"This novel is the first I wrote; I can almost say the first thing I wrote, if you except a few stories. What impression does it make me, to take it in your hand now? More than a work my work I read it as a born book anonymously from the general climate of an era, from a moral tension, from a literary taste which was the one in which our generation recognized, after the end of the Second World War. At the time I wrote it, create a ' Resistance literature 'was still an open problem, writing' The novel of resistance 'was posed as an imperative; ... whenever you have witnesses or actors of a historical era you feel taken from a special responsibility. ..A me, this responsibility ended up making me feel the theme as too challenging and solemn for my strength. And then, just not to let me put in awe from the theme, I decided that I would have dealt not of my chest but of a glimpse. It had to be seen from the eyes of a ba Mbino, in an environment of unmarried and vagrant. I invented a story that remained in the margins to the partisan war, to his heroisms and sacrifices, but at the same time it made the color, the harsh flavor, the rhythm ... "(from the presentation of Italo Calvino). Postfaction of Cesare Pavese.