Inspired by the author's own arrest and imprisonment in Calabria for his writings in the anti-fascist magazine, La Cultura, the title novella describes the day-to-day life of Stefano, an anti-fascist who has served a prison sentence and is banished to a remote southern Italian seaside resort where he awaits an official pardon. The monotony, grimness, and sensuality of life in the village is depicted through the eyes of a man who realizes his habits have been broken. When the summer ends, Stefano can no longer kill the days by swimming and lying on the seashore. His life is empty, relationships seem pointless, and he begins to take refuge in his dreams. The second novella, The Beautiful Summer, is a tale of corruption and maturity based in a colony of inferior artists and their models in Turin. When a 14-year-old Ginia falls in love with one of the artists from this group, she gradually comes to comprehend not the glamor but the futility and callousness of so-called bohemian "freedom."
About the Author
Cesare Pavese was the author of Among Women Only, The Devil in the Hills, and The Moon and the Bonfire.