Lives of the Gods

Alberto Savinio, Author, Susan Etlinger, Translator, James Brook, Translator Atlas Press (GB) $12.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-947757-28-1
Savinio (1891-1952) takes liberties with classical myths, abuses footnotes in an almost postmodern fashion and includes a number of languages and heady allusions to unclothe humanity and civilization in this sly, cynical collection of surrealist short stories. In ``Psyche'' guests wander through ``a sort of Musee Grevin, except for the fact that the figures are made of flesh instead of wax.'' Here Psyche has been reduced to a pitiful exhibit, surrounded by her own excrement and etched with the graffiti of passing tourists. She tells her story, a revision of the myth, and claims that her father was ``First Pornographer to the Ministry of Mercy,'' the footnote wryly concluding that this is not a transposition for ``stenographer.'' The combination of classical allusions and multiple languages recalls the work of Ezra Pound, without that poet's fascist bent. As in reading Pound, a few reference books and a dictionary may be useful (for instance, ``The name `Pard' . . . is nothing but an apocope . . . isn't `Leopard' basically a pleonasm?''). These modernized myths, written decades ago by the brother of Giorgio de Chirico, retain their relevance and sting. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-1-55554-031-9
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