Ian Thomson

The woman who invented the Italian resistance

A review of Partisan Diary: A Woman's Life in the Italian Resistance, by Ada Gobetti, translated and edited by Jomarie Alano. This vital historical document was revered by Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino, the Italian arch-fabulist, wrote a foreword to this celebrated wartime diary when it appeared in Italy in 1956. (The author displays an ‘ironic modesty’ and ‘simplicity’ in the writing, Calvino wrote approvingly.) The act of keeping an anti-Fascist diary of this sort during the German occupation carried an automatic death penalty.

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