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Stevie Wonder’s Inner Visions album and I Malavoglia: the House by the Medlar Tree Giovanni Verga.

I Malavoglia (the House by the Medlar Tree), by Giovanni Verga

Malavoglia is one of the great landmarks of Italian Literature. It is so rich in character, emotion and texture that it lives forever in the imagination of all who read it. 'Written in 1881 and set in the Sicilian village of Aci Trezza in the 1860s, Verga's novel charts the failing fortunes of the Malavoglia, a family of fisherfolk who are living through a period of political change following the country's annexation to Italy. The Malavoglias' inexorable slide is triggered by the decision of Padron 'Ntoni to buy a cargo of lupins on credit after a bad year of business, only to lose the precious cargo in a storm at sea. The repayment of this debt leads to the loss of the family home, and all subsequent efforts to reclaim it are doomed.The old values are dying and it is largely due to young 'Ntoni,exposed to the outside world during naval service and ever more dissatisfied by the life endured by the rest of Aci Trezza's charmingly loquacious inhabitants, that the family fortunes are never restored. A tragic 'account of the sort of disquiet visited upon a family ...by the vague desire for the unknown',their struggle for survuval is depicted by Verga with stark honesty.'