Melinda Camber Porter In Conversation With Eugenio Montale
Milan, Italy, 1976
"Nowadays, it is becoming harder to distinguish between artistic and commercial life. The role of the artist has been reduced to his success or failure in commercial terms... these mass-produced voices are not those which will tell us whether we are heading for disaster and, if so, how to prevent it." This statement expressed by Eugenio Montale, when speaking to Melinda Camber Porter at his home in Milan, Italy in 1976, after receiving the 1975 Nobel Prize in Literature. With this publication, Melinda Camber Porter In Conversation With Eugenio Montale (ISBN: 978-1-942231-02-8), we have an opportunity to listen to the strong voice of Eugenio Montale discussing literature and its place to push Society in a forward direction. Eugenio Montale describes his observations of the driving forces of human nature that he explored through his journalism, painting and poetry. During the prime of his live, he watched the rise and fall of Fascism in Italy, and his experiences remain relevant today as he discusses the importance of the individual's conscience, the poet's role in society, and the dangers of ideologies, the mass media, and consumerism. The Foreward by Canio Pavone, Professor of Italian Studies, who knew Melinda Camber Porter, introduces us to Eugenio Montale and their conversation. In addition, the book includes both the English and Italian Nobel Prize Lecture by Eugenio Montale. Melinda Camber Porter passed away of ovarian cancer in 2008 and left a significant body of work in art, journalism, and literature. With her background as a journalist for the Times of London, her questions had a unique way of getting to the heart of the creative process used by many widely acclaimed cultural figures, filmmakers, and writers. The Melinda Camber Porter Archive wishes to share these conversations with the public to ensure the continuation and expansion of the ideas expressed in her creative works of art, journalism, and literature. The Melinda Camber Porter Archive of Creative Works comprises two series of books. Volume 1 are books of journalism. Volume 2 are books of art and literature. [ISSN: 2379-2450 (Print); 2379-3198 (E-book); 2379-321X (Audiobook).]
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About the Author
She began her writing career in Paris as a cultural correspondent for The Times of London. The Boston Globe describes her book, Through Parisian Eyes (Oxford University Press), as "a particularly readable and brilliantly and uniquely compiled collection." She interviewed many cultural figures during her career including: Nobel Prize winners Saul Bellow, Gunter Grass, Eugenio Montale, and Octavio Paz; and many leading filmmakers and writers.
Her novel Badlands, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, was set on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It was acclaimed by Louis Malle, who said: "better than a novel, it reads like a fierce poem, with a devastating effect on our self-esteem," and by Publishers Weekly, which called it, "a novel of startling, dreamlike lyricism."
A traveling art exhibition celebrating Melinda's paintings, curated by the late Leo Castelli, opened at the French Embassy in New York City in 1993. Peter Trippi, Editor of Fine Art Connoisseur magazine said: "In our era of slickly produced images, teeming with messages rather than feelings, Melinda's art strikes a distinctive balance between the achingly personal and the aesthetically beautiful."
Eugenio Montale 1896-1981
Despite the fact that Eugenio Montale produced only five volumes of poetry in his first fifty years as a writer, when the Swedish Academy awarded the Italian poet and critic the 1975 Nobel Prize for Literature they called him "one of the most important poets of the contemporary West," according to a Publishers Weekly report. One of Montale's translators, Jonathan Galassi, echoed the enthusiastic terms of the Academy in his introduction to The Second Life of Art: Selected Essays of Eugenio Montale in which he referred to Montale as "one of the great artistic sensibilities of our time." In a short summary of critical opinion on Montale's work, Galassi continued: "Eugenio Montale has been widely acknowledged as the greatest Italian poet since [Giacomo] Leopardi and his work has won an admiring readership throughout the world. His ... books of poems have, for thousands of readers, expressed something essential about our age."
Montale began writing poetry while a teenager, at the beginning of what was to be an upheaval in Italian lyric tradition. Describing the artistic milieu in which Montale began his life's work, D. S. Carne-Ross noted in the New York Review of Books: "The Italian who set out to write poetry in the second decade of the century had perhaps no harder task than his colleagues in France or America, but it was a different task. The problem was how to lower one's voice without being trivial or shapeless, how to raise it without repeating the gestures of an incommodious rhetoric. Italian was an intractable medium. Inveterately mandarin, weighed down by the almost Chinese burden of a six-hundred-year-old literary tradition, it was not a modern language." Not only did Italian writers of the period have to contend with the legacy of their rich cultural heritage, but they also had to deal with a more recent phenomenon in their literature: the influence of the prolific Italian poet, novelist, and dramatist, Gabriele D'Annunzio, whose highly embellished style seemed to have become the only legitimate mode of writing available to them. "Montale's radical renovation of Italian poetry," according to Galassi, "was motivated by a desire to 'come closer' to his own experience than the prevailing poetic language allowed him." Poetry Foundation
Table of ContentsTable of Contents
Melinda Camber Porter in Conversation with Eugenio Montale, Milan, Italy 1976
Foreward by Canio Pavone, professor of Italian Literature
Drawings and text by Melinda Camber Porter and Eugenio Montale
Eugenio Montale won the 1975 Nobel Prize in Literature
Eugenio Montale's Nobel Prize Lecture in English and Italian included in book.
Volume 1, Number 1:
Melinda Camber Porter Archive of Creative Works
Blake Press Publications Academic Year 2015/2016
Volume I: Journalism Series Books
International Standard Serial Numbers:
ISSN: 2379-2450 (Print), ISSN: 2379-3198 (Ebook), ISSN: 2379-321X (Audio)