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Geoffrey Brock is the author of Weighing Light and the translator of numerous volumes from the Italian, including Cesare Pavese’s Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930–1950. His awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center. He teaches in the MFA program in creative writing and translation at the University of Arkansas.
“Geoffrey Brock, editor of the elegantly conceived FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry . . . does everything he can to force his readers to hear the translations he’s assembled as English-language poems . . . The poems gathered in The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry are similarly adept performances in the English language . . . To read through the anthology, poet by poet, is to be struck immediately by the fact that over the last hundred years Italian poetry has not developed so much by successive generations . . . as within generations: everything seems to be happening at once . . . A few anthologies . . . are so thoughtfully conceived that the experience of reading them feels like the experience of reading an intricate novel; you don’t want to skip anything, even if you know it well, because the pleasure lies in the buried narrative created by the anthologist’s choices. The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry is such an anthology. Dip into it, if you like; look for a particular poet, listen for a particular translator. But for the most rewarding experience, read the whole book slowly, page by page.” —James Longenbach, The Nation
“The rich harvest of modern Italian poetry includes the metaphysical . . . questing intellectualism . . . bittersweet odes . . . Also biting social commentary.” —Benjamin Ivry, Newark Star-Ledger
“Even before it brought political revolutions, the twentieth century birthed literary revolutions throughout the West, if not, indeed, the world. The first and archetypal poetic movement, the Futurists, arose in Italy, reacting to the insufficient break with the past it descried in the work of two foremost poets, Giovanni Pascoli and Gabriele d’Annunzio, samplings of which begin this marvelous dual-language anthology. Representative Futurists’ work follows, and then those of such other movements or groups as the worldweary Crepuscularists, the ‘difficult’ Hermeticists, the linea lombarda poets, the Neorealists, the Neoavantgardists, and the Gruppa 63. Then, after 1968, editor Brock points out in the excellent introduction, there are no more movements, though at last women show up more than very occasionally in Italy’s poetry and several poets elect to write in vanishing regional dialects. All along, poets who wrote outside the movements, including some of the very greatest—Umberto Saba, Dino Campana, Sandro Penna, Cesare Pavese—were also active. Appearing here in translations by Anglophone poets and translators of legendary status (Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Samuel Beckett, James Merrill, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, William Weaver), they all seem brilliant, all quintessentially Italian in their resplendent gaiety, gusto, and, more often, haunting, umber somberness. This is the one big Italian poetry anthology for virtually all Anglophone libraries.” —Ray Olson, Booklist