All Our Yesterdays by Natalia Ginzburg

By Natalia Ginzburg

All Our Yesterdays is a singular set in Italy from 1939 to 1944. occasions like a family members quarrel or an infidelity tackle an value equivalent to that of the conflict, as though to claim that adultery and air raids will be both harmful.

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Sample text

His pipe had gone out; the mares were wise and more familiar with the road than he himself, and this odd fellow sitting next to him on the spring seat kept persistently silent, as if he were asleep. But he was not asleep, you could see that. No, he was puzzling his gentlemanly head over something! He had a lot of suitcases: he might be a circus artist or a magi­ cian. Or even a Jew, with his merchandise packed in those boxes! Ribbons and combs, or women’s silk scarfs! To break the long silence while they were descending at a slow pace through the Kavadar gorges, Joe Podravec began to talk about himself, about his family and things around him, how things stood with him.

So he had set out, and now he was sitting in the Kaptol cafe, and like the smoke of his cigarette, wisps of weary day­ dreams seemed to float around him— thoughts of the ephemeral quality of human existence in space and time, of the incompre­ hensible extent of life’s reality compared with that flickering phe­ nomenon called the subjective self; and with the trifling, quite insignificant, unreal details outside the subject that constituted the sphere of perception of that subject, which in itself was nothing but a detail in a series of details, and everything only movement and weariness and sadness.

But yet! How many profound secrets were buried in the vulgar words of a Pannonian coachman, amassing spittle under his tongue in disgust and moral contempt! The secrets of a distant and sorrowful childhood, when that word "girls” hovered above one’s childish cares like a mysterious airship which someone had once seen, though no one had the faintest idea where it might come to earth! There behind the hedge stood a rosebush, where the vet’s son Aurel had one afternoon seen one of the "girls” lying naked under a red umbrella.

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