Books: Cure for Silvestro

IN SICILY (163 pp.)—Elio Vittorini—New Directions ($2.50).

"If there is any rhetoric or fancy writing that puts you off at the beginning or the end," says Ernest Hemingway in his introductory puff to this novel of Italy in the '30s, "just ram through it." Hemingway is wrong in his warning about where the "rhetoric" is to be found—it comes in the middle, and in cascades—but his advice is still worth taking.

In Sicily is the story of a 29-year-old linotype operator named Silvestro Ferrauto, who is bored to death with himself, his daily routine...

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