POEM STRIP BY DINO BUZZATI

source – own copy purchased from amazon

publisher –  NYRB CLASSICS

Dino Buzzati was one of italys leading writers ,he work all his life as a journalist in Milan for the corrierie della sera,during the war he served as a journalist in Africa attached to an Italian marine troop ,he had his first novel published in 1933 ,he is best known for his 1940 novel The Tatar steppes the story of an officer stuck at an old fort in the desert as time passes .Poem strip was his last book  published in 1969 and was his only graphic Novel .

The book follows Orfi a young  brooding musician who falls for a women who is already dead  but up on the surface from the underworld Eura ,he follows her to a door on the viva saterna in Milan ,this door leads to the underworld ,eventually Orfi enters this underworld he wants to bring Eura to the real world again and has a day to find her ,he avoids the temptation of the underworld where he is offered different women to try out  and also sees the chaos of the underworld  .but sticks to his guns .It combines music ,sex and the dark side of life wonderfully .

A sample of the artwork the story itself is a modern retelling of the greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice myth the descent to the underworld if you aren’t keen on reading the original greek  myths this is one of the best modern retelling of this myth .The book is very graphic in places ,you can tell Dino Buzzati liked the female form ,it is compelling and obviously was a real passion for Buzzati who also did a number of actual paintings connected to the story ,these were exhibited in Milan in 2007 .This book is a real find as ever by NYRB they keep turn these wonderful books up .A warped take on the sixties from an  Italian perspective from a philosophical and thoughtful writer ,this has made me want to read Tatar steppe that has been on my wish list for ages .The story was translated by Mairna Harss who has translated a number of the best known Italian writers ,she did a great job of making Orfis songs still seem poetic in translation .

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. William Rycroft
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 14:33:59

    I told you I would, Stu! I’m intrigued by a writer suddenly producing a graphic novel as his last book. Another modern take on Orpheus can be found in Asterios Polyp which I reviewed here:
    http://justwilliamsluck.blogspot.com/search/label/MAZZUCCHELLI David

    (also commentless!)

    Reply

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