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Charmed Lives

Patrick Parrinder, 23 April 1987

Memoirs of a Fortunate Jew: An Italian Story 
by Dan Vittorio Segre.
Peter Halban, 273 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 1 870015 00 2
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To the Land of the Reeds 
by Aharon Appelfeld, translated by Jeffrey Green.
Weidenfeld, 148 pp., £9.95, February 1987, 0 297 78972 4
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Enchantment 
by Daphne Merkin.
Hamish Hamilton, 288 pp., £10.95, March 1987, 0 241 12113 2
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Ernesto 
by Umberto Saba, translated by Mark Thompson.
Carcanet, 166 pp., £9.95, March 1987, 0 85635 559 3
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... has created an all-too-believable heroine. Finally, an unfinished novel by the Triestine poet Umberto Saba (1883-1958). Written and then abandoned in the mid-Fifties, Ernesto consists of a series of brief episodes deftly outlining a young boy’s sexual awakening. There is a thin line between fiction and autobiography here, since (as Mark ...

Someone Else’s

Matthew Reynolds: Translating Cesare Pavese, 6 October 2005

Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-50 
by Cesare Pavese, translated by Geoffrey Brock.
Carcanet, 370 pp., £14.95, April 2004, 1 85754 738 1
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The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems 
edited by Jamie McKendrick.
Faber, 167 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 0 571 19700 0
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... poem in a foreign tongue. Several of McKendrick’s selections do a similar thing similarly well: Umberto Saba translated by Derek Mahon, Ungaretti by Patrick Creagh, Maria Luisa Spaziani by Beverly Allen. But many others are more limited. In Biographia Literaria Coleridge illustrates the workings of metaphor with some made-up lines which do not pretend ...

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