Books: Vita Without the Dolce

THE SELECTED WORKS OF CESARE PAVESE translated by R. W. Flint. 390 pages. Farrar, Straus & G/roux. $6.95.

Cesare Pavese, who died a suicide at 42 in 1950, was probably Italy's most honored postwar writer, though he remains virtually unknown to U.S. readers. This collection of four novels ought to redress that situation. The translation is fluent, and each work bears the distinctive Pavesean coat of arms.

Autobiography is everywhere apparent. The fumbling, hesitant lover, the suicide-bent pessimist, the intellectual incapable of action, the Piedmontese boy who even in the city never loses...

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