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Department 1

Italian Studies


This study adopts a Christian hermeneutic to explore sacred themes in several of the 346 Don Camillo short stories that Giovannino Guareschi wrote between 1946 and 1966. Such a critical approach may seem non-traditional to use in analyzing a post-World War II, twentieth-century author. And yet, Guareschi defies convention in many ways beyond his profession as a journalist, humorist and popular author: he openly opposed the anti-clerical and Marxist literary establishment; defined himself as an anti-intellectual; and, as a layperson, he wrote unromantically about matters of faith. Especially as editor of the immensely popular weekly newspaper Candido, he had the perfect forum to reach millions of readers who shared his Christian values and were not part of the intellectual elite. To be sure, Don Camillo stories delight and earn frequent smiles and giggles, but the narrative action in best of them powerfully echoes Jesus of Nazareth’s call to conversion and forgiveness through the way characters heed their consciences.





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