The journal of a brilliant and tormented Italian writer who travels to America in 1950-his first trip across the Atlantic, and perhaps his last voyage ever. I spoke at Columbia University while I was in New York presented splendidly as Paolo Spada, one of Italy's Premier Poets/Novelists/Translators/Critics/ Unhappy Men. One fellow asked me if I felt I was Milan's modern novelist. I said I didn't think so, because I'm not very modern. A girl too solemn for the fluffy angora sweater she was wearing asked why I had such insight into my female characters. I replied that I hardly knew the answer, since I don't get along well with real women at all. I am saving all my ticket stubs and my maps. Thirty years ago at a Festival of San Rocco, a gypsy fortune-teller seized my palm and told me I would be famous, I would not marry and I would die on a journey to or from home.Again, I am on a journey.Again, I am not married.Again, I am one of Italy's Finest Poets/Novelists/Translators/Critics riding utterly unrecognized on a train where even the porter won't look at me. I have made it here intact. I do not expect, however, to make it back alive. From Voyage
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Published March 27, 2003
Literature & Fiction.