By Antonio Moresco
Translated by Richard Dixon
In this four-story suite, a modern master of Italian literature delves into the wonder, grotesquery, strangeness, and desire of the human condition.
Publication Date: May 31, 2022
Combining and distorting elements of fables, fairy tales, and the alienating force of society, each of Moresco’s stories features the central character at a different time of his life: childhood, adolescence, young adulthood. In these beautiful and unsettling narratives, a vivid physical world can’t hide the strangeness of surroundings and the dream-like logic governing events. In “Blue Room,” the adolescent protagonist carries on a voyeuristic relationship with a blind old woman in a mysterious clinic. In the title story, a stunning act of violence deepens the nightmarish tones and the protagonist’s disorientation. Moresco’s stories, full of bodily parts, functions, and desires, present a world where physical curiosity competes with shame, and the price of watchfulness is the secrecy and loneliness of isolation.
Antonio Moresco was born in Mantua and lives in Milan. Considered one of the founders of modern Italian literature, Clandestinity is his first collection of short stories. He has gone on to publish several more books, among them the short novel La cipolla (The Onion), the autobiographical Lettere a nessuno (Letters to No One), and his 500-page novel Gli esordi (The Beginning). Distant Light was published by Archipelago in 2013.
Richard Dixon lives in Italy and has worked full-time as a translator since 1996. He has translated work by Umberto Eco and Robert Calasso, as well as poetry by Franco Buffoni, Eugenio De Signoribus and Alba Donati.
"Moresco (Distant Light) introduces an obscene and nostalgic dreamscape in this wondrously filthy collection...Those with a taste for the outré will be enchanted." —Publishers Weekly
"Governed by a dreamlike logic but infused with the corporeal vulgarities of life, [Clandestinity is] a long overdue introduction to a master writer." —Chicago Review of Books
Praise for Distant Light:
"Despite its fable-like structure and brevity, Moresco has Kafka’s power to unnerve, and Walser’s genial strangeness. Something like a supernatural modernist story, Distant Light’s real territory is dreams, where readers may find the book’s imagery still lingering." —Publishers Weekly
"The imagery and language glow throughout. An unsettling and strangely tender novel. —Kirkus Reviews Antonio Moresco offers an otherworldly story of isolation. —Shelf Awareness
"Distant Light is a dense and thoughtful book that should be lingered over, rather than burned through. It dwells on esoteric questions, but also provides unsettling insight into the darkest depths of the human condition, as well as a uniquely complex rendering of its polarity." —The Literary Review