Italian Daze. By Marc Zimmerman. ISBN:978-1976242571. $24.95. 6" x 9" 282 pages
Ladino Hispanic Sephardic book, Sephardic literature book, Latino Sephardic literature book
“This book follows the Italian American and Italian strands of my shifting days, my overall daze—the hazy, but sometimes dazzling (at times amazing) maze of my wayward ways.” Marc Zimmerman
The Italian Daze portrays the Italian American and Italian connections of a Jewish American in the course of his wandering life. The book opens with a catalog of Italian foods, cultural actors, heroes and villains, etc., culminating with a litany of Italian and Jewish Americans. Next come four parts reviewing early loves, travels with an Italian American wife, and subsequent encounters. Depicting key Italian locales, the book includes some of the most acute Italian paradoxes, including Fascism, the Holocaust, the mafia, possible afro-phobia, and recent turns in Italian politics. A final coda portrays additional Italian encounters, a series of public demonstrations, and our aging hero’s final dream of being lost and dazed in the maze that is Rome and Italy.
“Mel is a tireless traveler who separates himself from his East coast Jewish roots, only to find an Italy that knows no geographic boundaries and extends from the New Jersey/ New York area, to San Francisco, San Diego, Mexico and Spain, and then to the Abruzzi mountains, Rome, Florence, Venice, Central America, Houston, Puerto Rico and Chicago. But Mel never really finds Italy; his enterprise is doomed from the start. [Because] for the Italians as well as for him, Italy remains an elusive space--the shadow of a fleeting dream, a mystery, a pilgrimage peninsula itself wandering the world, reaching out toward an indefinable beyond.” Alessandro Carrera. Professor, U. of Houston.
“A haunting, yet comic procession of Italians …pursued in every direction, … [but] never found.” Enrico De Vivo, Italian critic, in L’Indice dei LIbri (summer 2017: 21).
Marc Zimmerman, named a friend and knight of Italy in 2008, holds a Creative Writing M. A. from San Francisco State U. and a Comparative Literature Ph.D. from the U. of California, San Diego. He has taught World, Latin American and Latino Studies in several universities; and he has written and edited over thirty books. He has recently written four books of “memoir fiction,” including the Italian version of this book. Floricanto Press, has recently published his Lines on the Border