Roberto Bazlen published nothing in his lifetime. An advisor to Italian publishing houses, a translator of Freud and Jung, a friend to Montale and Calvino, he was nothing if not a literary man, but he was deeply suspicious of the enterprising spirit of the "literary world" and kept his writing to himself. Here, translated into English for the first time, the reader will discover Bazlen's private oeuvre: an unfinished novel, The Sea Captain, which bears comparison with the fiction of Kafka and Beckett; a selection of entries from his notebooks dealing with topics as various as whether or not there is an "animal Jahweh" and the aesthetic limitations of the cinema; a trio of essays on his native city of Trieste; and a sampling of his editorial letters. Published here with an introduction by Roberto Calasso, Notes Without a Text surveys the work of one of the unknown masters of twentieth-century European literature.
Roberto Bazlen (1902-1965) was an Italian writer, literary critic, and translator. He introduced to Italian readers the works of such twentieth-century figures as Sigmund Freud, Robert Musil, Franz Kafka, and Carl Jung.
Alex Andriesse is a writer, translator, and editor. His translation of François-René de Chateaubriand's Memoirs from Beyond the Grave was published in 2018.
Roberto Calasso is the publisher of Adelphi Edizioni and lives in Milan. He is the author of an ongoing series of books that includes The Ruin of Kasch, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Ka, K., Tiepolo Pink, La Folie Baudelaire, Ardor, and The Unnamable Present.