Archive for the ‘This is the garden’ Category

What is a garden?

4 Maggio 2014

di Tom Faure

What is a garden? For Adam and Eve, it is the warm kingdom of innocence from which they have fallen. For Candide, it is the final plot he must dedicate his life to cultivating. For Giulio Mozzi, the garden resembles a Borgesian labyrinth—a mysterious, perplexing place in which people constantly write, read, and rewrite the ever-shifting planes of some elusive salvation. Mozzi’s garden is both the sandbox of the imagination and also an idyll his sad, thoughtful characters can never seem to achieve. […] Each of these stories does indeed evoke or otherwise explicitly depict a garden, but the collection is not purely religious in nature. It’s thoroughly human, it’s Kafka, it’s experience of love and the puzzles of human connection and communication. […]

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“He is a writer to watch”

28 gennaio 2014

di Michael Autrey

This is the garden, by Giulio MozziMozzi’s work appeared in Best European Fiction 2010, edited by Aleksandar Hemon, and The Apprentice, a story from this remarkable collection, was included in a collection of the best Italian stories of the twentieth century. Harris’ translation of the Premio Modello winner is fluid and fluent and captures Mozzi’s variety of tones in stories that are elliptical and compressed. The protagonist in The Apprentice remains nameless, a laborer in a machine shop who is too conscientious to seek a better position. In the opening story, Cover Letter, a purse-snatcher returns letters he found in a victim’s purse, with a long précis on his motives and methods. Glass is the most oblique and the least effective tale, but it contains the narrator’s marvelous comment capturing the struggles of the inarticulate: “There’s something I keep trying to say, that grammar won’t permit, won’t allow.” The last two stories, Tana and F., are outstanding, not the least alike, and demonstrate Mozzi’s mastery of the short story form. He is a writer to watch.

Da Booklist On Line

Cover letter (from “This is the Garden”)

25 gennaio 2014

by Giulio Mozzi
Translated from Italian by Elizabeth Harris

This is the garden, by Giulio MozziDear Signorina,
Please find enclosed your two letters (I imagine you recognized them right away), which I’m returning because I don’t think it puts me at too much risk. I won’t return your money—I spent most of it anyway on things I need—and I won’t return your purse, which I destroyed, or the other things I found in your purse that I hope didn’t hold too much practical or sentimental value. You must have gotten your ID cards by now: I tossed them in a mailbox like always (I know the mail is reliable). I’m afraid you’ve already changed your locks, and in a way I’m sorry about this, since there’s no benefit for me and it was a waste of money for you, as your keys—along with everything else—wound up in a trash bin, where I’m fairly sure no one will fish them out, and even if someone did, without your address, he’d have no idea what to do with them. For security reasons, I generally don’t save or resell what I find in a purse, even if it’s worth something. But I always go through purses carefully—you never know—there might be some kind of medicine for a life-threatening illness like diabetes or heart disease that a person has to carry at all times. While I’m sure there’d be some risk, you should know if I found this type of medicine, even if it can be replaced at any pharmacy, I wouldn’t think twice about returning it as quickly as possible, and that’s why I’ve memorized the numbers for two express delivery services. Actually, so far I’ve found only aspirin, other headache remedies, eye drops, etc. I once kept a lottery ticket, but then I realized I’d never bought a lottery ticket in my life, and a sudden windfall—even a spectacular one—might not turn out to be such a happy event for me. You should never own something you didn’t desire first, I thought, so I tossed the ticket.

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Apprentices and Angels: Life Beyond Innocence

23 gennaio 2014

di Susan Scutti

This is the garden, by Giulio Mozzi[…] Mozzi’s semi-allegorical stories use concise and simple, though somewhat cold, prose. Effortless to read, there is a rainy-day, pensive quality to these tales, though overall his style seems bent on making a reader think more than feel as they explore the themes contained within the Genesis story. There is also a notable lack of dialogue and many of the actual confrontations between characters have taken place either offstage or in the past; most of the action is remembered by or filtered through only one participant. In short, there’s no immediacy to much of the action, all urgency is contained in each character’s thoughts. Such storytelling suggests that any meaning attached to life — or even our own actions — evolves slowly and only after prolonged meditation. […]

Leggi tutta la recensione di This is the Garden in The Philadelphia Review of Books.

“My process of translating is ridiculously slow…”

22 gennaio 2014

Una conversazione con Elizabeth Harris, traduttrice di Questo è il giardino (This is the Garden).

[…] Aaron Westerman: How did you first hear about This is the Garden and what ultimately made you want to become involved with translating it?
Eliabeth Harris: I heard of this collection from Mozzi himself. I was asked to translate a Mozzi story from a different collection, Una vita felice (A Happy Life), from La Felicità Terrena (Earthly Happiness); this translation was for Minna Proctor who was guest-editing a contemporary Italian fiction issue of The Literary Review (Minna is now the editor-in-chief of TLR). I loved this story: I loved its spare style and I loved the complicated, troubled narrator. While I was translating it, I had a few questions, so I contacted Mozzi, who has a literary blog in Italy and so is very accessible. When I’d finished translating this piece for TLR, I asked Mozzi if I might translate the entire collection, La Felicità Terrena. Mozzi asked me to translate Questo è il giardino instead, which he felt was his best work. I was quite happy to translate this book, but I do hope I get the opportunity to translate other collections of his as well; I love his writing. […]

Leggi tutta la conversazione in Tipographical Era.

Disponibile da oggi

21 gennaio 2014

This is the garden, by Giulio Mozzi

E ora, una cosa (bella) che non c’entra niente:

(more…)

This is the Garden

9 dicembre 2013

da Kirkusreviews

Mozzi tends to focus on the outré and is masterful at creating individuals in isolation. Cover Letter, the first story in the collection, is a love letter of sorts from a professional purse-snatcher to a woman who was a victim of his predations. He lingers over the contents, speculating about her life and loves, and evokes her presence from the artifacts he finds in the purse. By turns apologetic, proud, empathetic and confessional, he quotes to her from two letters he’s found in her purse and speculates about their significance in her life before he sends them back to her. The next story is The Apprentice, a long story about an apprentice in a shop who tries to work his way up from messenger boy to skilled laborer, though he’s subject to the vagaries of office politics and nepotism. Claw is a story about Yanez, a recluse in a small village who’s visited every day for over 20 years by the only woman who seems to care about his existence. One day, an Englishman, self-described as a “saint,” comes to “save [the villagers’] souls from certain death… if they refused his help,” and his plea is intriguing enough to lure Yanez out of the house he’s scarcely left for years. Tana, one of Mozzi’s most cryptic stories, concerns a woman who comes across an angel, complete with wings, and this angel inadvertently (and ironically) helps her overcome her aversion to sexuality.
Although Mozzi’s style is crisp and straightforward, the stories themselves are beautifully nuanced and elliptical.