Antonio Tabucchi Week September 17 – 23 2012 and Giveaway

Ever since Stu’s Henry Green Week I wanted to host something similar for an Italian author and my first choice was always Antonio Tabucchi. He is one of the finest Italian writers and one I admire a lot.

Sadly what should have been a tribute to a living author has now turned into a commemoration as Tabucchi died earlier this year.

Tabucchi was a novelist, short story writer and academic. One striking feature was his love for Portugal, the Portuguese language and Fernando Pessoa. He didn’t only teach Portuguese literature at the university but he lived in Portugal (as a reaction among other things to Italian politics), wrote a novel in Portuguese and translated Pessoa.

He is one of the rare authors not writing in English who has been extensively translated. While I will read him in Italian, all those who would like to join can choose from a variety of other languages. He is available in English, French and German and most probably also in Spanish and Portuguese.

Tabucchi’s Indian Nocturne is one of my all-time favourite books. It has been made into a movie. I just read and reviewed Sogni di Sogni - Dreams of Dreams - a collection of imagined dreams attributed to famous writers, musicians and artists. But there are others that I want to re-read or discover for the first time like Tristano muore. Una vita.

If you have never read anything by this author I would suggest you start with one of his more famous novels like Pereira Maintains (Sostiene Pereira) or Indian Nocturne (Notturno Indiano). If you like short stories you may enjoy the beautiful collection of fictitious letters It’s Getting Later All the Time. If you go for quirky and inspiring, Dreams of Dreams may be the thing. But there are more.

Requiem: A Hallucination

Little Misunderstandings of No Importance

The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro

And in Italian (and other translations) only

Tristano muore. Una vita

Il tempo invecchia infretta

Il filo dell’orizzonte

In order to motivate you to join I’m giving away one copy of one of his most famous novels which has also been made into a movie with Marcello Mastroianni.

Pereira Maintains

In the sweltering summer of 1938 in Portugal, a country under the fascist shadow of Spain, a mysterious young man arrives at the doorstep of Dr Pereira. So begins an unlikely alliance that will result in a devastating act of rebellion. This is Pereira’s testimony.

The giveaway is open internationally. If you would like to win this book, just leave a comment. The only condition is that you take part in Tabucchi Week. What you will read is up to you, it doesn’t have to be the book you won.

The winner will be announced on Friday August 17 2012.

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71 thoughts on “Antonio Tabucchi Week September 17 – 23 2012 and Giveaway

  1. I was worried you had forgotten about this week! I’m in–just need to decide on a book (no need to enter me in the giveaway since I already own Pereira, but thanks for hosting the week and offering a giveaway anyway). Ciao!

    • I’m so glad you are joining.
      I hadn’t forgotten about it but on my last post there were quite a few commenting that July didn’t work or August didn’t work so I figured – Sepetmber isn’t a bad time.

  2. Well hooray! I don’t need to tell you I’m a huge fan of Tabucchi, having read everything of his available (to my knowledge) in English. This will give me the opportunity to pull down from the shelf some recently acquired French translations of works notavailable in English. And sure, enter me in the giveaway; I’ve read Pereira, but I don’t have it, and I’ve been curious to see if this edition – translator Patrick Creagh’s third different title for his translation of the book – actually includes any changes to the earlier versions. So thanks for hosting this!

  3. I’ll try to participate even if September is back to school month and usually a bit crazy. I have La tête Perdue de Damasceno Monteiro at home. The title caught me and I wanted to try him.

  4. I’m embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of Tabucchi, at least not consciously. Shame on me! I’ll try to (September will be crazy) participate too and read Pereira Maintains. Not just because it’s in the giveaway but because it sounds fantastic!

  5. Tabucchi sounds like a very decent writer. I will join you if I can.

    Dream of Dreams sounds wonderfully creative and innovative! Of course literature is filled with stories of dreams. However a book consisting of various dreams of various artists is such a great idea. I wonder is anyone else ever wrote a book consisting of a series of dreams.

  6. I already have a copy, so no need to enter me into the giveaway. I shall try to read and blog timeously. (No promises though, am on the road that week.)

  7. Yippie! I thought I missed out on this since I was a lackluster follower this summer. So glad I didn’t. My library has a copy of Pereira maintains. And the dates you selected work perfectly. Also, I’ve been trying to read more non-English authors. I think that might be one of my goals next year. I love English writers, but I feel horrible about missing out on others. And I have many translated works in my personal collection. This will be a great start. Thanks Caroline for letting me know and for hosting.

  8. I will probably get Indian Nocturne from the library, so don’t enter me in the giveaway, Caroline. Have wanted to read his works, but never got around to them. Thank you for the reminder.

  9. While this sounds as though this is a writer I need to investigate, I am reluctant to sign up for the week as my reading plans have been derailed lately. I didn’t join in with The Spanish Lit month as intended, so I’ll pass.

    • As Tom mentions, all of his books are very short and he wrote short stories too. …
      Don’t worry, it’s OK if you cannot make it. It can be a spontaneous last minute thing. It’s up to you.

  10. Hi, Caroline,
    I would like to participate in the Tabucchi readalong, but the only book in our entire library system (30+ libraries) is declared to be LOST.

    I’d love to enter my name for the giveaway and would like to participate in the Tabucchi week.

    I’ve been studying all my book-purchasing outlets and it will take me a little while to find a title I can get here.

    Thanks for entering me!

