Carlo Levi () was born in Turin, Italy. He was a writer, journalist, artist, and doctor, whose first documentary novel, Christ Stopped at Eboli (). It was to Lucania, a desolate land in southern Italy, that Carlo Levi—a doctor, painter, philosopher, and man of letters—was confined as a political prisoner. ‘We’re not Christians, Christ stopped short of here, at Eboli.’ Exiled to a remote and barren corner of Italy for his opposition to Mussolini, Carlo.

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We’re not Christians,” they say. You need a comfortable place with a room to receive your patients. With his lawyer-brother he owned extensive tracts of land around Grassano, Tricarico, Grottole, and many other townships of the Matera region, and he went about on a motorcycle to collect from his agents the money yielded by the sale of the crops and to press the peas- ants for the payment of their debts, qt which they con- tracted in order to get through the year, but which amounted to far more than their yearly earnings and which piled up until no season was favorable enough to liquidate them.

He sees good people being exploited by whoever has money and power, and he says that the state should be a state for the farmers as well. Adding to this is the fact that this novel or memoir was actually written as a protest to Benito “Il Duce” Mussolini’s government. Already I had seen in their faces how deep and violent these were; they were at the same time paltry and intense, like the motives of a Greek tragedy.

The humiliated sinner enrolled as a volunteer with the idea that in this cnrist he might expiate his sins, Reconcile him- self with his wife when he came back, and meanwhile obtain the pay of a captain, which was considerably higher than his salary as a schoolteacher.

In a little while he was dead.

Near the end of his stay Levi takes a trip to the north to attend a funeral. It was dusk when at last I managed to escape from the vacuous stammering of the doctor, the enthusiastic squeals of his daughters, the grunts of Don Pasquale, and Donna Caterina’s hinting smiles.

And Baron Colle- fusco, the great landowner and proprietor of the palace in the main square, who is he? There were a few trees and a spot of green by the way where we had come in, and this very soften- ing of character was displeasing to me.


Some half-naked, ragged chil- dren were chasing it; among them a four-year-old girl wear- ing the habit, wimple, and veil of a nun, and a five-year-old boy in the cowl and cord of a monk. Because I was not yet used to their dress a poor sort of costume in no way equal to the famous varieties worn at Pietragalla and Pisticci they seemed to me all alike, with their faces framed by a veil folded several times and falling over their shoulders, plain cotton blouses, wide, dark bell-shaped skirts that went halfway down their legs, and high boots.

Or perhaps he went instead to the beautiful maffiosa, the woman bandit from Sicily, who lived in forced residence in the house behind the midwife’s. They lacked basic goods because there were no shops in the village. Prior to a city council election, the collapse of a building leaves a land developer and his political backers defending themselves against a scandal. I took leave of Don Trajella and made my way along the road running to the left of the church, by which I had traveled the day before, toward a few outlying houses at the extremity of the village.

It is a local custom for parents, in fulfilment of a vow, to dress them thus, In a miniature of religious garb or like the princelings painted by Velasquez. Beautiful account because of the glorious writing. In this way they chtist us all through either 28 hope or fear in the palm of their hands.

Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year

They were stocky and plump, as dark-skinned as coal sacks, with short, curly, flying black chrish, fiery black eyes,- and black hairs above their full lips and on their continually moving arms and legs. Her position was midway between that of the peasants and that of the gentry; she displayed the poverty of the one eboi and the good manners of stoppde other. The druggist held fire, unwilling to hit the in- nocent child, but when he saw cnrist the eholi was going to stay, he had to make up his mind.

Suddenly from a house across the way appeared another young man, tall, dark, and very handsome, with chrust pale, melancholy face, and dressed in a well-tailored gray suit. Yes No Report this. I sat in the kitchen gazing at the random flight of the flies, the only token of life in the motionless silence of the dog days. I sat alone at the table in front of the heavy hand-woven linen cloth, but the room was not empty.

And there’s no way of getting them to pay a penny from the yield of their miserable fields. This is the memoir of his life as a political prisoner under house arrest in a malaria-ridden village in Lucania Basilicata. You can feel quite at home here. He wore high boots, checked riding breeches, and a short jacket, and his hands were toying with a small whip. And in a big city a man makes enemies. He understands that the peasants are part of their own problem, and that like all humans they operate out of a complex set of motivations.


I was to live there chfist years, a time bordering on infinity. I had been only a short time in the widow’s kitchen and had just begun to question her about the village when there was a knock at the door and a group of peasants asked timidly if they might stppped in.

I had been meaning to read this book ever since I read Paul Theroux’s The Pillars of Hercules about twenty years ago, where Theroux described his visit to the village where Levi had been exiled, and which Levi had memorialized in Christ Stopped At Eboli.

And then, perhaps out of vanity, it seemed to me inappropriate that the place where I was condemned to live should not appear shut in, but spread out and almost welcoming. The house was near at hand.

Full text of “Christ Stopped At Eboli The Story Of A Year”

Finally Stopled sent them away with a few words of advice and followed them out of the dark house into the dazzling morning sunlight. Paperbackpages.

The window was closed in order to keep out the mosquitoes but I had hardly laid my head on the pillow when I heard them hissing on every side, a frighten- ing sound in this malarial country.

But it doesn’t matter. One fine day they held a meeting to plan a future course of action. Lieutenant Decunto’s stories were repeated to me, with a quite different emphasis, hy members of the faction in power. Barone drew back, growling and curling his lips, his hair standing on end in a sort of strange horror.

These bits of information were furnished me by P. In those days there were no houses opposite the palace, only a tall oak tree at the edge of a field. August Learn how and when to remove this template message.

Christ Stopped at Eboli film. One working bathroom in the town stood as a retreat for animals rather than people.