Literacy week, month, whatever — Book 3

I don’t follow a lot of what goes on, so when I got tagged for a Literacy Month challenge, I thought nothing of it, rolled up my make-believe sleeves, and responded to the challenge. Except, Literacy Month is November.

. . . you can’t trust anyone these days . . .

So I’m supposed to “. . . post seven books I love; one book per day, no exceptions, no reviews – just covers . . .” which I’m doing on Facebook.

But, the first three books are all in Italian. So, I figure I should expand a bit on them here, on the blog.

And, speaking of literacy, how about reading and voting on the three “C” stories recently published on this blog? You can vote for them HERE as well as find links to them so that — you know — you can read them before you vote.

Anyway, the third of the three Italian books is one I read — I’ve no idea when.

Above is the photo of my Italian-language version of the book Pioneers Go Home!, a satirical book by Richard Powell, published in 1959. I’m assuming the Italian version is from somewhere between then and 1966. If I were to guess, I’d say I read the book sometimes after I came to the US as I’m pretty sure my mother read it before I did.

From the linked Wikipedia page, here’s the blurb:

“The novel follows a New Jersey family, The Kwimpers, who move to Columbiana, a fictional state that resembles Florida, and squat on the side of a highway where a new bridge is being built, outraging local officials.”

Apparently, it’s based on something that actually happened in Florida. I don’t mean the story, but the premise of people squatting on a newly-formed piece of land and eventually winning deeds for that land.

The movie was adapted into a movie (Follow That Dream) starring Elvis Presley . . . which, of course, made it a musical. Some might have liked the movie . . . but my guess is that anyone who had read the book probably thought the movie sucked. I know I did, and so did my mother.

You can click on the link for the movie and read all bout it, but for me, it’s equivalent to the Matrix sequels and the Star Wars prequels . . . the movie don’t exist.

The publisher had this blurb about the novel (again, from Wikipedia):

“It’s possible that some readers may see woven into this comedy the theme of Little Man versus Big Government. They may also find it a study of the classic pioneering spirit and of its chances of survival in America today.”

We all know the pioneering spirit has long ago died out to be replaced by . . . well, I don’t know what, but it ain’t “pioneering” nor is it “spirit”.

This is a book you can read in English (it’s published language) . . . but, again, I think the Italian translation is much better and funnier, and I think it has to do with the language flow, diction, etc.

The “battute”  score better and more often than in the English version. (“Battute” translates into “jokes” but for me, the meaning of the word is more than “jokes”; it’s an amalgamation of humor/jokes/punchlines.)

One possible contributor is that the English version dialogues are written as a dialect, versus the Italian language which relies on the words and sentence structure to deliver its humor. Perhaps I’ll do a post about the use of dialects and accents in fiction and why I dislike it.

Disclosure: I’m currently having a discussion about this with a friend who holds a different opinion, the poor misguided sod.

Anyway, this and the previously-mentioned Cocco Bill, and a few other literary gems, likely helped in my then developing sense of humor.

While I downplayed the English version, I think it’s still worth reading for the plot and humor. But, if you read Italian, perhaps give that version a try. You might like it better (I did).

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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4 Responses to Literacy week, month, whatever — Book 3

  1. I am REALLY enjoying reading about these books you are sharing! And I’m always interested in book covers!
    HUGS to you and Melisa!


  2. AnnMarie says:

    Mother and I have to concur that “Vacanze Matte” still ranks high on the best books list! I read this book only once, and that was after I saw the Elvis movie. The book is supremely better (too bad I spoiled the reading effect by “seeing” the movie actors instead of my imagined persons).


    • disperser says:

      Yes; totally different visualization and perhaps why mother and I didn’t like the movie as much. That, and the singing.

      I also think Presley didn’t have the acting range to project the character’s internal reasoning process that’s in the book.

      Liked by 1 person

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