The Javelin Thrower
Translated by Rimli Bhattacharya
5 x 8 inches, 288pp. June 2018
ISBN : 9780857425393
Rs 599.00 (HB)
As a boy growing up in rural Italy in the 1930s, Damìn is experiencing the first stirrings of adolescence when he accidentally sees his mother having sex with the local Fascist commandant. His pain, anger and confusion are uncomfortably intertwined with a compulsion to watch them, which becomes an obsession.
Isolating himself from anyone who might help him understand what he’s feeling, he channels his fury into his javelin, getting better and better until he is a local champion. But his success is fleeting, as wholly confused and caught up in his own anger, he ends up betraying and humiliating his friends. The Javelin Thrower is the story of an erotic education turned tragic, poisoned by the darkness running through Mussolini’s Italy.
Paolo Volponi was one of Italy's leading novelists and poets during the second half of the twentieth century, whose writings were profoundly influenced by the impact of social and industrial change on ordinary life. He is the only author to have won the prestigious Strega Prize twice.
Rimli Bhattacharya is professor of gender studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta.