Thursday, September 25, 2008


A couple of snippets from a Herald Tribune article about Cesare Pavese (whose poetry I've never read):

A photocopy of the suicide note that Cesare Pavese left when he took his life on the night of Aug. 26, 1950, hangs on a wall here, in the house where he was born. It reads: "I forgive everyone and ask everyone's forgiveness. O.K.? Don't gossip too much."

It was a last request that would never be heeded....

Pavese's translations of American novels by Joyce, Dos Passos, Stein, Steinbeck and Faulkner, to name a few, and essays on American fiction also had a significant ripple effect during the years of Fascist rule.

"During full Fascism we read his translations and followed his cultural battles," said Raffaele La Capria, an Italian writer and another recipient this year of the Grinzane Pavese prize. "For a young boy, they opened the horizons of unpredictability, holding out the promise of political and spiritual freedom."

Claudio Gorlier, a writer and one of Italy's foremost experts in Anglo-Saxon literature, added that, "entire generations of young Italians discovered America" because of Pavese's "splendid and modern" translations.