The Selected Writings of Salvatore Quasimodo Edited and Translated from the Italian by Dr. Allen Mandelbaum

The Selected Writings of Salvatore Quasimodo Edited and Translated from the Italian by Dr. Allen Mandelbaum

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New York : Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1960. First American Edition. Hardcover. 269 pages ; 21 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Very good copy with original dust jacket, unmarked pages and square binding.

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1959


SALVATORE QUASIMODO is one of the most important and interesting poets of our time, not only for the intrinsic merit of his verse but because of the spiritual development reflected in his writing. This volume, containing selections made by the poet himself working closely with the translator, presents a major portion of his poetry and two important prose essays.

Quasimodo's work has been well known in Italy since the 1930's, when he achieved a reputation as a poet of the Hermetic School. The war was a crucial time in his career as a writer and impelled him to give serious consideration to the role of the poet, a consideration which not only expressed itself in a change of style but in direct affirmations in prose works. Quasimodo's "Discourse on Poetry" and his essay on Dante reflect these preoccupations.

The Nobel Prize cited Quasimodo "for his lyrical poetry which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our time." Here the reader will find the writings of an exceptional poet who brings to "the word" an extraordinary intensity and concentration and who achieves a fusion of sound and meaning which are truly classic.

ALLEN MANDELBAUM brings special qualifications to the difficult and demanding task of translating this verse. In addition to being profoundly steeped in the works of Quasimodo he has an exceptional knowledge of the writings of the other great Italian poets, including the contemporaries Eugenio Montale and Giuseppe Ungaretti.

The great merit of his translation is that it shows a deep respect and sensitivity to the poet's word, and in translating that word literally recaptures in another language, insofar as it is possible to do so, the rich and allusive beauty of the original. Quasimodo's poetry is presented on facing pages in Italian and English.

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