Blogs we like #9

icona_PitigrilliIn a recent post on the NYRB blog (Sept 16) Alexander Stille rescues the novelist Dino Segre (alias Pittigrilli) from oblivion. His Cocaine (1921) charts the life and downfall of a dandy in the world of Italy’s not-so-bright young things of the years between the wars. Segre’s own life as a professional cynic, successful journalist and OVRA spy on his Jewish cousin and friends, is a snapshot of that Italy.

The same place and period is captured from the opposite perspective in Stille’s memoir of his parents (his father was ‘Ugo Stille’ of Corriere della Sera fame, born Mikhail Kamenetzki in Moscow in 1919; his mother Elizabeth Bogert, a Chicago belle from an academic family), the utterly different worlds from which they came, and the improbable durability of their marriage – the memoir is subtitled ‘A Marriage in War and Peace’ which captures the turbulent times they lived through inside and outside their domestic walls.

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