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Paperback, 160 pages, 13 x 19,5 cm
Italian, English, Paperback, 160 pages, 13 x 19,5 cm, 2017.
It’s 1950. The border between Italy and San Marino is blocked by a heavy police presence: the microstate has just opened a casino despite opposition from Italy. On 30th September that same year, Eugenio Montale won the first and the only edition of the San Marino Literary Prize with a set of forty-seven poems that would go on to make up the volume The Storm and Other Things, eventually published in 1956. In order to be awarded the substantial prize of one million lire, Montale had to walk across the border, like an illegal migrant. Rita Canarezza and Pier Paolo Coro recount this story through a previously unreleased project, drawing on both words and imagery, in which we are presented with the poems as part of a video and photographic research project. Here, the fragments featuring short passages from Montale’s poems relate the whole work to an unknown dimension, one detached from the Montalean episode. It is a crossing of borders, languages and practices, like the many crossings that artists themselves have often had to make on their journeys of discovery. The event recounted also has broader symbolic potential, and it can be inhabited, re-enacted and rewritten in a form of circularity so dear to Montale:
Thus it slackens, before it can lock
onto the images, onto the words,
onto the dark
remembering senses of the past,
we once occupied which waits us
again, when it is time
to take us back, to take us in.
(Translation by Charles Wright, in Eugenio Montale, Selected Poems, 1965)