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Complete Poems

Salvatore Quasimodo

Translated by Jack Bevan

Foreword by Jack Bevan

Quasimodo Complete Poems Cover
Categories: 20th Century, Italian, Translation
Imprint: FyfieldBooks
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Description
  • Translator
  • Jack Bevan’s remarkable translation of Quasimodo’s entire poetic oeuvre (Anvil, 1983), redesigned and reissued in 2017

    Salvatore Quasimodo (1901–1968) was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1959 for ‘his lyrical poetry which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our time’. Jack Bevan’s remarkable translation of Quasimodo’s entire poetic oeuvre fills a great gap in our knowledge of twentieth-century European poetry. ‘The poetry is textured like shot silk, yet the elegance and syntactical lucidity with which Jack Bevan has worked to bring these poems to English readers enables them to stand as poems in their own right’, wrote Peter Scupham of Bevan’s translation of Quasimodo’s last poems, Debit and Credit.

    Quasimodo’s strong and passionate poetry continues to testify to the human – and inhuman – realities which have created our modern world: as the Italian critic Giuliano Dego wrote, ‘To bear witness to man’s history in all the urgency of a particular time and place, and to teach the lesson of courage, this has been Quasimodo’s poetic task.’

    Jack Bevan (1920 – 2006 ) was born in Blackpool and read English at Cambridge before being conscripted into the Army, where he served with the Gunners as a commissioned officer in Iceland and Italy. He fought in the Italian campaign during the Second World War, and after the war returned to Cambridge. His subsequent career was in education as head of a number of departments in teaching and teacher training. During this time he also worked intensively on the translation of contemporary Italian poetry, in particular that of Salvatore Quasimodo.
    Jack Bevan
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