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Collected Poems 1920-1954 [Hardcover]

Eugenio Montale , Jonathan Galassi

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Book Description

Jan. 1 1998
A strong, idiomatic new translation of Italy's greatest modern poet.

Eugenio Montale is universally recognized as having brought the great Italian lyric tradition that begins with Dante into the twentieth century with unrivaled power and brilliance. Montale is a love poet whose deeply beautiful, individual work confronts the dilemmas of modern history, philosophy, and faith with courage and subtlety; he has been widely translated into English and his work has influenced two generations of American and British poets. Jonathan Galassi's versions of Montale's major works--Ossi di seppia, Le occasioni, and La bufera e altro--are the clearest and most convincing yet, and his extensive notes discuss in depth the sources and difficulties of this dense, allusive poetry. This book offers English-language readers uniquely informed and readable access to the work of one of the greatest of all modern poets. Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1975. Jonathan Galassi has also translated Montale's The Second Life of Art: Selected Essays and Otherwise: Last and First Poems.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 625 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre / Not Applicable (Jan. 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374125546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374125547
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 16.3 x 5.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,831,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

A white dove has landed me
among headstones, under spires where the sky nests.
Dawns and lights in air; I've loved the sun,
colors of honey, now I crave the dark,
I want the smoldering fire, this tomb
that doesn't soar, your stare that dares it to.
--Eugenio Montale

Opera's loss was poetry's gain. Eugenio Montale, the 1975 Nobel Prize winner in literature and one of Italy's greatest poets, originally aspired to be an opera singer. Born in Genoa in 1896, Montale was a delicate child, his health precluding him from getting a formal education; instead, he spent his youth reading philosophy, literature, and Italian classics, and training as a baritone. World War I found him serving as an infantry officer on the Austrian front. Upon his return to civilian life, Montale took up singing again, but after the death of his voice teacher in 1923, he abandoned his operatic hopes. Just two years later, he published his first collection of poetry, Cuttlefish Bones. Over the next 50 years, Montale would produce many poems in between his work as a journalist; Jonathan Galassi's Collected Poems 1920-1954, however, concentrates on three collections that are, arguably, his masterpieces: Cuttlefish Bones (1925); The Occasions (1948); and The Storm, Etc. (1956).

In addition to Galassi's excellent translations, two other things stand out about this book: one is that both Italian and English versions can be read side by side; the other is that Galassi has thoroughly annotated these poems, placing Montale's challenging work in its historical, cultural, and personal context. We are told, for example, that "Leaving a Dove" is, in part, about the poet's abandonment of an old lover for a new one. Such information adds piquancy to the imagery and depth to the reader's appreciation. --Alix Wilber

From Library Journal

The work of Montale, the great modern Italian poet and 1975 Nobel prize winner, swarms with musical imagery and many-layered wordplay. One of many translators (William Arrowsmith, Cuttlefish Bones, LJ 7/93, is another), Galassi presents a hefty bilingual edition that contains translations of three works: Cuttlefish Bones (1920-27); The Occasions (1928-39); and The Storm and Other Things (1940-54). Galassi argues that Montale's later work is "secondary" and that poetry from Cuttlefish Bones to The Storm "describes a complete arc, one of the greatest in modern literature." Galassi's edition provides copious critical annotation, a painstaking attempt to explicate Montale's "collage of borrowings." Identifying allusions (the Holocaust, Stalin's purges), influences (Browning, D'Annunzio), sources (Dante, Debussy), and themes ("Crowds in Montale always carry infernal associations"), Galassi's linguistic-textural analysis unravels many elements of the poet's voice: "a sinuous, constantly transforming series of metaphors spiraling around an elusive central core." This marriage of creative literary research and inspired poetic scholarship helps make Montale accessible to English-speaking readers. With a thorough chronology; an insightful essay, "Reading Montale"; and an index of titles and first lines; highly recommended for all major poetry collections.?Frank Allen, North Hampton Community Coll., Tannersville, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Find Oct. 26 2010
By Fhrid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After long search for translation of Montale's poems, this bilingual edition was perfect. Book was in perfect condition and arrived at exactly the announced date.

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