Books for Italian Dummies #3

America with Oriana Fallaci I

The Seven Sins of Hollywood preface by Orson Welles (I sette peccati di Hollywood, Milano, Longanesi, 1958).

As a young journalist in a sexist Country, Oriana Fallaci was forced to write about “women stuff” such as fashion and show business reporter. But suddenly she become a personality, her interviews to Holliwood stars become much more than gossip. I sette peccati di Hollywood, ‘The Seven Sins of Hollywood’, is the result of Fallaci’s journalistic writing activiti in the 50s. It is not a book on the United States, it’s about Hollywood, but the narration of Hollywood fabulous lives comes with a several snapshots of American life in the 50s.

After the prelude on Marylin Monroe’s myth, the first chapter provides a disenchanted portrayal of Hollywood stars, in a typical Fallaci style. The first picture shows American roads, and the complicated relationship between Americans and their cars. Terms and concepts like freeway, 100 km/h, drive through, were science fiction for 1950s Italy, but Fallaci’s observations are extremely accurate, she is able to identify cultural differences and social categories that are still there now, 50 years later. Chapter two tells about cemetery lots for sale, garden-like cemeteries, grave lots like parking lots, or apartments for Eternity, celebrites’ names written in concrete like the names of deceased on headstones. “This mania to turn life and dead in a show”. Fallaci’s writing keeps you glued to the page, if you want to learn more on America through Italian eyes, this will be an interesting reading.

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