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The Stories and Recollections of Umberto Saba

Umberto Saba

Translated by Estelle Gilson

The Stories and Recollections of Umberto Saba
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Hardback
ISBN: 978 1 878818 21 8
Categories: Translation
Imprint: Sheep Meadow Press
Published: August 2011
236 x 158 x 24 mm
256 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback
  • Description
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  • Reviews
  • With Stories and Recollections, the short prose works of the great Italian poet Umberto Saba, 1883-1957, make their first appearance in English. Here are the stories, memoirs, and reflections of a poet who spent much of his life in his small antiquarian bookshop. This work was largely overlooked but for friends such as Svevo, Montale, Pavese, Ungaretti, and Carlo Levi, who found Saba's "rich and complex prose of such scrupulous realism that it recalls Goethe or Thomas Mann, but is so much more brilliant, modern and nervous".

    The Stories and Recollections of Umberto Saba is a revelation: in its apparent simplicity, its moral sense, its understanding, and, most of all, its quiet beauty, it is a true companion piece to the work of his fellow Triestan Italo Svevo, who one would have thought sui generis.

    Estelle Gilson's distinguished translation of the Italian prose stylist won the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award for 1992 and the Italo Calvino Award of The Translation Center at Columbia University in 1991.

    Umberto Saba
    Umberto Saba was born Umberto Poli in 1883. He married Carolina Woelfler in 1909, and their only child, Lina (Linuccia) was born the following year. They lived in various places in northern Italy until Saba bought a bookshop in Trieste in 1919. The first edition of his great Canzoniere, 'a ... read more
    Praise for Umberto Saba 'Saba's poetry seems like the pure sound of a voice, a voice nearly freed from the bonds of words. The monody is pure feeling, in a musical state. The Language of Italian poetry which has almost always sought transfiguration in plasticity and relief, has rarely known an exception so singular. Saba attains the lied as if without realising it'
    Eugenio Montale
    'The moral physiognomy of Saba is very powerfully alive in his work, and makes him, now and forever, a great author. To this vast, complex, long-suffering personality, his poems bear witness, and from it draw their light....I have the impression that Saba, in our day, has been just discovered, and that the task of evaluating the full scope of his greatness will have to fall to others, when distance will have further clarified the perspectives. Saba will have to wait. Yet how many in Europe, can be as certain in their wait as he?'
    Quarantotti Gambini
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