2013, English, Book edition: Alfonso / Félix Calvino. Calvino, Félix, (author.)

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Alfonso / Félix Calvino
 
Bookmark: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/206732794
Physical Description
  • 117 pages ; 24 cm.
Published
  • North Melbourne, Vic. Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2013.
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Alfonso /​ Félix Calvino.
Author
  • Calvino, Félix, (author.)
Published
  • North Melbourne, Vic. Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2013.
Copyright
  • ©2013
Content Types
  • text
Carrier Types
  • volume
Physical Description
  • 117 pages ; 24 cm.
Series
Subjects
Summary
  • Alfonso is a gentle yet searching exploration of a Spanish migrant's feelings and experiences in the country Australia used to be more than forty years ago. Felix Calvino infuses the stuff of everyday life with tenderness and magic. He recovers a lost time and sensibility. The past shimmers back to life.
Language
  • English
ISBN
  • 9781925003208
Dewey Number
  • 823.92
Libraries Australia ID
Contributed by
Libraries Australia

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City of Gold Coast Libraries. Open to the public (Sirsi) i; held Book English
National Library of Australia. Open to the public 6448604; N 2014-1917 Book English
State Library of Victoria. Open to the public 2833582; LD held Book English
The University of Melbourne. The University Library. Open to the public Book English
University of Queensland. University of Queensland Library. Open to the public .b33431279; fy PR8286.A439 A44 2013 Book English
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Brisbane City Council Library Service. Open to the public Book English
City of Gold Coast Libraries. Open to the public (Sirsi) i; held Book English
University of Queensland. University of Queensland Library. Open to the public .b33431279; fy PR8286.A439 A44 2013 Book English
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State Library of Victoria. Open to the public 2833582; LD held Book English
The University of Melbourne. The University Library. Open to the public Book English
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public:espanol
2014-10-22 18:33:32.0

Alfonso I Reviews

Félix Calvino’s short novel tells the story of a young man who moves to Australia to escape Franco’s Spain. The strange thing about the book (given that its author has spent so long in Australia) is how unlike contemporary Australian literature it is. David Malouf has championed Calvino, but then there has always been something essentially Mediterranean about the author of Ransom. Flaubert was uncompromising in his belief that the author’s opinions and even ideas should remain absent from a work of literary art. If the French master thought the novel of ideas was a degraded thing, what would he have thought of the Australian ‘novel of issues’, the books (we all know them) that might have been written off the back of an episode of Q&A. Alfonso bolsters no Australian cultural myths, nor does it succumb to the equally tiresome genre that is ‘myth debunking’.

Calvino never reveals himself to be so much a writer of foreign sensibilities as in his concern with Australia rather than Australianness. Alfonso is a work of art rather than of ideology. Its subjects are homelessness and belonging, love and estrangement. The lines with which Calvino sketches his habitually, even wilfully lonely immigrant man and his Australian romantic interest, Nancy, are as broad and hard as those in Goya’s etchings, yet there is a quiet quality about the book, and in the spaces between the words you feel the presence of deep running waters. Says the principal character, ‘Beyond the plane was the universe itself, nicely lit by uncountable stars for which, like his feelings, he had no names.’

Calvino’s book paints rather than explains. It has nothing to instruct you in. Like all true art, it invites you into an experience, one well worthwhile.

Patrick Holland

Afonso - Australian Book Review
https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-online/current-issue/116-may-2014-no-361/1963-afonso

Alfonso - Review I Repetto
October 6, 2014



Leonardo da Vinci said, ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’. Félix Calvino’s poignant first novella Alfonso, published in December, proves that beauty and sophistication are born of simplicity; beneath the surface of its apparently simple, gentle narrative lies a depth of honesty, tenderness and wisdom that resonates with the heart and ensures the tale's echoes will be felt long after turning the last page.
Set in the 1960s, Alfonso is the story of a young man who flees his impoverished Spanish village to begin a new chapter in Sydney, carrying in his suitcase a fervent desire for love, and a dream of a stable life. Over many years, Alfonso labours to master English, purchase and renovate a house, and foster close bonds of love and friendship. But it is the powerful undercurrent of Alfonso’s inner transformation that propels the narrative, as he struggles to navigate the murky waters of fear, superstition and cultural conflict that threaten to turn his dreams into an endless mirage.
Calvino's style is light and nuanced; he paints his story in watercolours, creating images no less vivid for the gentleness of his brushstrokes. Calvino gracefully illustrates his thoughtful characters so that their souls shine from the spaces between his carefully placed words. His elegant prose evokes the tones and hues of a forgotten era, when the Opera House was not yet complete, and the rhythms of life were simpler.
Alfonso is a soulful, beautifully written work that charms and captivates with the warmth and authenticity of its voice. Imbued with the subtle shades and seasons of a young man’s cultural and personal journey, this simple story captures nothing less than the beauty of life.

Review by Natalie Repetto
Nudgee, Queensland

http://www.goodreadingmagazine.com.au/