Publication Date: July 31, 2004
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The novels that the great Italian writer Alberto Moravia wrote in the years following the World War II represent an extraordinary survey of the range of human behavior in a fragmented modern society. Boredom, the story of a failed artist and pampered son of a rich family who becomes dangerously attached to a young model, examines the complex relations between money, sex, and imperiled masculinity. This powerful and disturbing study in the pathology of modern life is one of the masterworks of a writer whom as Anthony Burgess once remarked, was "always trying to get to the bottom of the human imbroglio."
Alberto Moravia (1907-1990), the child of a wealthy family, was raised at home because of illness. He published his first novel,The Time of Indifference, at the age of twenty-three. Banned from publishing under Mussolini, he emerged after World War II as one of the most admired and influential twentieth-century Italian writers. Among his best-known books to have appeared in English are Boredom, The Woman of Rome, The Conformist (the basis for Bernardo Bertolucci’s film), Roman Tales, Contempt (the basis for Jean-Luc Godard’s film), and Two Women.
William Weaver is celebrated for his numerous translations from the Italian, including Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose and novels and stories by Italo Calvino.
“In its moral and artistic economy, [Boredom] is perhaps the most successful of all Moravia’s work. . . .No one has depicted a series of carnal acts, frenzied yet cold in their automatism—nudity, desire and its outlet—with such complete lack of complacence, such impassive truthfulness.”—Nicola Chiaromonte, Partisan Review
“Precise, calculating, decadent and quite brilliant.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Boredom is Moravia’s most succinct exploration of the quiet desperation at the heart of the automated human...one of Moravia’s funniest explorations on the origins of middle-class funk.” —Bill Marx, Boston Review