Contest week here -- but no prize for this one. The answers are below. I'm currently reading an old book and came upon the following:
Pompeo was saying, "There was a man who'd saved the country from ruin and showed the way to reform. When he came to power, we were surprised that his acts were in opposition to his words. We asked ouselves, 'Can he have betrayed us?' A few weeks ago someone came through here and revealed the truth to us. 'He's a prisoner of the bank,' he said. Nothing else! But what did he mean? Is he really in chains in the cellar of the bank? Or was that just a manner of speaking?"...
I couldn't say for sure whether the man you're talking about is really chained up in a bank," said Don Paolo. "Some people think he is. But it's not a question of just one man. But what you can be sure of as long as you keep your eyes open is that the whole country is the prisoner of the financiers."...
I'm also conviced that we'll have to prepare a second revolution," said Don Paolo. "We'll have to free our country from the bank's clutches. It'll be long, hard and tricky; but it's worth it."
Okay, written in either the 1930s or 1955. Italy. By Ignazio Silone in Bread and Wine
. By no means would I ever compare Obama to Il Duce
but when I read this passage, it did seem timely. "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
." (The more things change, the more they stay the same.)
Bread and Wine is an anti-fascist and anti-Stalinist novel written by Ignazio Silone. It was finished while the author was in exile from Benito Mussolini's Italy. It was first published in 1936 in a German language edition in Switzerland as Brot und Wein, and in an English translation in London later the same year. An Italian version, Pane e vino, did not appear until 1937.
After the war, Silone completely revised the text, publishing a significantly different version in Italy (in 1955), reversing the title: Vino e pane (‘Wine and Bread’). This is also available in English translation.
As someone who rarely goes back to reread books from an earlier time, I'm reading this book because at a memorial service for my husband's cousin Ted (English professor and book owner), there was a table of Ted's books with a request that we each take some. It's a lovely idea! Ted marked up this book in different colors and with different codes and it's driving me a little crazy because I have no idea what he understood and thought. I just know he read a lot more deeply than I do. Thanks, Ted. We miss you.