The Animal Gazer by Edgardo Franzosini

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...does this late project stem from his frequent melancholy or his coughing up blood or the awful wartime destruction at the Antwerp zoo? Or is it advance penance for his final act? A moody, impressionistic, and strangely engaging work.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A hypnotic novel inspired by the strange and fascinating life of sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti, brother of the fabled automaker. With World War I closing in and the Belle Époque teetering to a close, Bugatti leaves his native Milan for Paris, where he encounters Rodin and casts his bronzes at the same foundry used by the French master. In Paris and then Antwerp, he obsessively observes and sculpts the baboons, giraffes, and panthers in the municipal zoos, finding empathy with their plight and identifying with their life in captivity. As the Germans drop bombs over the Belgian city, the zoo authorities are forced to make a heart-wrenching decision about the fate of the caged animals, and Bugatti is stricken with grief from which he'll never recover. His own end follows suit shortly: he returns to Paris, and at the age of thirty-one, he is dead of suicide.

Rembrandt Bugatti's work is now displayed in major art museums around the world and routinely fetches huge sums at auction. Edgardo Franzosini recreates the young artist's life with intense lyricism, passion, and sensitivity.

Edgardo Franzosini, born in 1952, is the author of five novels. The Animal Gazer won two distinguished Italian literary awards in 2016, the Premio Comisso and the Premio Dessi.


 

About Edgardo Franzosini

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Published January 16, 2018 by New Vessel Press. 128 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Excellent
on Oct 16 2017

...does this late project stem from his frequent melancholy or his coughing up blood or the awful wartime destruction at the Antwerp zoo? Or is it advance penance for his final act? A moody, impressionistic, and strangely engaging work.

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