Saturday, October 1, 2011

Eugenio Montale

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Eugenio Montale (Oct. 12, 1896 - 1981), Italian poet and 1975 Nobel Literature Laureate - “for his distinctive poetry which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions”

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Doubt

I was giving a lecture
to the “Friends of Cacania”
on the subject “Is Life Likely?”
when I remembered I
was totally agnostic,
love and hate in equal parts and the outcome
unsure, depending on the moment.
Then I decided five minutes
were enough—
two and a half for the thesis
two and a half for the antithesis
this was the only homage possible
for a man without qualities.
I spoke exactly thirty-five sconds.
And when I said
that yes and no were look alikes
shouts and whispers interrupted my talk
and I awoke. It was the most laconic dream
of my life, maybe the only one not devoid
of “quality.”

(Eugenio Montale, Altri Versi, translated by Jonathan Galassi, from “The Collected Poems (1920-1954)” - published by Farrar Straus Giroux)

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Intervista a Eugenio Montale



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