Tim Parks is the author of many novels, translations, and works of nonfiction, most recently Out of My Head: On the Trail of Consciousness and Italian Life: A Modern Fable of Loyalty and Betrayal. (March 2021)
Characters in Search of a Conflict
The life of the Sicilian writer Luigi Pirandello, like those of his characters, oscillated between pathos and beffa: ironic, unexpected, crushing reversal.
Stories for the Years
by Luigi Pirandello, translated from the Italian by Virginia Jewiss
March 11, 2021 issue
Whatever It Takes
“Is Machiavelli good, then, or is he evil?” asks the French scholar Patrick Boucheron.
Machiavelli: The Art of Teaching People What to Fear
by Patrick Boucheron, translated from the French by Willard Wood
Machiavelli: His Life and Times
by Alexander Lee
October 22, 2020 issue
The People’s Clowns
Dario Fo and Franca Rame: Theatre, Politics, Life
by Joseph Farrell
March 12, 2020 issue
The Prison of the Past
by Fernando Aramburu, translated from the Spanish by Alfred MacAdam
October 10, 2019 issue
The Rabelais of Naples
The Tale of Tales, or Entertainment for Little Ones
by Giambattista Basile, translated from the Neapolitan and with an introduction by Nancy L. Canepa, with illustrations by Carmelo Lettere and a foreword by Jack Zipes
Tale of Tales
a film directed by Matteo Garrone
May 9, 2019 issue
A Reader’s Guide to Planes, Trains, & Automobiles
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alberto Moravia had his characters make love on a train in The Conformist. And indeed, when Italian railways still had compartments with curtained doors, I more than once surprised embarrassed lovers on the 9:05 Milano–Venezia.
April 10, 2019
Can Books Make Us More Cosmopolitan?
Books are such complex objects, many aspects of life appear in them, arranged in this or that way, filtered through this or that tradition; by bringing our own unique experience and requirements to them, which is the only way in which they can function as books, all kinds of thoughts, memories, and sentiments are set in motion.
March 12, 2019
Is Literary Glory Worth Chasing?
Does it make any sense at all to pursue literary glory? Are the writers we praise really the best anyway? In 1824, the Italian poet and philosopher Giacomo Leopardi decided to take on the subject in a thirty-page essay, of kinds. What follows here is nothing more than a brief summary of what he says.
November 27, 2018