New York, May 1, 2012 - The Italian Cultural Institute honors the masterpieces of one of the most important poets of the contemporary Western world, Eugenio Montale. During the event "MONTALE EARLY AND LATE", the Literature Nobel Prize winner and worldwide awarded Italian poet is celebrated for the publication of William Arrowsmith's translation of 'The Collected Poems of Eugenio Montale 1925-1977' (W.W. Norton 2012) and Jonathan Galassi's revised 'Eugenio Montale: Collected Poems 1920-1954'(Farrar Straus & Giroux 2012). Jonathan Galassi, Rosanna Warren and Fausto Lombardi will enthrall the audience through the reading of a selection of pieces including Dora Markus, La mia musa, L'arte povera, Il fuoco e il buio, Flussi, La casa dei doganieri and more.
About the poet - Eugenio Montale, (1896-1981), recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1975, is one of Italy's greatest writers of the twentieth century. Although he was born into a family of businessmen, Montale's early aspirations were to be an opera singer. After serving as an infantry officer in WWI, he dedicated himself entirely to writing and literature. Throughout his prolific career, he wrote for various publications and was a regular contributor to the Corriere della Sera. The futility of war and the rise of the fascist regime had a profound influence on Montale, who is admired for his original, introspective and experimental style.
His first collection of poems, Ossi di seppia (Cuttlefish Bones), published in 1925, quickly became one of the classics of contemporary Italian poetry.
Le occasioni (The Occasions, 1939) together with La bufera e altro (The Storm and other, 1956), are considered to be among his most innovative books.
He received academic distinctions from many world-famous universities including the University of Milan in 1964, Cambridge University in 1967, and the University of Basel in 1974.
In 1967, he was made a lifetime member of the Italian Senate in recognition for his work and courageous opposition to fascism. Montale died in Milan in 1981 at the age of 85.
Montale is universally recognized as having brought the Italian lyric tradition into the twentieth century with unrivaled power and brilliance. Montale is a love poet whose deeply beautiful, individual work confronts with courage and subtlety the various dilemmas of modern history, philosophy, and faith; he has been widely translated into English and his work has influenced two generations of American and British poets.
Readers: Jonathan Galassi, Fausto Lombardi and Rosanna Warren
Jonathan Galassi is the President and Publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, one of the eight major publishers in New York. He began his publishing career at Houghton Mifflin in Boston, then moved to Random House in New York, and finally, to Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Galassi first graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy where he became interested in poetry, writing and literature and later obtained a degree from Harvard College in 1971. Furthermore, he is also a translator of poetry and a poet himself. He has translated and published the poetic works of the Italian poets Leopardi and Montale. He was also a Marshall Scholar at Christ's College, Cambridge where he spent two years earning a B.A. in English. His honors as a poet include a 1989 Guggenheim Fellowship, and his activities include having been poetry editor for The Paris Review for ten years, and being an honorary chairman of the Academy of American Poets. He has published poems in literary journals and magazines including Three penny Review,The New Yorker, The Nation and the Poetry Foundation website. He is the author of Full-Length Poetry Collections, Left-Handed: Poems (2012), North Street: Poems (2000) and Morning Run: Poems (1988). Among the several translations of Montale's work we remind Collected poems, 1920-1954: Eugenio Montale (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1998), Otherwise: Last and First Poems of Eugenio Montale (Vintage Books, 1984) and The Second Life of Art: Selected Essays of Eugenio Montale (Ecco Press, 1982)
Fausto Lombardi attended the National Academy of Dramatic Arts Silvio D'Amico, in Rome. Still in the Academy, in 1979 he started his acting career playing the role of Umberto Terracini in the TV movie Life of Antonio Gramsci for RAI2 and in the same year he played the head partisan Leo in the TV movie A private matter written by Beppe Fenoglio and directed by Alessandro Cane. His professional Theatre debut was with the company The tree in a theatre piece from the Gabriele D'Annunzio novel Il Piacere with Ludovica Modugno and Luigi Angelillo adapted and directed by Piero Baldini. After having been acting in Italy for several years, in 1984 he entered The Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York for an extensive period of training in the Strasberg Method. Back and forth between USA and Europe he has been in numerous Film, Theatre shows and TV movies, such as The sun also shine at night directed by the Taviani brothers, with Nastasja Kinsky and Julian Sands, Lost directed by Andreas Marfori, with Frank Columbu and Nicole Boris, Desperate Crimes by Andreas Marfori, with Denise Crosby and Frank Columbu, Palermo-Milano one way directed by Claudio Fragasso, with Giancarlo Giannini and Stefania Sandrelli, The Killer Couple directed by Claudio Fragasso, with Roul Bova and Laura Morante, Only you directed by Norman Jewison, with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr, Heaven by Tom Tykwer, with Cate Blanchette and Giovanni Ribisi, Il Maresciallo Rocca, for RAI 1 directed by Giorgio Capitani, RIS delitti imperfetti for Canale 5 directed by Alex Sweet.
