Edmondo De Amicis – On the Ocean

Our History

More a travel journal than a novel, the book narrates the twenty-two days crossing from Genoa  to Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, achieved by De Amicis in the Spring of 1884. Careful observer of the other eighteen hundred passengers on board of the steamer, the author describes, with profound perception and a large amount of details, the microcosm born by the forced cohabitation; soon faces and stories emerge from the crowd, now described with irony now with sincere emotion. But the real protagonist is the migrant Italy, portrayed in her most vulnerable moment: suspended between the pain of separation and the hope of a new beginning.
A book that could have been pathetic, but that is rather pleasant and flowing, sometimes genuinely funny. Especially a piece of our national history that, today, we should remember more often.

Translation by the author (edited by Sara Di Girolamo)

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Silvia Littardi
Silvia Littardi never listens to common sense in taking her choices. That’s why she enrolled in Modern Literature. She got a nice bachelor’s degree and then a beautiful master’s degree in literature, theater and movie arts. All in all, she spent a quarter of a century studying, reading books and comics and watching all the movies she could. To cut a long story short, she hasn't done anything good yet, but she's happy all the same, because she was so lucky to do only what she liked to. Now the poor simple girl hopes to continue like this for all her life. Perhaps she might well come to her senses again, and begin to face the hard reality, but whenever she loses her faith the human beings surprise her with kind and unexpected answers. So she begins to write again.