Poetry. Translated from the Italian, and with a foreword by Steven Grieco-Rathgeb. Selected from seven collections and presented in a fine Italian-English edition, these are poems by a prolific philosopher, novelist and postmodern poet written on the edge of lyricism, tempered by a hardheaded realism and often set in a nocturnal mode.
"Bertoldo's poetic production may... be seen as a long series of lucid attempts to break up the `weak' style of poetry. His is, however, very much an insider's job: he stands inside the house, and uses, reuses, and processes the materials he finds there. His apparent attempts to put these together into some coherent whole always meet with failure: he always allows the fabric to be rent by the outside world, which powerfully encroaches on this cozy little place with its strident and meaningless cacophony, but also with its urgent wake-up calls. Any temptation the poet may have to slide backwards into lyricism is wiped out by his own harsh rhythms, the clusters of distorted, dissonant words and phrases often made up of broken conversations overheard at poetry readings, coffee shops, supermarkets, intellectual gatherings, church homilies."—from the Foreword
Roberto Bertoldo, born in Chivasso in 1957, grew up in Turin and earned his degree in Letters and Philosophy at the University there in 1981 with a thesis on Petrarch. After a long period of reflection and private writing, he emerged in 1996 to found an international literary review, Hebenon, and to begin a prolific career in three fields. As philosopher, he has published seven books, including Sui fondamenti dell'amore / On the Foundations of Love (Milan: Guerini, 2006), Anarchismo senza anarchia: Idee per una democrazia anarchica / Anarchism Without Anarchy: Ideas For an Anarchistic Democracy (Milan: Mimesis, 2009) and La profundità della letteratura / The Profundity of Literature (Milan: Mimesis, 2016). As prosaist, he has published five novels, including Il Lucifero di Wittenberg—Anschluss / Lucifer of Wittenberg—Anschluss (Milan: Asefi-Terziaria, 1998), Ladyboy (Milan: Mimesis, 2009) and Satio (Turin: Achille, 2015). As poet, he has published seven collections of verse: Nuvole in agonia / Clouds in Agony (1976-1984), Pan-Demonio / Pan-Demonium (1985-1994), Il rododenro / The Rhododendron (1994-1999), Il calvario delle gru / Calvary of the Storks (1998-2000), L'Archivio delle bestemmie / The Registry of Blasphemies (2004-2005), Pergamena dei Ribelli / The Rebel's Scroll (2009-2010) and Il popolo che sono / The People I Am (2012-2015). All these collections, plus some youthful poems (1965-1976) are represented in the present Chelsea Edition entiteld ROBERTO BERTOLDO, VICTIMS' CRAM: SELECTED POEMS 1965-2015. Bertoldo lives and teaches in Burolo, near Turin.
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