Contact Christ In Concrete The story behind the novel is an unusual one. Its first incarnation was as a short story as it appeared in Esquire magazine in , and caused an immediate sensation. See short story in Esquire here. And second: we get the academic perspective via Fred L.
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Contact Christ In Concrete The story behind the novel is an unusual one. Its first incarnation was as a short story as it appeared in Esquire magazine in , and caused an immediate sensation. See short story in Esquire here. And second: we get the academic perspective via Fred L. Here is the introduction Arnold Gingrich wrote for an unusual, small hardcover edition Esquire published specially for the short story, after it had first appeared in the magazine in We were tunneling our way through the mountains of accumulated manuscripts and, a little past four in the morning, had reached that point were the going was a little bit tough.
We had caught ourselves nodding two or three times in the course of reading one script, and were weighing the wisdom of taking time out for black coffee before tackling the next one, which happened to be Christ in Concrete.
The title had turned into an exclamation before we had finished the first page, and no coffee was needed to keep us awake. Finishing the story, which left us limp, we looked to see if the author had appended any word about himself. It seemed to us to have a slightly phoney ring, a note of arty self-dramatization that had not sounded once in the story itself.
We were skeptical, too, of all this prodigious bricklaying. Meyer Levin, who had read the story before we had and who happened to be New York-bound the next day, offered his expert services as reporter and investigator on the case. He would look up, and over, Mr. The dossier on Donato had just come back to us, over the teletype from our New york office, where Mr. Levin led the newly-discovered author so that they might dictate, in duet form, the details demanded for this space.
And thus we learn that di Donato is indeed a bricklayer, and apparently a very good one, and that he does, contrary to our doubts on reading his first letter, talk think live and dream exactly as he writes. Has been supporting family of 7 brothers and sisters since he was 13 when his father, a master mason, was buried under the collapse of a six-story building on which he was working.
Pietro then went to work as a bricklayer and helped build half the Bronx. Family often moved for this cause. No schooling except grammar school and scattered night school courses in engineering. Mother died of cancer in , upsetting him emotionally.
Now lives in Northport and has W. He has stage fever, wants to write plays. Attempted to run summer theatre in northport summer before last. Christ in Concrete was his first written story and Esquire his first submission. Friend in Long Island read story and encouraged him to submit.
Wants to write novel on bricklayer background. Do U want more. Looks like Dante. That seems to stop us both. Also about the uncle, of the distant Italian family variety, who promised to put him through college but has not yet fulfilled. Do U want photo. Rush Air express today. Will let him talk to you direct before he goes. Here he is. At 15 I was an expert craftsman.
At 17 was foreman on construction of Hotel Lexington, accepted as a master mason although usually one cannot get an apprentice card till Worked on the skyscraping towers of bedlam. Saw death crucifying the heart in overalls and could hear in the screaming rhythm of the job the sad tearless voices of honest men.
I read hungrily and felt kin not only to those who expressed themselves but also to those who had no voice. Now we turn to select paragraphs pulled from Fred L. Technological breakthroughs included Edwin H. Overlooked by literary historians, the novel rarely appeared in American literary courses. In an early review, E. Garside called him "a shining figure to add to the proletarian gallery of artists. Sometimes one feels as though bricks and stones and trowelfuls of mortar have been thrown on the pages and from them have risen words.
Through the novel we gain an unprecedented insight into the mysteries of Italian immigrant life. One of the reasons for this stems from the fact that the peculiar aspects of Italian immigrant culture are represented in this novel as in no other writing yet produced by an Italian American. Recent Comments.
Pietro di Donato
Plot[ edit ] I. Geremio: Geremio and his coworkers are gruesomely killed on the job when the building they are working on collapses. Geremio is swallowed in concrete, which crushes him to death as it dries. Because this accident occurs on Good Friday , Geremio is the "Christ in concrete" of the title. Her brother Luigi promises to help, but soon he himself is injured at work and loses part of his leg. In this section, the word "job" is treated like a character and often capitalized.
PIETRO DI DONATO