Stories of Jewish Life
Casale Monferrato-Rome-Jerusalem, 1876–1985
The first half of the book takes place in Casale Monferrato—a small provincial capital in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy. The second half, continuing in Casale in the late 1920s but eventually shifting to Rome then Jerusalem, follows the experiences of a boy named Moshè (Segre's Jewish name and his stand-in). Moshè relates episodes of Italian Jewry from the 1920s to the 1980s that portray the insidiousness of fascism as well as the contradictions within the Jewish community, especially in its post-ghetto relationship to Italian society. The painful transformation of Italian Jewry manifests itself in universal themes: the seductiveness of modern life, the betrayal of tradition, the attraction of fashionable political movements, the corrosive effects of totalitarianism, and ultimately, on the positive side, national rebirth and renewal in Israel. These themes give the book significance beyond the "small world" from which they arise because they are issues that confront any society, especially those emerging from a traditional way of life and entering the modern world.
Students, scholars, and readers of Jewish history, Italian history, and fiction with an autobiographical thread will find themselves captivated by Segre's stories.
About the Authors
"Augusto Segre's work reads like a collection of poems. Its core is personal experience, a Jew's perspective on daily life and characters in the Italian countryside, which is itself a lively gallery of portraits of the past, but the writing broadens into an understanding of the nuances of human experience. To add to this, Segre's pages afford a rare compelling glimpse of nineteenth-century Italian Judaism and Jewry. Stories of Jewish Life is straightforward, well written, and illuminative for both the scholar and the general reader."—Dario Calimani, Professor of English, University of Ca' Foscari, Venice
|Wayne State University Press
|Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology
Other Titles from Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology
Other Titles in HISTORY / Jewish