This unlikely story begins on a sea that was a blue dream, as colorful as blue-silk stockings, and beneath a sky as blue as the irises of children's eyes. From the western half of the sky the sun was shying little golden disks at the sea... if you gazed intently enough you could see them skip from wave tip to wave tip until they joined a broad collar of golden coin that was collecting half a mile out and would eventually be a dazzling sunset. About half-way between the Florida shore and the golden collar a white steam-yacht, very young and graceful, was riding at anchor and under a blue-and-white awning aft a yellow-haired girl reclined in a wicker settee reading The Revolt of the Angels, by Anatole France.
She was about nineteen, slender and supple, with a spoiled alluring mouth and quick gray eyes full of a radiant curiosity. Her feet, stockingless, and adorned rather than clad in blue-satin slippers which swung nonchalantly from her toes, were perched on the arm of a settee adjoining the one she occupied. And as she read she intermittently regaled herself by a faint application to her tongue of a half-lemon that she held in her hand. The other half, sucked dry, lay on the deck at her feet and rocked very gently to and fro at the almost imperceptible motion of the tide.
The second half-lemon was well-nigh pulpless and the golden collar had grown astonishing in width, when suddenly the drowsy silence which enveloped the yacht was broken by the sound of heavy footsteps and an elderly man topped with orderly gray hair and clad in a white-flannel suit appeared at the head of the companionway. There he paused for a moment until his eyes became accustomed to the sun, and then seeing the girl under the awning he uttered a long even grunt of disapproval.
If he had intended thereby to obtain a rise of any sort he was doomed to disappointment. The girl calmly turned over two pages, turned back one, raised the lemon mechanically to tasting distance, and then very faintly but quite unmistakably yawned.
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 - December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, his most famous, The Great Gatsby and what is now considered his true masterpiece, Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with despair and age.
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a short story written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and first published in Colliers Magazine on May 27, 1922. It was subsequently anthologized in his book, Tales of the Jazz Age, which is occasionally published as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories. Development rights to the story were held for years by the late Hollywood mogul Ray Stark. Stark retained those rights until his death in 2004, when they were purchased from his estate and used for an adaptation of the story as the 2008 film of the same name, directed by David Fincher.
Benjamin is born with the physical appearance of a 70-year-old man, already able to speak. His father Roger invites neighborhood boys to play with him and orders him to play with children's toys, but Benjamin only obeys to please his father. At five, Benjamin is sent to kindergarten but is quickly withdrawn after he repeatedly falls asleep during child activities.
When Benjamin turns 12, the Button family realizes that he is aging backward. At the age of 18, Benjamin enrolls in Yale College but having run out of hair dye on the day of registration, is sent home by officials, who think he is a 50-year-old lunatic...
As long ago as 1860 it was the proper thing to be born at home. At present, so I am told, the high gods of medicine have decreed that the first cries of the young shall be uttered upon the anaesthetic air of a hospital, preferably a fashionable one. So young Mr. and Mrs. Roger Button were fifty years ahead of style when they decided, one day in the summer of 1860, that their first baby should be born in a hospital. Whether this anachronism had any bearing upon the astonishing history I am about to set down will never be known.
Piccole donne è il più famoso romanzo di Louisa May Alcott che pubblicò per la prima volta in due volumi: il primo nel 1868 e il secondo nel 1869 con il titolo "Little Women or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy".
Nel 1880 i due volumi furono riuniti in uno solo, "Little Women". L'edizione del 1880 presenta anche alcune modifiche legate soprattutto al linguaggio: l'American idiom che rispecchiava la vita reale ma che poco si confaceva ad una prosa letteraria.
In Italia le prime traduzioni risalogono agli anni trenta-quaranta del Novecento e si preferì, come del resto in molti altri paesi, dividere il romanzo in due parti: "Piccole donne" e "Piccole donne crescono".
Il libro ebbe un successo immediato quando uscì e oggi è considerato un classico della letteratura per l'infanzia, consigliato dagli insegnanti e amato dai bambini.
- Natale non sembrerà più Natale senza regali - brontolò Jo sdraiata sul tappeto dinanzi al caminetto.
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