Contempt is a brilliant and unsettling work by one of the revolutionary masters of modern European literature. All the qualities for which Alberto Moravia is justly famous—his cool clarity of expression, his exacting attention to psychological complexity and social pretension, his still-striking openness about sex—are evident in this story of a failing marriage. Contempt (which was to inspire Jean-Luc Godard’s no-less-celebrated film) is an unflinching examination of desperation and self-deception in the emotional vacuum of modern consumer society.Review Quotes
"Rich in substance and resonant with meaning…a rare achievement." —The New York Times
"Moravia remains one of the twentieth century’s smoothest and most entertaining poets of paralysis, of the genial ennui generated by the triumph of materialism over humane values…his novels offer a bracing counterpoint to today’s soft-hearted and -headed fiction." — Boston Review
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.
Tim Parks, a novelist, essayist, and translator, is Associate Professor of Literature and Translation at IULM University in Milan. His latest book is Teach Us to Sit Still: A Skeptic’s Search for Health and Healing. A new novel, The Server, will be published in 2012.
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