Giuseppe Salvemini

Con il fuoco nelle vene

Giuseppe Salvemini died on October 13, 1918. He was 21 years old. He had been back from the Great War for a year due to asphyxiant gas poisoning. Two years earlier he had abandoned his studies to attend the Military Academy in Modena and finally enroll as a volunteer.

One day, the time came for him to lead his soldiers to the front on the Carso’s plateau. And there everything changed. The brutality of the “Tenth Battle” of the Isonzo overwhelms him and violently bursts into his diary. Giuseppe’s account of this brutality is so detailed that it draws the reader into the utter obscenity of World War I. His words transition abruptly from beauty to horror, from the bravado and lightness of the adventurous expectations and love affairs of the first part, to the impact of war, the obscenity of mass extermination and fierce military discipline.

His diary – Con il fuoco nelle vene – is published by Terre di Mezzo and it was awarded the Premio Pieve in 2015.