    Judith

  11. I’d like to join in and read one of his books. Sadly my library has not a single title by him, but maybe I can put in a request since he seems like an author we really should own! I’ll have to look through his list of titles and see what sounds really good. I’m glad to see a little attention thrown on an Italian author by the way–I want to read more Italian fiction so this will help me along! :)

    • It would be so nice if you could join. I’m quite sure you would like him. It is surprising your libraray doesn’t have any of his books.
      I could imagine you would like Indian Nocturne and “It’s getting later…”
      I find Italian authors are sadly neglected, looking at my all time favourites however I’d say Italian literature is among my favourites.

  12. As an occasional visitor to your site I’m so pleased to see you championing Tabucchi.I came across him by chance in a local branch of the “Works”—Pereira maintains,a good few years ago and thought him my own personal secret for a long while whilst recommending him to friends.I was saddened at news of his death.I enjoy your site and am reading Harry Mulisch at the moment after seeing a mention of him by you.Best wishes

    • Thanks for the nice words. I hope you will like Mulisch. Tabucchi is a wonderful writer,isn’t he? I suppose he still is relatively unknown which was one of the reasons for doing this. . If you like Tabucchi you might like two of my other favourite Italian authors Pavese and Bassani. Pavese might be a little bit more difficult to find but he was an amazing writer. And so was Bassani. All three sadly passed away already.

  13. You know I’m up for Pereira Maintains – yay! Glad to have the chance to read it for a blog event. I already have a copy, so don’t need to be in the giveaway, but looking forward to the week.

    • That’s great new, I’m glad you’re in.
      I hope people will make it as his books really all are quite short. Even Pereira, although it’s a longer one. I think a few will end up reading it, it will be like a very free readalong.

  14. Oh I loved your review of Dream of Dreams a month or so ago and hope very much that one day I can find a copy in English. Normally I’d leap at the chance to join in but I am afraid that September is going to be a very busy month for me AND I am still in Dutch Literature Month from June :0 so I think I’ll confine myself to reading everyone else’s posts for now. Best wishes for it anyway!

    • It would have been great if you had been able to joj but i understand. Too many commitments spoil the fun.
      I realized today that it’s out of prnt at the moment. You don’t read the German? all of his books are available in German.
      I’ll return to my Dutch books soon again as well. I was sad I couldn’t read more.

  15. This is wonderful, Caroline! I would love to participate in Tabucchi week! I loved your review of ‘Dreams of Dreams’. I will look for ‘Indian Nocture’ or ‘Pereira Maintains’ at the bookshop here.

      • I just ordered ‘Pereira Maintains’ and I am hoping to get it in a week’s time :) I wanted to get ‘Indian Nocturne’ first, because you said that it is your favourite. But when I read the outline, I discovered that it is about the scenes of India, and I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to read it now. And I also wanted to read something closer to Tabucchi’s love for things portuguese. I will keep ‘Indian Nocturne’ on my ‘TBR’ list and I will read it when I am in mood for a book on India. I can’t wait for Antonio Tabucchi week! He is a ‘new-to-me’ author and I am really excited! Thanks for hosting, Caroline :)

  16. Caroline,
    My copy of Pereira Declares arrived yesterday. So, I’m all set for the Tabucchi week. The “Declares” part of the title seems to be a U.S. thing. My copy is translated by Patrick Cleagh. I wonder if he’s a US translator. I’ll have to find out.

    Thanks for hosting!
    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

    • I’m glad you got it. I’ve seen diferent translations. “Maintains” is closer to the original Italian. I don’t know which of the two translations is which Declares or maintains. Would be interesting to fin out. I think the “maintains” is the newer translation.

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  22. I just found your wonderful blog this week. It is excellent that you are doing this. I have loved Tabucchi for a very,long time .He is one of my favourite Italian writers. He has always been relatively unknown in the U.S and is still somewhat unknown or under appreciated in many countries. I have read quite a few of his novels as well as some books of essays, and politics etc..I have enjoyed listening to his talks and the interviews with him.Recently, I have been listening again to his interviews of Ezra Pound, Ungaretti and others.The books I have read were variously in Italian, French, Spanish,Portuguese, Dutch and English.My skills in most languages are far from excellent, but typically my reading skills in all are much better than they should be.I have read Sogni di Sogni, Indian Nocturne, Sostiene Pereira, It is getting later all the time,Tristano Muore and a few others. Many of them I read years ago, but I have both reread and read a couple of new ones in the last year or two. I do not know how you proceed or what would be involved if one ”participates” .Someone just mentioned the ‘event’. Please let me know. Regardless, I am just so delighted he is receiving more attention. I look forward to reading what you write. We have a shared love of various authors, films, and psychology in addition to a deep love of languages, translation, and cats.

    • Thanks for you kind words. We seem to be reading the same languages, only my sixth language is German while yours is Portuguese. Maybe I would be able to read it but I’d be very slow.
      How nice to know of someone with so many similar interests. Some of my favourite books are by Italian authors, Pavese, Bassani, Tabucchi of course. I would read so much more but I’m always relcutant to review what has not been translated. I will have to listen to these interviews. An Italian author I only discovered recently is Erri de Luca. I like him very much as well.
      Are you Italina or half Italian? I’m hlf French, half Italian but grew up and live now in a German speaking country. Anny suggestion of Italian books is welcome. An author I’d like to read soon is Carmine Abbate. He’s been translated.
      If you had wanted to participate you could just review one of his books on your blog and I would add the link. I’ll organise similar weeks in the future. Maybe a Lampedusa readalong too.

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