Scent of a Woman by Giovanni Arpino

By Giovanni Arpino

Infantrymen go back and forth throughout Italy on the peak of summer season, passing via Genoa, Rome and Naples. one of many infantrymen is blind, swish, gleefully vicious and wears a prosthetic arm; the opposite, 20 years his junior, is his consultant. yet as those males drink their means via bars, brothels and educate carriages, who's guiding who? in simple terms as they reluctantly method the blind man's vacation spot, and a stifled love affair, does the aim of the journey turn into tragically transparent. the muse for 2 acclaimed motion pictures, odor of a lady is a lyrical exploration of remorse, defiance, and what it fairly ability to work out.

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She laughed tiredly. ‘Here’s your coffee. With this contraption all you get is a cup and a half. ’ ‘I’ll take his in there. If you’re not staying, then leave quickly. And you, Barbara, you’ll be sorry if you move or shout like before. ’ From the doorway she turned, lowering her voice: ‘But he wasn’t wounded in the war, right? Too young. What, then? Well, it doesn’t matter, it’s this lousy world. Why doesn’t he get married? ’ Before getting up I tried waving goodbye, but the child, peeved, slammed the glass door and stared at me from the balcony without waving back.

He’s rich, I’m certainly not. A scrap of widow’s pension, that’s all I have. But him: rich. Not even forty years old. Healthy as a horse. ’ Carefully I crushed out the butt in the little plate she had offered me as an ashtray. ‘Take good care of him during this time, please,’ she added. ‘You must never leave him alone. You know that, don’t you? And be patient, young man, very, very patient. Don’t contradict him, don’t argue for heaven’s sake! Always tell him he’s right, whether he’s making sense or raving.

A woman opened the door, giving us a hard look. Her odour overwhelmed us. ’ she said to me, pointing to the kitchen. Then, raising her voice: ‘Barbara, where are you Barbara? ’ I sat at a table in front of a shiny gas burner. Rays of sunlight struck the kitchen’s metal appliances. I heard a thud from somewhere: it must have been him bumping into some piece of furniture. An eye peered at me from the balcony, then the partial face of a shirtless little girl. She came forward suspiciously, her thin arms clasped tightly behind her back.

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