ABBA ABBA: By Anthony Burgess

Edited by Paul Howard

ABBA ABBA: By Anthony Burgess

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3803-3
  • Pages: 312
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: February 2019
  • BIC Category: Literature, Literary studies: c 1900 to c 2000, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 20th Century, FICTION / Literary, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Fiction & related items / Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction: general & literary
  • Series: The Irwell Edition of the Works of Anthony Burgess


ABBA ABBA is one of Anthony Burgess's most original works, combining fiction, poetry and translation. A product of his time in Italy in the early 1970s, this delightfully unconventional book is part historical novel, part poetry collection, as well as a meditation on translation and the generating of literature by one of Britain's most inventive post-war authors. Set in Papal Rome in the winter of 1820-21, Part One recreates the consumptive John Keats's final months in the Eternal City and imagines his meeting the Roman dialect poet Giuseppe Gioachino Belli. Pitting Anglo-Italian cultures and sensibilities against each other, Burgess creates a context for his highly original versions of 71 sonnets by Belli, which feature in Part Two.

This new edition includes extra material by Burgess, along with an introduction and notes by Paul Howard, Fellow in Italian Literature at Trinity College, Cambridge.


'Thanks to the informative Introduction and the six Appendices, we now have a fairly complete picture of the evolution of ABBA ABBA and of Burgess' approach to his self-imposed task as a translator. For students of literary translation, however, the most fascinating part of the editorial apparatus will be the detailed notes on the poems themselves.'
Translation and Literature


Editor's Introduction


Paul Howard is a Senior Teaching Associate in Italian in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol

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