Often Petty, Definitely Bourgeois – Review

A review of The Year of Our Love (Other Press, 2021) by Caterina Bonvicini and tr. Anthony Shugaar

The disaffected, Gatsby-esque way in which the characters relate to their lives, with the bubbling historical waters at times rising, at times receding around them, seems to be an intrinsic part of their voices. The story is mostly told through Valerio’s perspective, though the timing of the telling is unclear; if it is a stylistic choice to flatten the tone – Valerio sounds exactly the same, and jarringly formal at that, across the entire forty years of narration, which would be justified if this were a present-day narration of past events – while keeping a register that swings between didactically formal and clumsily regional, it is one that perhaps could have been avoided in Shugaar’s translation.

Full review on Reading in Translation.

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