Books: Into the Valley

THE BURNING BRAND (368 pp.)—Cesore Pavese—Walker ($7.50).

THE HOUSE ON THE HILL (192 pp.)—Cesore Pavese—Walker ($3.95).

At his death in 1950, Italy's Cesare Pavese was a novelist ranked by his countrymen with Elio Vittorini and Alberto Moravia. He was also a highly respected poet and the foremost interpreter and translator of American literature in Italy. Ironically, he is little known in the U.S., perhaps because he wrote a poet's kind of novel (The Moon and the Bonfires) whose language faded in translations.

The Burning Brand, the journal Pavese kept from 1935-50. may well bring his novels into vogue. It is a haunting book, at...

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