The Heretic of Soana
Translated by Bayard Quincy Morgan
When the young priest Francesco Vela becomes the incumbent of the parish of Soana, a small village in Ticino, he is tasked with bringing back into the Catholic fold a family of shepherds, the Scarabotas, who are accused of indecency and incest. Yet, after visiting them among the grandiose scenery of the alpine mountains and meeting their beautiful daughter Agata, Francesco experiences a spiritual and sensual awakening that throws his world and his beliefs upside down, forcing him to choose between his faith and his desire to connect with nature.
This multi-layered tale, first published in 1918, is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of Gerhart Hauptmann, the recipient of the 1912 Nobel Prize in Literature and one of the most important exponents of German Naturalism.
Gerhart Hauptmann (1862–1946) was a German playwright, poet and novelist who pioneered German naturalism and is recognized as one of the most prominent dramatists of the early twentieth century.