The Conformist

( 1 )

Overview

Secrecy and Silence are second nature to Marcello Clerici, the hero of The Conformist, a book which made Alberto Moravia one of the world's most read postwar writers. Clerici is a man with everything under control - a wife who loves him, colleagues who respect him, the hidden power that comes with his secret work for the Italian political police during the Mussolini years. But then he is assigned to kill his former professor, now in exile, to demonstrate his loyalty to the Fascist state, and falls in love ...
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The Conformist

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Overview

Secrecy and Silence are second nature to Marcello Clerici, the hero of The Conformist, a book which made Alberto Moravia one of the world's most read postwar writers. Clerici is a man with everything under control - a wife who loves him, colleagues who respect him, the hidden power that comes with his secret work for the Italian political police during the Mussolini years. But then he is assigned to kill his former professor, now in exile, to demonstrate his loyalty to the Fascist state, and falls in love with a strange, compelling woman; his life is torn open - and with it the corrupt heart of Fascism. Moravia equates the rise of Italian Fascism with the psychological needs of his protagonist for whom conformity becomes an obsession in a life that has included parental neglect, an oddly self-conscious desire to engage in cruel acts, and a type of male beauty which, to Clerici's great distress, other men find attractive.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Moravia brings to light the devil in the flesh and in the psyche." -- The Atlantic Monthly 
Library Journal
Moravia is red hot! In the past year, roughly half a dozen of his books have been reprinted by numerous publishers. In addition to being highly acclaimed novels, both these titles were the basis of popular European films. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883642655
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Series: Steerforth Italia Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 563,016
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

The author of numerous novels, story and essay collections, and works of journalism and travel literature, Alberto Moravia was Italy's preeminent man of letters throughout much of the twentieth-century. Steerforth Press is restoring many of his best works to print, including the novels The Woman of Rome, The Time of Indifference, and Two Women. In the winter of 2000, Steerforth will publish for the first time in English the biographical work, Life of Moravia.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 13, 2012

    A Fine Example of Post-War Italian Literature

    Anyone interested in the psychological side of popular movements, and Fascism especially, should check this out. While not as emotionally wrenching as some of Moravia's other work - like his superb Il Disprezzo - the portrayal of Marcello Clerici is complex and multifaceted, while somehow restraining the reader from feeling even an ounce of sympathy with the protagonist.

    In my view, the book paints a much more interesting character in Clerici than Bertolucci's film adaptation (still well worth the viewing, if only for the best cinematography I've ever seen) and refuses to give the reader anything close to an easy way of getting to grips with the story.

    The book is a challenging read in any language, but this translation is as lucid and crisp as Moravia's prose can be rendered in English. Highly recommended and make sure you don't skip the excellent prologue, which could be a wonderful short story unto itself!

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