As Ignazio Silone’s novel Bread and Wine opens, Don Benedetto, a Catholic priest, is sitting outside his modest home. It is his seventy-fifth birthday, and he is . When it first appeared in , Bread and Wine stunned the world with its exposure of Italy’s fascist state, depicting that regime’s use of. Ignazio Silone’s classic novel Bread and Wine served as a moral compass to U.S. leftists seeking alternatives to both capitalism and.

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However, he is pushed to brwad documents saying he is fully in support of some political issues inside Russia. In this way, within this context, the ideas celebrated in the book are shocking and revolutionary. A story of real people who still know how to make their own wine and their own bread. I found this confrontation to be quite enlightening: His sworn enemies Togliatti and the Christian Democrats had plenty of time to go through the Fascist police files. Not even the mountains are a good refuge.

Io credo che funzionano bene anche per i nostri. But as the story matures, the collateral damage that Spina leaves in his wake becomes not just incidental to the book’s message: The one who fails to conform to this teaching will be brutally punished. They constantly come to him with their problems, and he grudgingly silonr dragged into their private lives by offering “absolution” for their sins.

May 20, Jane rated igmazio really liked it Shelves: The first edition of Bread and Wine was written in Anything that is considered right by the government will be right and anything that is held by government as wrong will be wrong for everyone. Sine you follow the story through to its conclusion, Spina never wavers from his conviction, but the author definitely wavers.


He finds that dogmatism on the left and in the church are close cousins but that both have something to offer. I read this one in or so, prompted by Silone’s associations with postwar French thinkers and the usual rot which attracts pseuds in their early twenties. Eric Mosbacher is a distinguished translator from the German and the Italian.

The book is based in italy. This page was last edited on 30 Augustat The novel centers around the character of Pietro Spina, a young revolutionary in his early sine who is being intensely ignnazio by the police so siloen takes on the disguise of an older priest and carries off this masquerade for the whole of the tale, as Don Paolo Spada.

Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone

Pietro Spina is a young revolutionary who is being sought by authorities. View all 3 comments. A second addition from a reader: I was very much struck by the criticism that Silone employed in the novel especially on the doctrine of Marx and thereby Socialism. Gerald McCarthy writes on Feb. Write his widow who still lives in Rome, if you want “proof.

During his time in hiding, he learns more about the terrifying hopelessness and resignation of the villagers.

The novels that made him world famous as an anti-Fascist were Fontamara and Bread and Wine, the latter first published in English in eine then in 17 other languages as well as in Italian. This is a book of all, what we believe in.

Bread and Wine

It has been recently revealed that he also was a police informer for the fascists, providing information leading to the arrest of many left wing opponents of the regime. Ebbe a dire di lui Albert Camus: It denounces capitalism, while betraying sympathy and respect for land-owners and bankers.


The novel quickly leaves the priest behind to follow one of his students, Pietro Spina, as he steals his way back into Italy as a socialist comrade. In Fascist Italy, a Socialist man recently returned from exile, in order to evade the law, is disguised as a priest–as an ecclesiastic he will have immunity from persecution– and lives among the peasants of the Abruzzi.

The scene effectively sets the stage for the coming debates on communism and social responsibilty that will be wrestled with for the rest of the book. By the end you’re left wondering if the book’s true hero is not Spina, but Zabaglione, a man who is has conserved his resources to do the rebuilding when Fascism is finally gone.

If you win, which is a misfortune that will probably happen to you, we subjects will merely exchange one tyranny for another. Silone was 15 years old when an earthquake in his native Abruzzi killed his mother and five of his brothers.

At first quite uncomfortable in his assumed role, he in a sense grows into the character of Don Paolo, and becomes in some ways a more authentic representation of Christ than some of the dry functionaries of the Church which the novel once or twice presents to us.

Full of tension and surprises. Time Life Books,