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A City Lights / Italian Voices Book
"Elaborately imagined...mini-catalog of great artists’ dreams and the author’s interpretation of the last three days in the life of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Tabucchi’s rich language and his magical-realist charm tinge the volume with a visionary glow."— Publishers Weekly
" A lovely little book that keeps ringing in your head long after you’ve finished it."— Kirkus
DREAM OF DAEDALUS,
ARCHITECT AND AVIATOR
One night, thousands of years ago, at a time impossible to calculate exactly, Daedalus, architect and aviator, had a dream.
He dreamed that he was deep inside an immense palace and he was going through a corridor. The corridor opened into another corridor and Daedalus, tired and confused, walked along it, leaning on the walls. When he had come to the end, the corridor opened into a small octagonal room, from which eight corridors branched out. Daedalus began to feel short of breath and a need for fresh air. He entered one corridor, but it ended against a wall. He went into another, but it too ended against a wall. Seven times Daedalus made an attempt until, on the eighth attempt, he entered a very long corridor that, after a series of curves and corners, led out into another corridor. Daedalus then sat down on a marble step and began to reflect. On the corridor walls were flaming torches that illuminated frescoes blue with birds and flowers.
I'm the only one who could know how to get out of here, Daedalus said to himself, and I don't remember. He took off his sandals and began to walk barefoot on the green marble floor.
To console himself, he began to sing an ancient dirge he had learned from an old servant who had rocked his infant cradle. The arcades of the long corridor carried his voice back to him ten times over.
I'm the only one who could know how to get out of here, said Daedalus, and I don't remember.
At that moment, he came out into a wide, circular room frescoed with absurd landscapes. He remembered that room but he couldn't remember why he remembered it. There were seats covered with luxurious fabrics and, in the middle of the room, a large bed. On the edge of the bed was seated
Table of ContentsA sly variation on exemplary "lives" — from Plutarch to Jorge Luis Borges — Dreams of Dreams offers the dreams of twenty artists Antonio Tabucchi has loved, among them Ovid, Rimbaud, Debussy, Chekhov, Goya, and García Lorca. In this series of imaginative conjectures and philosophical meditations, François Villon wanders in the forest of the hanged and Freud dreams that he is Dora and perhaps learns something about "what women want."
Tabucchi resumes his own dreaming with The Last Three Days of Fernando Pessoa, a metaphysical recounting of the end of the poet. On his deathbed, Pessoa is visited by his heteronyms, the poets he invented, whose poetry and voices invented him. Tabucchi is a distinguished scholar and Italian translator of the work of Fernando Pessoa, and here he pronounces a tender farewell to a man who was several of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.
About The Author
Antonio Tabucchi is the author of Indian Nocturne, Pereira Declares, Little Misunderstandings of No Importance, Requiem: A Hallucination, The Edge of the Horizon, Fernando Pessoa (with Maria José Lancastre), Letter from Casablanca, and The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro. He edited the Italian edition of Fernando Pessoa's complete works and has translated the poetry of Carlos Drummond de Andrade.