Winter journey

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Parlor Press, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 240 pages
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Translated here into English for the first time in its entirety by Nicholas Benson, Bertolucci's WINTER JOURNEY (Viaggio d'inverno, 1971) traces the author's nervous anxiety and the broader afflictions of an emergent consumer society at the Italian midcentury. Increasing social proximity illuminates a persistent isolation, relieved only-tenuously-by the bonds of family and friendship. In a country then recovering from the effects of nationalism, it is significant that a major poet would avoid the pitfalls of populism and paternalism, just as his writing avoids antagonism and aestheticism. Bertolucci's meditations on the effects of the Fascist ventennio can be read as a subtle critique of such divisions, which weakened resistance to the regime and enabled the country's later fragmentation. There are other precedents in Italian poetry for rejecting the florid rhetoric that seemed to overspill the nineteenth century; Bertolucci's enduring contribution may reside in his open examination of what remains possible if social and personal beliefs, typically connected to an idealized future or past, are extinguished in the voracious present of the inquiring self. About the Author ATTILIO BERTOLUCCI (Parma 1911 - Rome 2000), one of Italy's greatest twentieth-century poets, was also an influential editor, essayist, and translator. Among Bertolucci's many honors was the 1991 Eugenio Montale prize, considered the highest award in Italian poetry. About the Translator NICHOLAS BENSON holds a PhD in Italian from New York University. His poetry and translations have appeared in New England Review, Pequod, Seneca Review, and other journals. If WINTER JOURNEY is about Attilio Bertolucci's struggle tosurvive, it is also instructive; that rare thing: a poetic text that is both useful and beautiful. . . . Where Ungaretti and Montale and Pasolini and Pavese presented landscapes always fraught with extremity, both spiritual and material, Bertolucci offers a totality in which there is always work to be done and restoring the house is congruent with restoring the soul. The luminous, uncanny precision of Nicholas Benson's translations give Bertolucci's poetry a presentness that is altogether compelling. - Mark Rudman, author of RIDER (WINNER OF THE National Book Critics Circle Award in 1994) and, most recently, Sundays on the Phone Bertolucci's peculiar poetic genius is perhaps that of having brought to the surface the poetry hidden in that apparently most unpoetic subject, the "homme sensuel moyen" (and I use the word "subject" in both of its senses: as theme or object of poetry, and as a poetizing subject). The poem "Verso Casarola" seemed to me an apt symbol of all that: Bertolucci is able to describe as ultimately idyllic and tinged with eroticism the partial and property-assured displacement of a middle-class family against the background of one of the most tragic collective moments in Italian history (September 1943). The translator, Nicholas Benson, skillfully meets the challenge of rendering Bertolucci's peculiar Italian style. His translation is based on scholarly knowledge and, at the same time, animated by a poetic sensitivity. --Paolo Valesio, Giuseppe Ungaretti Professor in Italian Literature, Columbia University; founder and editor of Italian Poetry Review

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Contents

Leggendo Waldemar Bonsels a G I
8
Fogli di un diario delle vacanze I
14
Ringraziamento per un quadro I A thankyou for a painting
22
Gli imbianchini sono pittori I Housepainters are artists
28
Per nozze I For a weddingbook
34
Verso Casarola I Toward Casarola
42
Un augurio partendo I An augury in leaving
52
Verso Casarola I Toward Casarola
54
Fragment excluded from the novel in verse
113
vento e la pioggia I Wind and rain
114
Ritratto di uomo malato I Portrait of a sick
116
Ancora linsonnia I Insomnia again
118
Notte I Night
122
Lasciami sanguinare I Leave me to bleed
132
Viaggio dinverno I Winter journey
146
La strada della Spezia I The road to La Spezia
152

Aspettando la pioggia I Waiting for rain
58
La consolazione della pittura I The consolation of painting
60
Unesortazione ai poeti della mia città I
62
Exhortation to the poets of my city
63
Presso la Maestà B un giorno dagosto I
64
At Shrine B one August
65
tempo si consuma I Time passes 74 Il tempo si consuma I Time passes
74
landowner and father
78
Per una clinica demolita I For a demolished clinic
80
Portami con te I Take me with
84
Ghost story I Ghost story
86
A una bella donna vedova da tre giorni I
88
To a beautiful woman widowed three days past
89
giardino pubblico I The public gardens
90
Nel pomeriggio I In the afternoon
92
La cavatrice di patate I Potato picker
94
Non I Dont
95
Donne dietro Genova e altrove I
98
Women behind Genoa and elsewhere
99
La crescita di una bambina I The growth of a young girl
102
A Pasolini in risposta I To Pasolini in response
106
A M Colombi Guidotti in memoria I
108
Colombi Guidotti in memoriam
109
Qui allocchio chinato I Here at the eye inclined
110
Frammento escluso dal romanzo in versi I
112
Entrando nel tunnel I Entering the tunnel
160
Come vi piace I As You Like
166
Vermiglia era I Vermilion
172
Ancora lalbergo I The hotel again
180
Pensando a Roma alla chiesa di San Vitale in Parma I
184
Thinking of Rome at the church of San Vitale in Parma
185
Un ballo in maschera I A maskedball
186
Lamore sonnifero I Drowsy love
190
Odissea nello Spazio I
194
A Space Odyssey
195
Daprès Rubens Filemone e Bauci I
196
Daprès Rubens Philemon and Baucis
197
Per una pittura rifiutata I For a rejected painting
198
Pomeridiana I Postmeridian
201
Frammento escluso dal romanzo in versi I
202
Fragment excluded from the novel in verse
203
Solo I Solo
204
Disperse I Uncollected poems
207
molto prima 1933 I From long before 1933
211
Infanzia I Childhood
213
Labbandono delle terre non irrigue I
214
The desolation of unirrigated fields
215
In tempi di disimpegno I In times of disengagement
216
Selected Bibliography
218
Copyright

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