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How to vanish

Michael Dibdin

23 April 1987
The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis 
by Humberto Costantini, translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni.
Fontana, 193 pp., £3.50, January 1987, 0 00 654180 1
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Requiem for a Woman’s Soul 
by Omar Rivabella, translated by Paul Riviera.
Penguin, 116 pp., £2.95, February 1987, 0 14 009773 2
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Words in Commotion, and Other Stories 
by Tommaso Landolfi, translated by Ring Jordan and Lydia Jordan.
Viking, 273 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 670 80518 1
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The Literature Machine 
by Italo Calvino, translated by Patrick Creagh.
Secker, 341 pp., £16, April 1987, 0 436 08276 4
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The St Veronica Gig Stories 
by Jack Pulaski.
Zephyr, 170 pp., £10.95, December 1986, 0 939010 09 7
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Kate Vaiden 
by Reynolds Price.
Chatto, 306 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 7011 3203 5
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... case is there any sense of reading a translation. The same cannot be said of Words in Commotion. Tommaso Landolfi is renowned for his linguistic bravura – Calvino notes in his introduction that he ‘could do whatever he wanted with the pen’ – and Englishing his stories is as much of a challenge as making an Italian of Flann O’Brien. In such a ...
2 April 1987
Randall Jarrell’s Letters 
edited by Mary Jarrell.
Faber, 540 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 571 13829 2
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The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore 
edited by Patricia Willis.
Faber, 723 pp., £30, January 1987, 0 571 14788 7
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... looks angelic but a little anxious, a little like the young Raymond Chandler. There is a story by Tommaso Landolfi which, though set in Italy, has a peculiarly American twist to it. Two young men visit a prostitute, and one, who is psychologically impotent, pays her to tell his friend that all went normally. Jarrell wrote that everyone has a vulture ...

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