The Dark Heart of Italy

The Dark Heart of Italy

Book - 2004
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In 1999 Tobias Jones immigrated to Italy, expecting to discover the pastoral bliss described by centuries of foreign visitors. Instead, he found a very different country: one besieged by unfathomable terrorism and deep-seated paranoia. The Dark Heart of Italy is Jones's account of his four-year voyage across the Italian peninsula. Jones writes not just about Italy's art, climate, and cuisine but also about the much livelier and stranger sides of the Bel Paese: the language, soccer, Catholicism, cinema, television, and terrorism. Why, he wonders, does the parliament need a "slaughter commission"? Why do bombs still explode every time politics start getting serious? Why does everyone urge him to go home as soon as possible, saying that Italy is a "brothel"? Most of all, why does one man, Silvio Berlusconi-in the words of a famous song-appear to own everything from Padre Nostro (Our Father) to Cosa Nostra (the Mafia)? The Italy that emerges from Jones's travels is a country scarred by civil wars and "illustrious corpses"; a country that is proudly visual rather than verbal, based on aesthetics rather than ethics; a country where crime is hardly ever followed by punishment; a place of incredible illusionism, where it is impossible to distinguish fantasy from reality and fact from fiction.
Publisher: New York : North Point Press, 2004.
ISBN: 9780865477001
Branch Call Number: 945.093 Jon
Characteristics: 314 p. ; 22 cm.


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Aug 30, 2011

“This is a terrible country and Berlusconi is a tragedy for Italy. It’s all an unbelievable tragedy. Italians are coglioni [pillocks] who elect the first person that they think will make them richer. Berlusconi only speaks to the pancia [the belly]. But you mustn’t laugh about anything anymore. You must write that there’s another side to Italy.” (page 230)


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