Bandini Question #28 - Life-Changing Events

by John Fante

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Bandini Question #28 - Life-Changing Events

Unread postby Liz » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:58 am

The Baltimore City Pater, 2001, states that,

“Fante's aunt often came to look after his mother when things got ugly in the family, and her son Mario was young John's mirror image and best friend. While walking home from altar-boy practice one day, Mario was killed by a car. At the funeral, young John had the haunting experience of staring at his dead double. This turbulent childhood instilled Fante's writing career with what his biographer calls ‘his fundamental themes of poverty, Italian-American Catholicism, mismatched love, and imaginative untruth.’"

Where do you see this life-changing event revealed in Wait Until Spring, Bandini?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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nebraska
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Unread postby nebraska » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:54 pm

I would certainly think this is reflected in Rosa's funeral. Sudden death of a young person, the loss of someone Arturo loved......all the thoughts about meeting again in heaven, so much of that beautiful meditation piece we discussed, makes much more sense to me now.....He was writing his childhood thoughts and feelings but in a man's more eloquent prose.
It explains also more about Arturo's motivation to bring Svevo home in spite of the fear he was feeling going to Mrs. Hildegarde's house. He didn't want Maria to die.....

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Unread postby suec » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:30 pm

Also possibly in the way that he anticipates his own death - his own funeral as a memory, a memory out of life before it had been lived.
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Unread postby gemini » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:32 pm

This paragraph totally reflects many of the themes in his story, not only the funeral of Rosa dying so young as his cousin did but, I was immediatly reminded of Marias depression with the first sentence about Fante's Aunt coming to look after his mother when things got ugly. There is some truth that writing is better when its about things you know.
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Unread postby Parlez » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:24 pm

I agree with everything everyone else has said about this - and I'll only add that it's a big relief to learn there actually was someone the family could call on who would come when things got ugly. Whew!
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:16 pm

It's no wonder he didn't want to go back and relive those times by reading the book. Whew, indeed!
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:18 pm

I thought it was pretty bizarre that a young kid would have a premonition, for no reason at all, that the girl he loved would be DEAD! :-O Maybe Fante was thinking back to the life-changing moment when this incident happened to him. When Arturo saw that it was a Christmas wreath, not a funeral wreath, on Rosa's door, he actually expressed some disappointment. :eyebrow: He wanted something life-changing to happen and was disappointed that everything was still the same; his fantasies were just that and reality was a nightmare!
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:45 pm

suec wrote:Also possibly in the way that he anticipates his own death - his own funeral as a memory, a memory out of life before it had been lived.


I see the correlation there, Suec.

‘his fundamental themes of poverty, Italian-American Catholicism, mismatched love, and imaginative untruth.’


I thought this part was interesting because I believed and still do that Rosa was real. I say this only because he did not want to revisit this book and because I think so much of his future was based on the Rosa issue. However, I do see areas in Ask The Dust that indicate to me that he doesn’t mind embellishing now and again. So maybe Rosa was made up and she was really Mario.

It is also good to know, as some of you have said, that there was someone else in the family who was supportive of them. So I guess they/Maria weren’t totally alone.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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