The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950

The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950

The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950

The Burning Brand: Diaries 1935-1950

Excerpt

An introduction to a journal or an autobiography runs the risk of being superfluous: if the author has spoken fully of himself over the years and has a sense of himself in his time, if he encompasses a broad enough time span to show personal growth and to reflect something of the society of which he was a part, then the reader's introduction to him had best come without compass or rudder, to be made directly on the tides of his prose.

In he case of Cesare Pavese there may be some need of guide lines. Admittedly, most readers will be moved to read this journal because they have already some familiarity with the author's work or have heard something about him that draws them to a closer acquaintance. But in this country Pavese's novels have been published haphazardly and the myth of his personality has been imperfectly documented. In Italy and France he is, with Elio Vittorini and Alberto Moravia, established in the front rank of contemporary Italian authors, and he is read increasingly in England. We have yet to have a coherent view of Pavese in the United States, and the publication of this journal should be a step in that direction.

The journal was not intended as an introduction to the man. "Things I write here," he noted in 1947, "are what . . .

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