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Landolfi, Tommaso

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1908-1979) Italian translator (mostly from the Russian) and author, active as an author of short fictions from 1929. Three selections, covering most of his career, have appeared in English: Gogol's Wife and Other Stories (coll trans Raymond Rosenthal, John Longrigg and Wayland Young 1963), Cancerqueen and Other Stories (coll trans Raymond Rosenthal 1971) – which includes the short title novel, Cancroregina (1950 chap; trans Jack Murphy 1950 in Botteghe Oscure), about a mad astronaut imprisoned in a living Starship – and Words in Commotion and Other Stories (coll trans Kathrine Jason 1986), a volume taken mostly from La più belle pagine di Tommaso Landolfi ["The Most Beautiful Pages of Tommaso Landolfi"] (coll 1982), a compilation edited and introduced by Italo Calvino (the introduction is translated), who compares Landolfi to writers like Villiers de L'Isle-Adam. Landolfi's most famous single tale, "La moglie de Gogol" (14 December 1944 Cittá; trans Wayland Young as the title story in Gogol's Wife [see above]), describes Nikolai Gogol's growing obsession with the doll he has "married", who eventually, over-inflated, explodes in his face; the tale is a strong example of the laconic, surreal, testing Fabulations that comprise his best work, which seem to reflect that of Jorge Luis Borges and Franz Kafka, and which clearly influenced Calvino in turn. [JC]

Tommaso Landolfi

born Pico Farnese, Italy: 9 August 1908

died Ronciglione, Italy: 8 July 1979


original works (selected)

  • Dialogo dei massimi sistemi (Florence, Italy: Fratelli Parenti Editori, 1937) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • La Spada (Florence, Italy: Vallecchi Editore, 1942) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • Le due zittelle (Milan, Italy: Bompiani, 1946) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • Cancroregina (Florence, Italy: Vallecchi Editore, 1950) [chap: binding unknown/]
    • "Cancroregina" (1950 in Botteghe Oscure) [trans by Jack Murphy: binding unknown/]
  • Ombre (Florence, Italy: Vallecchi Editore, 1954) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • Racconti (Florence, Italy: Vallecchi Editore, 1961) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • In società (Florence, Italy: Vallecchi Editore, 1962) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • Tre racconti (Florence, Italy: Vallecchi Editore, 1964) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • Racconti impossibili (Florence, Italy: Vallecchi Editore, 1966) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • Racconto d'Autunno (Milan, Italy: Rizzoli Editore, 1975) [binding unknown/]
    • An Autumn Story (Hygiene, Colorado: Eridanos Press, 1989) [trans by Joachim Neugroschel of the above: hb/from Edvard Munch]
  • Le più belle pagine di Tommaso Landolfi (Milan, Italy: Rizzoli Editore, 1982) [coll: edited by Italo Calvino: binding unknown/]

collections in English translation

  • Gogol's Wife & Other Stories (New York: New Directions, 1963) [coll: trans by Raymond Rosenthal, John Longriff and Wayland Young from various collections listed above: hb/David Ford]
  • Cancerqueen and Other Stories (New York: The Dial Press, 1961) [coll: trans by Raymond Rosenthal from various collections listed above: hb/Jacqueline Schuman]
  • Words in Commotion and Other Stories (New York: Viking, 1986) [coll: trans by Kathrine Jason from Le più belle pagine di Tommaso Landolfi and other collections listed above: introduction by Italo Calvino: hb/Ralph Masiello]


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