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[Illustrated Manuscript]: Le Meravigliose Avventure Dei Brim. Two volumes. [The Wonderful Adventures of "The Brim"]
[Levada, Italy]. (1944-1946). First. Two volumes. Oblong folios. Measuring 16.5" x 11.5". Quarter cloth and color-patterned paper over boards, gilt-stamped cloth label on each of the front covers, cord ties. A bit of rubbing to the extremities, near fine. A magnificent Second World War manuscript written by an Italian partisan and illustrated with 66 watercolor paintings. The two-volume set, each dated 1944 on the cover, contains thick-paper leaves with 68 typed sheets laid down on the versos and 66 paintings laid down on the facing rectos. The author identifies himself only as "Zio Vettor" (Uncle Vettor) in a two-page Signed preamble to the work dated March, 1946 that is addressed to "Caro piccolo Vettor" (My dear little Vettor). The paintings that follow are clearly the work of an accomplished artist, whom we presume to be the same person, but cannot say for sure. A few of the illustrations are signed in the corner "Anna V. Croce," suggesting either a collaborative effort or an attempt to disguise the gender of the books' creator. The 1946 preamble makes it clear that the narrative and paintings date from the author's experience as a partisan during the war: "when the Italian countryside was a battlefield and devastated by civil war," and that he wishes his little Vettor to know something of the "calamitous episodes of that time ... in which you will encounter great and vile persons, patriots and profiteers, innocent martyrs and the guilty who act with impunity ... in short, you will see all the tragic consequences of the fratricidal civil war." The paintings follow this narrative with images of raids by the fascist government, people held at gunpoint in their homes, arrests and interrogations by government forces, night raids by masked rebels burning trains, a boat being strafed by an airplane, and roof-top chase and execution of a spy.The narrator notes that he relates these episodes by way of allegory which explains the first part of the title: Le Meravigliose Avventure (Wonderful Adventures). Of the Brim he says "you, upon reading the title, will wonder "Who were these Brim? -- and explains that this was a pseudonym chosen by us, the partisans of the area ... and that the word is derived from the letters of two words: "rebels" (later called partisans) and "bandits" of which, in the great chaos of that time in Italy, there were many who had infiltrated our ranks. Our woeful rendering of Vettor's Italian into English does an injustice to this remarkable illustrated manuscript. A magnificent narrative of life in Italy during the War. .
      [Bookseller: Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABA]
Last Found On: 2015-11-20           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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