The World Saved by Kids and Other Epics
Translated by Cristina Viti
5 x 8.5 inches, 332 pp. September 2016
ISBN : 9780857423795
Rs 550.00 (HB)
First published in Italian in 1968, The World Saved by Kids was written in the aftermath of deep personal change and in the context of what Elsa Morante called the ‘great youth movement exploding against the funereal machinations of the organized contemporary world’. Morante believed that it was only the youth who could truly hear her revolutionary call. With the fiftieth anniversary of the tumultuous events of 1968 approaching, there couldn’t be a more timely moment for this first English translation of Morante’s work to appear.
Greeted by Antonio Porta as one of the most important books of its decade, The World Saved by Kids showcases Morante’s true mastery of tone, rhythm and imagery as she works elegy, parody, storytelling, song and more into an act of linguistic magic through which Gramsci and Rimbaud, Christ and Antigone, Mozart and Simone Weil, and a host of other figures join the sassy, vulnerable neighbourhood kids in a renewal of the word’s timeless, revolutionary power to explore and celebrate life’s insoluble paradox.
Elsa Morante is internationally acclaimed for her novels La storia (History, 1974) and L’isola di Arturo (Arturo’s Island, 1957), and widely recognized as one of Italy’s greatest writers. The Premio Viareggio she was awarded in 1948 marked the beginning of thirty years of travels and intense engagement in intellectual debate, during which she added to her publishing credits several stories, novels and essays, regular collaborations with periodicals, and a poetry collection, Alibi (1958). Il mondo salvato dai ragazzini (The World Saved by Kids) was published in 1968 and expressly destined by Morante to young people, ‘the only audience that might still be capable of listening to the word of poets’.
Cristina Viti’s translation of Mariapia Veladiano’s first novel (A Life Apart, 2013) was runner-up to the 2015 John Florio Prize. Among her earlier works is a full translation of Dino Campana’s Orphic Songs, published in the Selected Works she curated for Survivors’ Press in 2006. Her translations and own poetry have been published in several anthologies and journals.