Cover image for Posthumous diary, Diario postumo
Posthumous diary, Diario postumo
Montale, Eugenio, 1896-1981.
Uniform Title:
Diario postumo English.
Publication Information:
New York : Turtle Point Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xviii, 188 pages ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PQ4829.O56 A613 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Solitude, despair, fear of death and what alleviates it all: friendships that come of shared interests and the consolations of art.

Author Notes

Eugenio Montale was born in Genoa, Italy on October 12, 1896. Largely self-educated, he was an infantry officer in World War I and then became a spectator, rather than an activist, during the 20 years of fascism. He lived in Genoa for his first 30 years, where he started his career as a journalist, and then moved to Florence, where he worked first for a publishing house and then as a reference librarian. After World War II, he settled down in Milan as literary and music critic and special correspondent for Italy's leading newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera.

He is often considered to be one of the founders of the poetic school known as hermeticism, an Italian variant of the French symbolist movement. His books of poems and essays include Cuttlefish Bones (1925), Occasions (1939), The Storm and Other Things (1956), and Diary of 1971 and 1972 (1973). He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1975. He died on September 12, 1981 in Milan.

In 1996, a work appeared called Posthumous Diary (Diario Postumo) that purported to have been constructed by Montale before his death with the help of the young poet Annalisa Cima. Critical reaction at first varied, with some believing that Cima had forged the collection outright, though now the work is generally considered authentic.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Many American readers enjoy the Italian poet Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) in Jonathan Galassi's celebrated translations. Now Galassi (editor-in-chief of Farrar, Straus & Giroux) offers the first English translation of Montale's controversial Posthumous Diary. These fragmentary verses appeared in Italian after the poet's death, in editions supervised by his companion, Cima Isella; some Italian critics think she helped write it. Whatever their source, the disturbing and charming poems provide a window into the fears, pride and palimpsests of old age: "The bard is dead, long live his terminator." (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1975, the great Italian poet Montale remains little known to English-language audiences despite the efforts of William Arrowsmith, Charles Wright, and other gifted translators. His compact, allusive style does not share the easy surrealism of the more popular Neruda or the grim impressiveness of Lorca or Akhmatova. Galassi (editor in chief, Farrar) has done as much as anyone to combat that ignorance with his series of fine, clear translations of several individual volumes and with the Collected Poems, 1920-1954 (LJ 8/98). With this Posthumous Diary, he continues the project of bringing Montale into English, creating a wholly worthy successor to earlier installments. In Italy, the Diario was the center of a storm of contention over authenticity. Suffice it to say that this Montale, who presented this book poem by poem to his last muse, is a simpler and more accessible poet which may be a little disquieting to the practiced Montale reader but makes the book a fine introduction to his manner and method. While these poems speak of the ephemeral and the occasional, they give a taste of Montale's preoccupations, doubts, and hopes: "When the light comes we'll sail/ between spires and shining crystals/ of the city where sirens sing,/ and the eye will wander far." Highly recommended. Graham Christian, SunGard Trading & Risk Syst., Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.