The illegitimate son of a fortune teller, Ezio Comparoni (1920-52) never knew his father, rarely left his home town, and admitted no one to his home. His deliberate obscurity was compounded by his use of many pseudonyms, including Silvio d'Arzo, under which he wrote the remarkable novella and three stories collected in The House of Others.
The novella "The House of Others" is among the rare perfect works of twentieth century fiction. In a desolate mountain village an old woman visits the parish priest, ostensibly to ask about dissolving a marriage. Gradually, as she probes for information on "special cases"--cases in which what is obviously wrong can also be irrefutably right--it becomes clear her true question is whether or not she might take her own life. The question is metaphysical, involving not only the woman's life but the priest's; and to it he has no answer.
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Published October 15, 1995
by Marlboro Press.
Literature & Fiction.