Rosanna Warren is the author of Snow Day, chapbook of poems , and four collections of poems: Each Leaf Shines Separate (1984), Stained Glass (1993), Departure (Norton, 2003), and Ghost in a Red Hat (2011). Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, a book of literary criticism, appeared from Norton in 2008. She edited and contributed to The Art of Translation: Voices from the Field (1989), and has edited three chapbooks of poetry by prisoners. She has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, The Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Lila Wallace Readers' Digest Fund, among others. Stained Glass won the Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets. She has won the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lavan Younger Poets' Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Award of Merit in Poetry from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. She was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005. Currently, she teaches at Boston University, she is the Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities, University Professor and Professor of English and Romance Studies and is currently working on a literary biography of Max Jacob. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Respondent: Rebecca West
Rebecca West is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Romance Languages and Literatures, and Cinema and Media studies at the University of Chicago, where she has taught since 1973. Professor West has served as Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (1987 to 1994), and as Director of the Center for Gender Studies (2002-2005), all at the University of Chicago. She has been a visiting professor at Northwestern University (1989), the University of Pennsylvania (1993), Stanford University (1998), and Yale University (2007). Her honors include a Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (1978-79), a Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation (1985-86), and Fellowships at the Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy, and at the Liguria Study Center in Bogliasco, Italy (spring 2002). Professor West serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals (Annali d'Italianistica, Italica, Gradiva, Forum Italicum, and The Italianist, and presses. She has published over 100 articles in her fields of interest (modern and contemporary Italian literature and culture; cinema studies; feminist studies), and her major authored or edited volumes are: Eugenio Montale:Poet on the Edge (1981); Gianni Celati: The Craft of Everyday Storytelling (2000), Pagina-pellicola-pratica: Studi sul cinema (2000), The Cambridge Companion to Modern Italian Culture (2001), Italian Feminist Theory and Practice, (2002), La Valle dell'Eden: Cinema e Gender Studies (2007); Scrittori inconvenienti: Essays by and on Pier Paolo Pasolini and Gianni Celati (2009).
About the books:
Jonathan Galassi's revised 'Eugenio Montale: Collected Poems 1920-1954' (FarrarStraus & Giroux 2012)
Galassi's volume is unlikely to be superseded for a long time. -Jamie McKendrick, London Review of Books
A strong, idiomatic translation of Italy's greatest modern poet. This book offers English-language readers uniquely informed and readable access to the work of one of the greatest of all modern poets. (Amazon)
Galassi's edition provides copious critical annotation, a painstaking attempt to explicate Montale's "collage of borrowings." Identifying allusions, influences, sources and themes, Galassi's linguistic-textural analysis unravels many elements of the poet's voice: "a sinuous, constantly transforming series of metaphors spiraling around an elusive central core." This marriage of creative literary research and inspired poetic scholarship helps make Montale accessible to English-speaking readers. With a thorough chronology; an insightful essay, "Reading Montale"; and an index of titles and first lines; highly recommended for all major poetry collections. -Frank Allen, North Hampton Community Coll., Tannersville, PA
William Arrowsmith's translation of 'The Collected Poems of Eugenio Montale 1925-1977' (W.W. Norton 2012)
A majestic translation of one of the Nobel Prize-winning masters of twentieth-century poetry. (Amazon)
Thirty years after Montale's death, his poetry is still vividly alive, as it finds ever new readers within and beyond Italy. To have all of William Arrowsmith's English translations of the verse together in one volume is cause for rejoicing. Warren has done the world of poetry readers a great service. As we read through this incredibly rich poetic itinerary that traverses the heart of the twentieth century's devastations and yearnings, we understand once more why Montale is known as one of modernity's greatest poets. This volume is, quite simply, a gift to be cherished, and a source of endless delights. - Rebecca West
Dry and luminous, sharp-edged and visionary, the inexhaustible poetry of Eugenio Montale is here collected in William Arrowsmith's translations, which are as tough, delicate, and unsentimental as the originals. - Rachel Hadas