The Arsonist, Aldo Palazzeschi

The Arsonist

Aldo Palazzeschi

Publisher: Otis Books/Seismicity Editions
PubDate: 2/1/2013
ISBN: 9780984528998
Price: $12.95
Quantity Available: 26
Pages: 232
SKU #: L07G

Poetry. Bilingual Edition. Translated from the Italian by Nicholas Benson. Palazzeschi's radical, detached individualism, at its height in the Arsonist, produces poems that retain the paradoxically affectionate, satirical quality of burlesque. The volume is comprised of twenty-two dramatic, parodic narrative allegories of contemporary bourgeois life, which the poet depicts as timid, shallow, selfish, and squalid. This vision is rendered in colloquial free verse that places the reader, hypocrite lecteur, alongside the bourgeois poet become exemplary gadabout, boulevardier, and armchair provocateur—master of ceremonies at a carnival show.


Aldo Palazzeschi (1885-1974) had a distinguished career as a writer of essays, stories, novels, and poems. He won particular acclaim for the novels The Materassi Sisters (1934), The Cuccoli Brothers (1948), and Roma (1953). Palazzeschi's early avant-garde works, the anti-novel The Man of Smoke (1911) and the volume of poetry THE ARSONIST (1910) were both originally published by F. T. Marinetti's Futurist press.

Nicholas Benson's poetry and translations have appeared in New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Calque, and other journals. His translation of Attilio Bertolucci's WINTER JOURNEY was published in 2005 by Free Verse editions of Parlor Press. He was awarded a 2008 NEA Translation Fellowship. 

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