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Date:9/2/2014 2:21:00 AM
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Sources, Part V
My final posts on literary sources that would appeal to a Countryman or Woman has to do with an Italian writer that you've probably never heard of. Giovanni Guareschi (1908 - 1968) was a man who could be called a reactionary by his enemies or a traditionalist by his supporters. While his fiercely traditional (yet sympathetic) Catholic views appeal to someone like me, Guareschi's devotion to rural people and their lives would appeal to any Countryman.

Guareschi celebrated the life and people of the Po Valley in northern Italy. He, while a lettered journalist, was still an Old World Countryman. His "Little World" books, set in the Po Valley, state in the preface: "People born near the Po river have heads as hard as pig iron, a highly developed sense of humor, and where politics is concerned they can get as excited as a man who has swallowed a mouse."

Guareschi goes on to say: "They are very attached to their slice of land and in spite of floods and fog, the fierce summer heat, and damp winter cold, they admit that, after all, God knew his business when He made the Little World."

Guareschi's "Little World" books has as the protagonist the extremely large and strong Don Camillo, a "simple country priest" who combats the local Communists, especially the village mayor, the almost equally large and strong "Peppone" who, despite his political leanings, is repeatedly proved to be a good and honest man, and Don Camillo's best friend. The books are set and published during the post WWII years in northern Italy. If one doesn't know the history of that time and place it is a little hard to appreciate the environment. Suffice to say, Italy was an unsettled country at that time with a number of political factions, but it is basically the same struggle as throughout all our Christian history; it is the conflict between faith and atheism. In my next post, I will relate my favorite "Little World" story of Don Camillo. --Gary
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