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  • His best work . . . among the most powerful passages in 20th-century Italian fiction. The drama of the book lies in the son's extremely aggressive behaviour towards his mother, prompted by her relaxed openness to the world . . . Gadda's achievement in evoking a chaotic world is simultaneously a declaration of his disinclination and perhaps inability to enter into a direct relationship with it.

    Tim Parks, London Review of Books
  • Gadda was brought up in and belongs to a time in which it proved impossible to view the world as a whole - a magma of disorder, corruption, hypocrisy, stupidity, injustice - from the vantage of hope . . . His anguish is without remedy; his style obsessive and tragically mixed.

    Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Visceral . . . superabundant . . . comedy, humour, grotesque metamorphosis are natural means of expression for this man whose life was always unhappy, tormented by neurosis, by the difficulty of relations with others, by the anguish of death

    Italo Calvino

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