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"Fear in the World" by Corrado Alvaro | Book presentation with translator Allan Cameron



Eleven years before the publication of Orwell’s 1984, a very similar work was published in Italy under the constraints imposed by the Fascist censor. That book was Fear in the World or L’uomo è forte (Man Is Strong) to give it the name imposed on the author. The title is important, because the dominant theme is the use of fear for political ends, something that was happening across the world at the time. Alvaro’s anti-Soviet dystopia is not only innovative in its socio-political content but also in its style and narrative technique, and it has perhaps been a little neglected because of the timing of its publication just before the war.

Like 1984, there is a rather awkward love story at its centre, and the lover betrays the protagonist. There is an interrogator who is in no hurry catch his prey, because he knows that the prey cannot escape. In both books the protagonist initially is far from being a rebel; in fact their principal desire is to conform, but something indeterminate in their natures pushes them into isolation. And then there is a numbered room! No. 3 in this book. However flawed the principal characters in may be, their flaws are typical of human beings; it is the times that intensify and exacerbate them, but the endings of the two novels differ: in Alvaro’s the protagonist survives to fight another day in the strangest of circumstances. 

Allan Cameron has translated twenty-six books from Italian into English, which include fiction and non-fiction works by such authors as Norberto Bobbio, Piero Camporesi, Romano Prodi, Raffaella Sarti, Salvatore Settis, Eric Hobsbawm, Alessandro Barbero and Ermanno Cavazzoni. He is also a publisher based in Glasgow since 2008 and the author of nine books including his novels, The Golden Menagerie (2004), The Berlusconi Bonus (2005) and Cinico (2017). 

Translator Allan Cameron will be in conversation with Professor Davide Messina (Italian Studies, University of Edinburgh). 



Date: Thursday, February 24, 2022

Time: From 6:00 pm To 7:00 pm

Organized by : Italian Institute of Culture - Edinburgh

Entrance : Free



Italian Institute of Culture, 82 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9EW