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The Dragonfly

The Dragonfly

Amelia Rosselli

Translated by Roberta Antognini and Deborah Woodard

Afterward by Roberta Antognini

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“I rhyme classically with a modernity I didn’t suspect in my imbroglios.” — Amelia Rosselli

La Libellula (The Dragonfly) is Amelia Rosselli’s acknowledged first major work and contains all the elements of her mature vision: trilingual wordplay, musicality, and political engagement.

With its vertiginous propulsion and rotational structure, this single-long poem, a canto, hovers on the edge of the surreal, where meaning continually multiplies and then negates. The reader must engage her work as she instructs — intuitively.

Her inventive refraction of Italian literary tradition sought a more authentic liberation, “in all the nation’s life, in all the dismal / boroughs, in all the putridous world, exists / just one me, exists just one you, — exists charity.”

Now recognized as one of the most significant voices of post-war Europe, her visceral writing challenges the constriction of language as not only a fascist legacy but also as a critique of the banality and materialism of reconstruction.

Our bilingual edition includes an audio download of selections read in Italian and English by translator Deborah Woodard and actor Riccardo Pieri.


A downloadable file of this audio can be found on our audio page. Be sure to also check the recordings for Obtuse Diary.


Here's a video by Brian Dang made for the Seattle performance of this book at Hugo House on June 9, 2023.



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Product Details

ISBN: 9780960045730
Paper, 6 x 7.5, 80 pg, audio
Publication Date: