Paola Drigo, Maria Zef

Luciano Parisi (University of Exeter)
Trans. by Charlotte Beare (University of Exeter)
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The novel

Maria Zef

by Paola Drigo was published in 1936 and translated into English by Blossom Steinberg Kirschenbaum in 1989. It is set in the Veneto region of northeast Italy sometime between 1929 and 1936. The novel’s eponymous protagonist is an illiterate orphan who lacks a religious education and speaks a rural dialect that is incomprehensible to town folk. She lives in an isolated area high up in the mountains and works on the land, sharing a cabin with her younger sister and an uncle who wants to send her off to work as a servant. Maria would like to stay with her sister but for many years, “especially after her mother’s death, her attitude toward [her uncle] Barbe Zef had been that of a suppliant toward one who doles out charity. An attitude of subjection and humility had…

2125 words

Citation: Parisi, Luciano. "Maria Zef". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 May 2016 [, accessed 22 June 2024.]

35694 Maria Zef 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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