The Path to the Nest of Spiders
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First English translation
|Original title||Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno|
Published in English
The Path to the Nest of Spiders (Italian: Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno) is a 1947 novel by the Italian writer Italo Calvino. The narrative is a coming-of-age story, set against the backdrop of World War II. It was Calvino's first novel.
Pin, an orphaned cobbler's apprentice in a town on the Ligurian coast, lives with his sister, a prostitute. After stealing a pistol from a Nazi sailor, Pin searches for an identity with a partisan group. All the while, the people he meets mock him without his knowing. The title refers to Pin's secret hiding place, directions to which he touts as a prize to any adults who win his trust.
Some critics[who?] view the work as unexceptional, on the grounds that it fails to address the issues other than from a very naive perspective; others[who?] credit it with being skillfully written and make a virtue of its portrayal of the complex emotions and politics of adults, as seen through the eyes of a child. However one passage about prisoners-of-war being made to dig their own grave before being shot is universally regarded as impressive.
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