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A City Lights / Italian Voices Book "Elaborately imagined...mini-catalog of great artists' dreams and the author's interpretation of the last three days in the life of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Tabucchi's rich language and his magical-realist charm tinge the volume with a visionary glow."-Publishers Weekly " A lovely little book that keeps ringing in your head long after you've finished it."-Kirkus Chapter One DREAM OF DAEDALUS, ARCHITECT AND AVIATOR One night, thousands of years ago, at a time impossible to calculate exactly, Daedalus, architect and aviator, had a dream. He dreamed that he was deep inside an immense palace and he was going through a corridor. The corridor opened into another corridor and Daedalus, tired and confused, walked along it, leaning on the walls. When he had come to the end, the corridor opened into a small octagonal room, from which eight corridors branched out. Daedalus began to feel short of breath and a need for fresh air. He entered one corridor, but it ended against a wall. He went into another, but it too ended against a wall. Seven times Daedalus made an attempt until, on the eighth attempt, he entered a very long corridor that, after a series of curves and corners, led out into another corridor. Daedalus then sat down on a marble step and began to reflect. On the corridor walls were flaming torches that illuminated frescoes blue with birds and flowers. I'm the only one who could know how to get out of here, Daedalus said to himself, and I don't remember. He took off his sandals and began to walk barefoot on the green marble floor. To console himself, he began to sing an ancient dirge he had learned from an old servant who had rocked his infant cradle. The arcades of the long corridor carried his voice back to him ten times over. I'm the only one who could know how to get out of here, said Daedalus, and I don't remember. At that moment, he came out into a wide, circular room frescoed with absurd landscapes. He remembered that room but he couldn't remember why he remembered it. There were seats covered with luxurious fabrics and, in the middle of the room, a large bed. On the edge of the bed was seated

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780872863682
ISBN-10: 0872863689
Format: Paperback
(178mm x 127mm x 10mm)
Pages: 136
Imprint: City Lights Books
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 13-Jun-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Two fetchingly lyrical short works by the Borges-like Italian author of Pereira Declares (1996), etc. The Last Three Days of Fernando Pessoa: A Delirium (1994) is an elegant threnody describing the great Portuguese poets approach to death as a meditative series of meetings with his heteronyms (fictional alter egos) and reflections on his political and aesthetic ideals. Dreams of Dreams (1992) offers the imaginary dreams of eminent writers, artists, composers, and fictional and mythological characters. Coleridges albatross, Collodis Gepetto, and Rabelaiss Pantagruel, for instance, are creations first encountered in dreams; others subtly express such salient personal traits as Chekhovs compassion and Robert Louis Stevensons quiet fortitude; and, in Tabucchis wittiest single invention, Daedalus affixes waxen wings to the Minotaur, liberating that creature from his maze, and inspiring a later, less successful flight. A lovely little book that keeps on ringing in your head long after youve finished it. (Kirkus Reviews)


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