Fiction Wu Ming 54

ISBN 13: 9780434012947

54

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9780434012947: 54

The year is 1954, the height of the Cold War. The world is divided into East and West. In Naples, Lucky Luciano and his minions are busy fixing horse-races, and overseeing the creation of the global heroin trade. In Hollywood, members of Her Majesty's Secret Service have a bizarre and dangerous mission for Cary Grant. And in Bologna,, a lovelorn young barman, is about to embark on a painful odyssey in search of his missing father. Bringing together all these strands and more is a missing television set, a McGuffin Electric, an appliance with a very special secret-At once a political thriller and a touching romance, 54 has a cast ranging from Italian partisans to KGB agents, from American Mafiosi to Parisian lowlifes, and features appearances by Alfred Hitchcock, Marshal Tito and the Emperor of Indochina. Wu Ming - the collective formerly known as Luther Blissett - have produced another tour-de-force that paints a dazzling picture of a past age while slyly commenting on our own. raise for Q If ever there was a novel that deserved to win prizes, accolades and plaudits, it is Q- A great novel, one that tells us about ourselves and how we came to be here.' Scotland on Sunday Serv

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About the Author:

Wu Ming means 'no name' - and therefore 'anonymous' - in Mandarin Chinese. The five members of the Wu Ming Foundation live in Bologna. Writing as Luther Blissett, their first novel, Q, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Yugoslavian front, spring 1943
 
ITALIAN SOLDIERS!
 
 
The Slovenian people have launched an inexorable struggle against the occupying forces. Many of your comrades have already fallen in that struggle. And you will go on falling day after day, night after night, for as long as you remain tools in the hands of our oppressors, and until Slovenia is liberated.
 
Your leaders will lead you to believe that the Slovenian people love you, that you are being attacked only by ‘tiny numbers of communists.’ This is an insolent lie. All Slovenes are in accord with the struggle against the occupying forces. Under the leadership of the Slovenian National Liberation Committee, our entire people has organised itself into a single invincible liberation front.
 
 
ITALIAN SOLDIERS!
 
 
 Your superiors are concealing from you the desperate situation into which Mussolini has hurled the ‘Italian Empire’ by selling it to Hitler. They are hiding from you the fact that Abyssinia, for which Mussolini spilled so much Italian blood, is no longer in Italian hands. They are hiding from you the impasse that Italian troops face in all of their African colonies. They are hiding from you the losses that Italian troops have suffered in the Balkans, and the fact thatwestern Serbia, Montenegro, most of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Lika, and parts of Dalmatia have already been liberated. They are hiding from you the terrible losses and torments inflicted upon Italian troops by the crushing weight of Russian weapons on the Russian front, and by the unbearable Russian winter. They are hiding from you the chaos that is breaking out in Italian cities as a result of the growing food shortages, the result of continuous bombing by the British Air Force, and the growing discontent of the Italian people with the policies of the warmonger Mussolini, who is plunging Italy into the abyss.
 
 
 
ITALIAN SOLDIERS!
 
  
Understand what the Italian populace at home is coming to understand more and more, that Hitler is pushing you on all fronts: in Africa, in the Balkans, in France and in the USSR, so that you will be unable to form a resistance in your own country when he attacks ‘Allied’ Italy, just as he has attacked ‘Allied Yugoslavia’. Understand what any blind man must understand today, that Italy, as long as it gives allegiance to Germany, will suffer a terrible defeat at sea, on land and in the skies, at the hands of the united forces of Russia, Great Britain and all the freedom-loving peoples of the world.
 
Understand, Italian soldiers, that the only way out for you and for the whole of the Italian people is to turn your weapons against those who have brought both you and us nothing but misfortune, to turn them against Mussolini’s fascist gang! It is vain to claim that you too condemn the bestiality of Hitler and Mussolini, that you too wish to see the end of fascism and the end of the war. You must use your actions to demonstrate your love of freedom and peace, your hatred of the oppressors, both yours and ours. Otherwise what awaits you is ruin, both yours and theirs.
 
 
 
ITALIAN SOLDIERS!
 
The Communist Party of Slovenia appeals to you:
 
Do not carry out your superiors’ orders, do not fire on the Slovenians, do not persecute the partisans, but surrender to them, do not stand in the way of our liberation struggle!
 
Attack and disarm the fascist militia, the agents of OVRA and all those who are forcing you to fight against the Slovenian people.
 
Destroy the Italian armed forces, destroy the stores of weapons and food unless you can give them to the partisans, destroy the means of transport of the Italian army, lorries, motorcycles, horses, roads, railways, etc.!
 
Do not let the Italian armies be posted to the Russian front, to die for the lunatic Hitler and his satellites! Demand to return to your homeland!
 
Desert the Italian army, our people will be glad to help you! Give your weapons and ammunition to the partisans and the Popular Defence.
 
Join the Slovenian partisan units and help them, guns in hand, to bring to an early conclusion the absurd butchery of war, so that you can very soon return to your homes, to your poor abandoned mothers, wives and children, and establish a true sovereignty of the people in your own homeland.
 

Long live the common struggle of all peoples against fascist barbarism!
 
Long live the ussr and its invincible red army, the most powerful defender of freedom and progress!
 
Long live stalin, the leader of the people and workers in all countries!
 
Long live the Communist Party of Yugoslavia! 
Long live stalin, the leader of the people and workers in all countries!
 
Long live the Communist Party of Yugoslavia!
 
Death to fascism – freedom to the people!
 
 
Central Committee of theCommunist Party of Slovenia
 
 
Someone had written ‘SMRT FAŠISMU’in red paint on the peeling wall.
 
The men had been lined up in front of it. 

Their faces were blank. Closed, absent. Like the windows of the village. 

The captain yelled orders at the unit. The Italian soldiers assumed their positions, rifles shouldered. Almost all of them reservists. The officer was the youngest, with a well-trimmed moustache and a grey garrison cap tilted on his forehead.

The condemned men raised their eyes to look their butchers in the face. To be certain that they were men like themselves. They were used to death, even their own, they had grown accustomed to it over thousands of generations. 

On the other side eyes lowered, reflected sensations.  
 
Copyright © 2002 Giulio Einaudi editore s.p.a., Torino
Translation copyright © Shaun Whiteside 2005


The partial or total reproduction of this publication, in electronic form or otherwise, is consented to for noncommercial purposes, provided that the original copyright notice and this notice are included and the publisher and the source and this notice are included and the publisher and the source are clearly acknowledged. Any reproduction or use of all or a portion of this publication in exchange for financial consideration of any kind is prohibited without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Wu Ming
Editore: William Heinemann Ltd (2005)
ISBN 10: 0434012947 ISBN 13: 9780434012947
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Descrizione libro William Heinemann Ltd, 2005. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 434012947

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