Edoardo Sanguineti, Poet of Genoa

Having only moved to Liguria a couple of years ago, I have also only recently become aware of the great Ligurian artists, so many of whom come from Genoa, the most underrated city in all of Italy.  These include the violinist Niccolò Paganini, the Nobel Prize winning poet Eugenio Montale forever associated with the Cinque Terre, the legendary Italian singer-songwriter De André, and even Van Dyck, who lived and worked in Genoa for many years.

Edoardo Sanguineti popped up while I was working on a translation of Luigi Malerba; they were both members of the experimental Gruppo 63, a group that embraced literary extravagances and rejected the realist/modernist vein.  He was a writer and poet from Genoa who had a long career that ended only recently.  He died in 2010 at the age of eighty.

Being a poet means that no one actually reads his work, which is a shame because it is really good.  Strange, but good, of that sort of individualistic originality that marks both a unique personality and a unique style.   He became more famous in Italy as an exponent of the communist party than as a poet, but now that the communist party has been thoroughly scorched to ashes, his legacy will be firmly based on his poetry.

Unfortunately he’s untranslated, but given another long rainy winter like this past one and a thick-enough skin to actually try to find a publisher for a translation of Italian poetry, maybe I’ll get around to it.

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