fellow poet Julia Alvarez added: "Why be afraid of us, Mrs.

    You're married to a scarier fellow. In response to Mrs. Bush's decision, Parini joined a group of poets that took part in a reading on February 16, at the Congregational Church in Manchester , called "A Poetry Reading in Honor of the Right to Protest as a Patriotic and Historical Tradition"; the event was attended by over people, received national attention, bringing in over 50 reporters and warranting coverage by C-SPAN and 60 Minutes.

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    Umbertina: A Novel Umbertina: A Novel
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