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In Maremma: Life and a House in Southern Tuscany: A Revised and Expanded Edition
 
 
Author
David Leavitt & Mark Mitchell.
Publisher Counterpoint  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8.75 x 5 x 0.5 inches
ISBN 9781582437774
Pages/Publication Date 141/2011
Daedalus Item Code 30008
This item is not available.
Description
Revised and expanded, with color illustrations and photographs, this edition of In Maremma recounts David Leavitt and Mark Mitchell's restoration of a dilapidated 1950s farmhouse in southern Tuscany. Beautifully written, witty, and concise, it recounts the process by which they became initiated into a part of Italian life foreigners rarely see. The pleasures of the olive harvest and picking wild asparagus are juxtaposed with the vagaries of political corruption and self-perpetuating bureaucracy. Landscape and weather provide the stuff of reverie, as do the benefits of boredom and the longing for peanut butter.

"Leavitt and Mitchell (co-editors of The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories) relate their first two years restoring and inhabiting a run-down farmhouse in Maremma, the poorest and (to tourists) least-known province of Tuscany. Each short chapter describes a different aspect of their lives there, from the incredible lengths of red tape involved in obtaining a driver's license (a holdover, according to a local restaurateur, from the fascist government's inclination 'to make private life as difficult as possible, to discourage independent thinking') to 'sheep jams' on the roads, for which local procedure is to drive right into the middle of the herd. The authors find that, in this 'most boring of all European countries ... one grows to love boredom.'... The character sketches generally illustrate the country's leisurely pace, e.g., their architect Domenico, when faced with a problem, suggests that they 'study' it ('"Study," in Italian, is synonymous with "put off"').... The nuanced, sometimes funny depictions of the people of Maremma and the premium placed on quality of life are worthy of authenticity-hungry travelogue readers."Publishers Weekly

 
 
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