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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Christ Stopped at Eboli (1945) by Carlo Levi

Christ Stopped at Eboli is a memoir of the author who was exiled in this remote region of Italy in the period before World War II

Book Review
Christ Stopped at Eboli (1945)
by Carlo Levi

  I bought Christ Stopped at Eboli on my Kindle months ago and there it has sat, waiting for the inspiration of a vacation to give the impetus to finish.  Christ Stopped is a memoir about the author's time in internal exile in this remote region in Southern Italy.   Compared to the horrors that would engulf Italy and the rest of Europe during World War II, Levi's bucolic existence in Eboli seems less like a prison sentence and more like a rural idyll.

  Modern readers will be most interested in Levi's description of southern Italian rural life prior to World War II.  He describes a mixed bag of characters: peasants, rural land owners, other exiled intellectuals/dissenters.   As a medical doctor, Levi has ample opportunity to get deeply involved in the lives of those around him and this experience produces a quiet, enjoyable read.

  There isn't much in the way of "action" in Christ Stopped at Eboli.  The terms of Levi's exile prohibit him from leaving the immediate environs of the small village he has been sent to, so almost of all of what happens happens inside the small village.  There is no romantic involvement, and Levi remains a spectator from beginning to end.

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