Home          Contacts          News archive          ITALIAN

Il sergente nella neve

Il sergente nella neve

Einaudi, 1953.

“The Sergeant in the Snow”, translated by Archibald Colquhoun, The Marlboro Press/Northwestern University Press, 1998

The author defined it his most important book. It is an autobiographical novel that retraces the tragic events of the Russian campaign in the winter between 1942 and 1943. It is divided into two sections: “The Strongpoint,” where he tells about the period on the Don’s banks as Sergeant Major of the Vestone Battalion, and “The Bag,” which tells the terrible retreat of the Alpini until after Nikolajevka. Rigoni Stern began writing the first draft of the novel as a diary in December 1943, during his imprisonment in Lager 1 / B in Masuria, East Prussia, with a pencil stub and improvised sheets of paper, then rolled and tied with a string. Returned to his town a few years later, he read it to his sick friend Giovanni Paganin, who advised him to send it to Elio Vittorini, who in turn supported the publication by Einaudi. With the book, published in 1953, Rigoni Stern (then employed at the Land Registry) won the Premio Viareggio for the first work.


About the Author