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Tales of trouble and toil: an intertextual reading of Giovannin Bongee, Tevye the Dairyman and Tino Faussone

Mirna Cicioni


In a 1979 interview following the publication of La chiave a stella, Primo Levi said that the stories were partly inspired by the poetic monologues "Desgrazzi de Giovannin Bongee" and "Olter desgrazzi de Giovannin Bongee" written in Milanese dialect in 1812 and 1813-14 by Carlo Porta, and by the stories about Tevye der milchiger, Tevye the Dairyman, written in Yiddish between 1896 and 1914 by the Ukrainian writer Sholem Aleichem. The three texts are connected in an intertextual dialogue, echoes of which can be detected in La chiave a stella.

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Spunti e Ricerche. Rivista d'italianistica.
ISSN (Print): 0816-5432.
ISSN (Electronic): 2200-8942.