In Translation: Time Ages in a Hurry by Antonio Tabucchi
Tuesday April 7, 2015
On Tuesday, April 7, the Center for Fiction celebrated the release of Antonio Tabucchi’s short story collection Time Ages in a Hurry, beautifully translated from the Italian by Martha Cooley and Antonio Romani and published in English for the first time by Archipelago Books. Co-hosted by Archipelago Books, the evening featured a conversation with Alexander Stille and translators Martha Cooley and Antonio Romani.
About Time Ages in a Hurry
The nine stories in Antonio Tabucchi’s Time Ages in a Hurry all tackle the problem and promise of time’s passage. Vividly conjured by one of the masters of modern Italian literature, these tales feature individuals struggling to find routes of escape from a suffocating present, and sifting through memories of political events with deeply personal ramifications.
Each slice of life in the collection is an inquiry into something hidden, uncovered not by reason but by feeling and intuition. Disquieted, disoriented, and utterly human, the characters in these vibrant and often playful stories suffer from what Tabucchi once referred to as a “corrupted relationship with history.” Each protagonist must confront phantoms from the past, misguided beliefs, and enigmas of identity – and, ultimately, each experiences “liberation, as when finally we understand something we’d known all along and didn’t want to know.”
Antonio Tabucchi (1943-2012) is one of Italy’s most original and admired writers. A master of short fiction, he won the Prix Médicis Etranger for Indian Nocturne, the Italian PEN Prize for Requiem: A Hallucination, the Aristeion European Literature Prize for Pereira Declares, and was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. Together with his wife, Maria José de Lancastre, Tabucchi translated much of the work of Fernando Pessoa into Italian. Tabucchi’s works include The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico, The Woman of Porto Pim, and Tristano Dies: A Life.
Professor Alexander Stille graduated with a B.A. from Yale University and earned an M.S. at Columbia. He has worked as a contributor to The New York Times, La Repubblica, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Republic, among others. His books include Benevolence and Betrayal: Five Italian Jewish Families Under Fascism, Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic, The Future of the Past, and The Sack of Rome: How a Beautiful European Country with a Fabled History and a Storied Culture Was Taken Over by a Man Named Silvio Berlusconi. Stille is the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award for best work of history (1992), Premio Acqui (1992), San Francisco Chronicle Critics Choice Award (1995), and the Alicia Patterson Foundation award for journalism (1996).
Martha Cooley is the author of two novels, The Archivist and Thirty-Three Swoons. Her works of short fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in PEN America, The Common, A Public Space, and others. She has translated numerous poems by Italian poet Giampiero Neri, and she served as Judge of the Poetry in Translation Prize at the PEN American Center in 2011. Cooley is currently a professor of English at the University of Adelphi and teaches writing in the Bennington Writing Seminars MFA program.
Antonio Romani‘s translations of poems by Italian poet Giampiero Neri have been published in AGNI, Atlanta Review, PEN America, A Public Space, and others. He formerly taught Italian Literature and History in two high schools in Cremona and was the owner and manager of two bookstores. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.