Vernacular Sonnets of Giuseppe Gioachino Belli: Vol. 3 Intercalations 1835-1849 (Volume 3)

 
9781781210802: Vernacular Sonnets of Giuseppe Gioachino Belli: Vol. 3 Intercalations 1835-1849 (Volume 3)

Giuseppe Gioachino Belli (Rome 1791-1863) produced the largest body of satirical poetry in Italian: 2,279 pungent sonnets in romanesco devoted to the lives and behaviour of the common people of the Rome of his time. His range of topics is simply too long to list but embraces: eating, drinking, violence, sex, earthquake, ghosts, gambling, house-hunting, religion, orphans, popes, shyster lawyers, bedrooms, fireworks. His irregular, sometimes scurrilous, subject matter is shaped by a peerless mastery of the Petrachan sonnet. He chose not to publish in his lifetime, reciting instead to a select audience which, on at least one occasion, included another great writer of comic literature, Gogol, who mentioned him in admiration to his literary correspondents. Over the past fifty years his reputation has justly grown, and some of his work is now available in French, German, Spanish and Russian. In English he has gained the attention of such writers and poets as William Carlos Williams, Robert Garioch, Gregory Corso, Anthony Burgess, Robert Lowell. Michael Sullivan taught Philosophy at London University before Thatcher’s slash and- burn policy resulted in the closure of five of its colleges. He turned to literary translation, living in Trastevere in Rome among the heirs of Belli’s people while they were still relatively untouched by political correctness and the dumbing-down of Berlusconi’s media empire. He first tried his hand at a Belli sonnet when translating Armando Petrucci’s Writing the dead for Stanford Univerity Press (1998). He has translated, amongst others, Fabrizia Ramondino, Giorgio Agamben, Ottavio Fatica. His translation of Michelangelo, Love sonnets and madrigals to Tommaso de’Cavalieri, was published by Peter Owen Publishers in 1997. This is Volume 3 of Michael Sullivan’s translation of Belli’s sonnets. The first 2 volumes were published in 2011 as “Vernacular Sonnets of Giuseppe Gioachino Belli. A selection. Volume 1 1819-1832” and ‘‘Volume 2 1833-1834” respectively.

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Michael Sullivan taught Philosophy at London University before Thatcher's slash-and-burn policy resulted in the closure of five of its colleges. He turned to literary translation, living in Trastevere in Rome among the heirs of Belli's people while they were still relatively untouched by political correctness and the dumbing-down of Berlusconi's media empire. He first tried his hand at a Belli sonnet when translating Armando Petrucci's Writing the dead for Standford University Press (1998). He has translated, amongst others, Fabrizia Ramondino, Giorgio Agamben, Ottavio Fatica. His translation of Michaelangelo, Love sonnets and madrigals to Tommaso de'Cavalieri, was published by Peter Owen Publishers in 1997.

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