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Agnese Goes to Her Death/L'agnese Va a Morire (Part II FICTIONAL Narratives) (Excerpt)

Annali d'Italianistica 2007, Annual, 25

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(The story begins in September of 1943, soon after Badoglio's radio address has confirmed Italy's surrender to the Allies and the dissolution of the pact with Germany. The Italian army, left to its own devices, is in chaos. Thousands of soldiers, abandoned by their commanders and confused about the current state of political affairs, decide to return home. The German army occupies Italy and with the assistance of Mussolini's repubblichini wages a bitter and cruel war against the Italian population. Agnese, an uneducated, peasant woman, is married to Palita, a Communist and anti-Fascist, a man of considerable knowledge and intellect, yet physically weak. Agnese takes care of her husband and supports the family by doing laundry for the entire village. She is about fifty years old, fat and unattractive, but Palita remembers vividly the old days when he would ride miles on his bicycle to make love to her. Now the sexual appeal is gone and Agnese assumes the role of Palita's mother, taking care of him as if he were a baby. Palita and Agnese offer shelter to a disbanded Italian soldier. The day after the soldier's departure, Germans take Palita away to an unknown destination. Agnese, prostrated in her grief since she is sure that he will not survive the hardships of deportation, dedicates all her energy and money to the partisan cause, working for them as a courier.) In winter, postcards from people deported to Germany began arriving in the village. They all looked the same: a lot of space for the addresses of the sender and addressee; all kinds of stamps, seals, and other symbols of the Reich's greatness; and only a few lines left for writing. For the families of deportees, however, every mail delivery was a cause for tearful joy. The name, written by "him," meant that he was alive. Although he was taken to a place so far away and it was difficult to imagine him locked up in a concentration camp, he was alive. The postcards were dated a month earlier; in that month who knows what could have happened but nobody even thought about that. Women wept as they kissed them and put them up in their kitchen cupboards, right behind the framed glass doors. In this way they could look at them whenever they wanted. The postcards emanated a feeling of presence.

Agnese Goes to Her Death/L'agnese Va a Morire (Part II FICTIONAL Narratives) (Excerpt)
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  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Published: 01 January 2007
  • Publisher: Annali d'Italianistica, Inc.
  • Print Length: 46 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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