BASSANI, Giorgio The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles. London: Faber and Faber, 1960.
8vo., red cloth boards gilt to spine; pictorial dust wrapper illustrated by Leonard Rosoman; pp. [vi], 7-143, [i]; p. 85-96 with a small corner crease, cloth perhaps a touch faded, but a lovely copy regardless, the jacket equally vibrant with some light shelf wear, some minor darkening to the rear panel.
First UK edition, originally published in the Italian in 1958. This a translation by Isabel Quigly. Also tipped in to the book is a sheet of programme notes from the National Film Theatre showing of the movie adaptation.
Set in Ferrara during the 1930s, the plot concentrates around a young doctor who is ostracised from his community for his homosexuality. As anti-Semitism begins to spread across Italy, however, the Jewish narrator of the tale begins to feel pity for the hopeful young man as, "little by little, without meaning to, all of us began to show him scant respect."
Though less well known than The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Bassani's controlled style and lightness of touch "transform a seemingly slight premise into a metaphor for the slide of Italy into fascism." The Guardian.
An important, and elucidating read.