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Storia di Tönle

Storia di Tönle  - L'anno della vittoria

Einaudi, 1978

“The story of Tönle”, translated by John Shepley, The Marlboro Press/Northwestern University Press, 1998

It is the story of a man of the border, between different places and ages, and of his territory that changes under the weight of History. Shepherd, farmer and smuggler, forced into a life as a fugitive because of a clash with a policeman, his surname “Bintarn” indicates, in Cimbrian, his return home every winter, after long wanderings in the countries of the Habsburg Empire.

Inspired by the stories of his friends and his mother, the novel is set between the second half of the 19th century, of which the author provides precise and vivid reconstructions of the environment, and the First World War, of which the old hero tastes the destructive force on people, communities and territory. Indomitable, Tönle however pursues its lonely and exemplary battle for survival, freedom and land, which, like the author, he never abandoned. Written in the snowy winter of 1978, and dedicated to his friend, just passed away, Gigi Ghirotti, Rigoni Stern considered this his best book, and thanks to it he won the Bagutta and Campiello awards.


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