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Disaffections
Cesare Pavese
$17.00 paperback
1-55659-174-8
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Disaffections
Complete Poems 1930-1950
Cesare Pavese

Selected as a "Book of the Year" by The Los Angeles Times

PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation

Translation Prize from Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Modern Language Association's Lois Roth Award for Translation of Literary Work

Cesare Pavese—novelist, poet, diarist—was among the greatest Italian writers of the 20th century. This bilingual volume includes all the poems Pavese published during his last two decades, including work originally deleted by Fascist censors and poems discovered after his death.

Pavese’s poetry was revolutionary—both artistically and politically—by rejecting the verbal and philosophical constraints of tradition and utilizing direct, colloquial language. His subjects were men and women who, like Pavese himself, felt torn between city and country, work and idleness, solitude and desire. His three distinct poetic styles were the long-lined narrative (“poem-stories” as he called them), his “image poem,” and the erotic invocation—spells designed to summon his obsessions.

Translator Geoffrey Brock has chosen 1930 as the starting date for this collection because it is in that year that Pavese began to discover what he called il ritmo del mio fantasticare—"the rhythm of my imagination."

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2003 Translation Prize from Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2003 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation

 

Selected as a "Book of the Year" by The Los Angeles Times

Modern Language Association's Lois Roth Award for Translation of Literary Work

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reviews
For Disaffections, Cesare Pavese

"Until now, Pavese's poetry hasn't been available in an English translation that carries both the colloquialness of his language and the haunting rhythms of his verse. Geoffrey Brock's fine new translation has met this need so that... American readers can have the pleasure of getting to know him in some depth."—LA Times Book Review

"An exemplary volume. As a poet-translator, Brock has brought Pavese's poems to English without a loss of defining rhythm and meaning, and with an attention that indicates the translator's profound understanding of another writer's poetics."—Judges' Citation, PEN USA Translation Award

"Pavese's poems are gentle, soaring, and defiantly musical as they build toward the larger human truths he uncovered in writing about his beloved Italy."—Bloomsbury Review

"The translation itself is a massive undertaking, and Brock has created a touchstone for understanding Pavese."—The Santa Fe New Mexican

"… it is a joy to welcome a new translation by Geoffrey Brock."—The Progressive

"[I]n this new translation, Geoffrey Brock has captured Pavese's unique timbre of sound, clarity of vision, the flesh of a poetic life. In the immediacy of impression and emotion, the starkness of the image, Brock's versions do nothing to blunt Pavese's powerful vision."—Virginia Quarterly Review

"Geoffrey Brock's translation captures well the springiness and tempo of Pavese's lines and conveys the original's sensitivity for nuance."—Harvard Review

"Brock manages to capture the rustic grit of these speakers, while also conveying the measured restraint of the original Italian. The result is that even when the poems downshift into understatement they maintain a mysterious apocalyptic tension, a poised balance between the metaphysical and the real that is the hallmark of Pavese's mythic power... Brock is scrupulously faithful to the Italian text, consistently expressing in English the authentic sense and spirit of Pavese's poems. As a result, we have been given access to a body of startlingly original poetic work."—The Literary Review

"Geoffrey Brock's 'hard labor' in translating Pavese's poetry has paid off in true poems in English: poems that have the density, the grit, the obdurate presentness hewn from silence for which Pavese fought so hard in Italian. Pavese's poems remain vitally original in Italian a half century after their first appearance; in Brock's English, they have the startling power of poems that will always be new."—Rosanna Warren

"Pavese's appeal has on the reader an immediate and emotional hold. To return to these texts today is to confirm the power of an utterance that sends us back to something beyond poetry, but without which poetry could not exist."—Valerio Magrelli

"This translation by Geoffrey Brock is a rare convergence of ambition and skill. Pavese’s weird, hard grace suffuses these impressive renderings."—Henry Taylor

"Superb translations of a major poet. Brock does the impossible: He keeps the letter and spirit of the originals and creates poems in an American voice."—Phillip Levine

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