Stories with Pictures

by

Translated from by

Published: 3/16/2021

ISBN: 9781939810687 eISBN: 9781939810694

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Book Description

In Stories with Pictures, Antonio Tabucchi responds to photographs, drawings, and paintings from his dual homelands of Italy and Portugal, among other countries. The stories in this collection spring forth from the shadows of Tabucchi’s imagination, as he steps into worlds just hidden from view. From inscrutable masks of pre-Columbian gods, stamps of bright parrots and postcards of yellow cities, portraits of devilish Portuguese nuns, the way to these remote landscapes appear like a “train emerging from a thick curtain of heat.” As we peer through the curtain, what we find on the other side rings distinctly human, a world charged with melancholic longing for time gone by. “Sight, hearing, voice, word” Tabucchi writes, “this flow isn’t in one direction, the current is back and forth.” Reading these stories, one feels the pendulum current, and the desire in this remarkable author to hold the real in the surreal.

PRAISE FOR ANTONIO TABUCCHI'S MESSAGE FROM THE SHADOWS



Tabucchi’s work is mesmerizing, with the gentle rhythms of his lush, languid prose always carrying a light melancholy, walking the fine line between our world and what he called his shadow world. Some might call it magic realism, but the experience is more akin to lucid dreaming—something of which his hero, Fernando Pessoa, would be proud.
John Maher, Publishers Weekly


One could call him a great literary defender of the oppressed and marginalized (political prisoners or revolutionaries are among his stock figures), but he does not so much defend them, in the moralistic, paternalistic sense, as allow them a voice... Tabucchi delights in the metatheatricality of writing: more often than not the narrators in this collection are conscious of their role as storytellers, and are writing or speaking as if to a silent companion – a position that is filled by the reader. As a result, even the tamer stories feel on the verges of reality...
Samuel Graydon, The Times Literary Supplement


PRAISE FOR ANTONIO TABUCCHI'S TIME AGES IN A HURRY



Tabucchi’s prose creates a deep, near-profound and sometimes heart-wrenching nostalgia and constantly evokes the pain of recognizing the speed of life’s passing which everyone knows but few have the strength to accept … Wonderfully thought-provoking and beautiful.
Alan Cheuse, NPR’s All Things Considered


There is in Tabucchi’s stories the touch of the true magician, who astonishes us by never trying too hard for his subtle, elusive, and remarkable effects.
San Francisco Examiner