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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Alberto Moravia and his novel " The Empty Canvas" is my Favorite



Alberto Moravia who died in 1990, is Italy’s greatest writer of the 20th century. I have read many of his books but nothing beats his ‘The Empty Canvas’ a novel that is considered one of the 100 great books of the 20th century. The novel was written in 1963 and also made into a movie.

The book is one of the explicit sexual statements of Alberto Moravia. It relates the story of a small time painter named Dino who is infatuated with a beautiful young model named Cecilia. However though Cecilia has sex with Dino she also shares her body with another lover an actor named Luciani.

The old painter Dino is unhappy at this and proposes marriage which she rejects. He plans to seduce her by taking her to his mansion which is owned by his mother. However the girl continues giving sexual favors to Luciani. A distraught Dino bangs his car against the wall and is injured. When he is in hospital he realizes that the affair must stop and despite Cecilia wanting the affair to continue he sends her packing.

Perhaps Alberto Moravia brought in his personal experience in this book as it was the period he left his wife and began to live with another woman.
The novel is among Moravia’s finest work and even after 50 years its worth a read. Originally published in Italian as La Noia, the translated version of the book is freely available. Moravia wrote many other books that have a charm of their own. Notable are " the women of Rome"  " Two Women" and "Time of Indifference"