Hebdomeros

Giorgio Dechirico, Author, Patrice Debri, Author, Margaret Crosland, Translator AJ Publishing Company $1.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55554-030-2
Written in 1929, this is the great metaphysical painter's only novel. Though it is a rare example of surrealistic prose, De Chirico had, by the time he wrote it, rejected surrealism in painting and embraced a metaphysical classicism. The result is an original blending of styles, a series of vignettes and visions, surprisingly fresh after six decades, written with complete disdain for time and space. The eponymous Hebdomeros remembers, imagines and experiences images and events: he describes gods and innkeepers; is horrified of gastronomes (""he considered strawberries and figs the most immoral fruits''); attacks fashionable artists (``the living and walking symbol of human stupidity''); and invents scenarios that are often more like those of Lewis Carroll than of Huysmans or Homer. With subjects ranging from the thrill of everyday objects and sensations to the story of the prodigal son, De Chirico leaps wildly from non sequitur``Hebdomeros had never thought of associating the idea of hangovers with that of fish''to bizarre conceptions of ``eternal noon.'' Replete with hallmark melancholy, foreboding and Freudian imageryclose, in fact, to a prose translation of De Chirico's early work on canvasHebdomeros is a fascinating look into a creative mind. Illustrated with 11 drawings. (May)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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