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Fleeting Rome: In Search of la Dolce Vita



Fleeting Rome: In Search of la Dolce Vita

Carlo Levi

ISBN: 978-0-470-87185-0 December 2005 318 Pages


Only a renaissance man could have described this glorious city in its heyday. And only Carlo Levi, writer, painter, politician and one of the last century's most celebrated talents, could depict Rome at the height of its optimism and vitality after World War II. In Fleeting Rome, the era of post war 'La Dolce Vita' is brought magnificently to life in the daily bustle of Rome's street traders, housewives and students at work and play, the colourful festivities of Ferragosto and San Giovanni, the little theatre of Pulcinella al Pincio; all vibrant sights and sounds of this ancient, yet vital city.

Preface vii

Introduction: Eternal and Fleeting xiii

Translator's Note xxxv

I The People of Rome 1

II The Solitude of Rome 25

III The Two-Cent Coin 31

IV Sunday Stroll 37

V The Helicopter 43

VI Apparitions in Rome 51

VII The Duty of the Comet 57

VIII Elegy to the Mid-August Holidays 65

IX Hyperbolic Tourism 71

X Killing Time 77

XI Points of View 83

XII The Power of the Poor 89

XIII Brigands and Peasants 95

XIV Plants and Seeds 103

XV The Steps of Rome 111

XVI The Empty Cities 119

XVII Girls and Trees 125

XVIII A Dawn in Rome 131

XIX Summer Journey 137

XX The New Moon 143

XXI San Lorenzo and San Paolo 149

XXII A Child in Flight 155

XXIII After the Party 163

XXIV Substance and Chance 171

XXV Clothes Moths 179

XXVI Japanese Toys 187

XXVII Football and Men of Letters 193

XXVIII The Drainage Ditch and the Measles 199

XXIX A Boy Steals a Car Radio in the Piazza Navona 205

XXX The Labyrinth 213

XXXI City of Brothers 219

XXXII Summer Dissolves in Mists 227

XXXIII Fleeting Rome 233

Notes to the Text 237

Basic Chronology of Carlo Levi's Life 259

Index 275

"...this lovely book captures the spirit of Rome in a glancing fashion." (Sunday Times (Culture) 15 August 2004.

"...characteristic elegance and insight,...a tribute to the history, (and...spirit of one of Europe's most remarkable cities." (London Review of Books, 23rd September 2004)

"...a joyous trip that reveals new and hidden delights throughout this ancient, at once eternal yet fleeting city..." (Global, October 04)

"... this collection of beautifully-fashioned essays spans the post-war and dolce vita years in the 'eternal city'..." (Choice magazine, February 2005)

"...a vibrant portrayal of everyday life in Rome..." (Greenock Telegraph, 6th August 05)