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War Variations

Amelia Rosselli

Translated from the Italian by Lucia Re and Paul Vangelisti
with an Afterword by Pier Paolo Pasolini

A Bilingual Edition

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Amelia Rosselli
War Variations
Series No.: 121
ISBN: 1-931243-55-7, Pages: 382
Italian Literature, Poetry

Winner of the 2006 PEN Translation Award

The daughter of an Italian father and an English mother, Rosselli was born in Paris in 1930 and spent her childhood in France. Growing up speaking French, English, and Italian, she was, from her childhood on, multilingual, which would highly influence the syntactical complexity of her poetry, particularly her major collection Variazioni belliche (War Variations), published in 1964.

The second determining factor of her life was the murder of her father, the anti-Fascist martyr Carlo Rosselli, and his brother—both brutally killed by order of Benito Mussolini and Galeazzo Ciano, at Bagnole-de-l'Orne, Normandy. This event, and its aftermath—during the war she and her mother traveled throughout Europe to escape the Nazis—would have a lasting effect on her mental health. Much of her life was spent in therapy, and in 1996 she leaped from her high-rise apartment to her death. Rosselli herself has described the death of her father leaving an emotional void, which she attempted to fill through her writing.

War Variations is a cry, a painful and powerful outpouring of the personal set against the backdrop of an international scene.

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