The Communist by Guido Morselli, with translator Frederika Randall & Edwin Frank
September 19, 2017, 7:00 PM
The Communist, by post-war Italian author Guido Morselli, is a deep and sympathetic portrayal of a man of conviction cast adrift, available in English for the first time. The story is of a labor organizer and Communist Parliamentarian Walter Ferranini, who begins to question his core beliefs after Krushchev’s 1956 denunciation of Stalin. An article he writes expressing his doubts is a scandal, as is his affair with a married woman journalist. Walter is invited for the first time to visit the Soviet Union, and there he finds himself bewildered beyond words. With translator Frederika Randall and Edwin Frank.
Guido Morselli (1912–1973) was a novelist and essayist. Born in Bologna, he earned a law degree, served in the Italian army, and traveled abroad, writing reportage and short stories. After the war he completed eight works of fiction, including Past Conditional, Divertimento 1889, and Roma senza papa (‘Rome sans Pope’), none of them published in his lifetime, as well as a volume on Proust and one on faith and criticism. At 60, discouraged by his failure to find a publisher, he committed suicide. The following year, his novels began to come out to much acclaim.
Frederika Randall is a writer and translator of Italian literature. Her translations include Luigi Meneghello’s Deliver Us, Sergio Luzzatto’s The Body of Il Duce, Padre Pio,and Primo Levi’s Resistance, as well as Ippolito Nievo’s Risorgimento novel Confessions of an Italian. She has been awarded a Bogliasco Fellowship, a PEN/Heim grant, and, along with Sergio Luzzatto, the Cundill Prize. She lives in Rome.