Collected Poems 1920-1954 by Montale, Jonathan Galassi |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Collected Poems 1920-1954

Collected Poems 1920-1954

by Montale, Jonathan Galassi
     
 
Acknowledged as the most influential Italian writer since Gabriele D'Annunzio, Nobel Prize winner Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) brought the Italian lyric tradition, beginning with Dante and continuing through Petrarch, Manzoni, and Leopardi, into the 20th century. His work deals courageously and subtly with the political, historical, and existential dilemmas of the

Overview

Acknowledged as the most influential Italian writer since Gabriele D'Annunzio, Nobel Prize winner Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) brought the Italian lyric tradition, beginning with Dante and continuing through Petrarch, Manzoni, and Leopardi, into the 20th century. His work deals courageously and subtly with the political, historical, and existential dilemmas of the modern era, and his deep attraction to Anglo-American poetry has in turn found echoes in two generations of American and British poets. Now, in his new translations of Cuttlefish Bones, The Occasions, and The Storm and Other Things , Jonathan Galassi, editor in chief of Farrar, Straus & Giroux and president of the Academy of American Poets, presents the clearest, most accurate, and most convincing translations yet made of Montale's major work.

Editorial Reviews

Edward Hirsch
He is the Debussy of modern poetry, and in Jonathan Galassi's fresh translation of Montale's main achievement, Collected Poems 1920-1954, the English-speaking reader is given clear access to a body of work that has a severe majesty....It is a joyous fulfillment of Italian poetry.
The New Yorker
Nicholas Jenkins
...The poetry's cadences have taken over my auditory memory, and its enigmatic images have (I hope temporarily) invaded my dreams....It is poetry of an unignorable kind. It may not fit in with one's worldview; but somehow it has to be accommodated....The preciousness of a few memories, a few signs, a few objects...is what Montale's poetry embodies...
The New York Times Book Review
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), 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.
— Frank Allen, North Hampton Community College, Tannersville, Pennsylvania
Bernard Knox
Montale's...imagery is drawn from the grim landscape of an industrial city....the elemental forces of nature are evidence of a 'divine indifference' and serve as images of his own desperation...
The New Republic

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374125547
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/15/1998
Edition description:
Bilingual Edition
Pages:
625
Product dimensions:
6.56(w) x 9.60(h) x 2.02(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

"The Eel"

The eel, siren
of cold seas, who leaves
the Baltic for our seas,
our estuaries, rivers, rising
deep beneath the downstream flood
from branch to branch, from twig to smaller twig,
ever more inward,
bent on the heart of rock,
infiltrating muddy
rills until one day
light glancing off the chestnuts
fires her flash
in stagnant pools,
in the ravines cascading down
the Apenine escarpments to Romagna;
eel, torch, whiplash,
arrow of Love on earth,
whom only our gullies
or desiccated Pryenean brooks lead back
to Edens of generation;
green spirit seeking life
where only drought and desolation sting;
spark that says that everything begins
when everything seems charcoal,
buried stump;
brief rainbow, iris,
twin to the one your lashes frame
and you set shining virginal among
the sons of men, sunk in your mire --
can you fail to see her as a sister?

Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. From Collected Poems 1920-1954, copyright © 1998. All rights reserved.

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