The Lemon Trees

Listen: the laurelled poets stroll only among shrubs with uncommon names: ligustrum, acanthus, box. What I like are streets that end in grassy ditches where boys scoop up a few famished eels from drying puddles: paths that struggle along the gulleys then dip …

The Prisoner’s Dream

Here, but for a few signs, you can’t tell dawns from nights. Zigzagging formations flying over the watchtowers on days of fighting, my only wings, a thread of arctic air, the head-guard’s eye at the peephole, the crack of broken nuts, an oily …

Voice That Came with the Coots

Since, if I look back, the road already traveled is longer than this goat-track taking me now where we’ll dissolve like wax, and the rushes in flower don’t console the heart as do the young shoots, the graveyard’s blood, here you are, Father, free of …

Boom Fiction

A Love Affair

by Dino Buzzati, translated by Joseph Green

The Mortal Wound

by Raffaele La Capria, translated by Marguerite Waldman
When the Italian “economic miracle” moved into full swing three or four years ago, it touched off a cultural submiracle known as il boom editoriale. Suddenly the relaxed, almost patriarchal world of Italian publishing was shattered, sales of books (especially fiction and serious non-fiction) soared, and Italian writers who had …

An Early Modern

A Life

by Italo Svevo, translated by Archibald Colquhoun
This is an unusual and important novel, blessed by an excellent translation, which deserves to be read for its own sake and which will, hopefully, be read for Svevo’s sake as well. Despite Joyce’s early recognition of Svevo as a writer of genius and the tardier homage of French and …