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Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), one of the great Italian writers of the twentieth century, was a poet, novelist and diarist. Disaffections includes all the poems he wrote during the last two decades of his life, including work originally deleted by the Fascist censors and poems discovered after his death. Pavese was a political and an artistic radical. He was drawn towards American poetry and music, to the people and the idiom of the Blues, to the big-heartedness of Whitman. He evokes the world and the voices of men and women who, as he did, felt torn between the call of city and country, work and repose, desire and solitude. His poems, without ornament or afflatus, focus lyric moments or tell, in longer lines, a story, or invoke an image or a desire. Turin was the wearying world of his working life and Santo Stefano was the small town of childhood holidays and returns. In 1950 he was awarded the Strega Prize. 'The trouble with these things is that they always come when one is already through with them and running after strange, different gods.' Later that year he killed himself. Geoffrey Brock has received several major awards in the United States for his own poetry and for his translations of Italian poetry.
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