Texts by Jorge Luis Borges, William Feaver, Gianfranco Malafarina, anthology curated by Jorge Luis Borges with extracts from “Genesi”, “Geremia”, “Giudici”, Virgilio, Seneca, Vangeli apocrifi, Plinio, Bulwer-Lytton, Quevedo, elegia anglosassone, Rodrigo Caro, Samuel Pepys, Voltaire, Giuseppe Gorani, Tu Fu, Su Shih, Francesco Guicciardini, Joachim du Bellay, Ezra Pound, Sant’Agostino, Poe, “Le mille e una Notte”, Snorri Sturluson, Carl Sandburg, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Volney, Jack London
1997 / 200 PAGES
Lost paradises, floods, fires, collapses, the fall of empires and twilights of civilisations. The spectacular visions of John Martin (1789-1854) and the most exciting catastrophes of literature selected and presented by Jorge Luis Borges.
The story of Finimondi is extremely odd: originating with Jorge Luis Borges' idea to compile an anthology of the most beautiful literary catastrophes, from the Lisbon earthquake to the end of the Colossus of Rhodes, it was postponed over and over again in time. The images that were to illustrate it, the works by the mysterious Neapolitan painter Monsù Desiderio, were surrounded by an aura of superstition. The delays continued and the hesitations multiplied. Until Borges passed away and Monsù Desiderio's works were replaced by those of John Martin.
The volume, including the passages chosen by Borges, with his commentary, and illustrated by the tremendous images of catastrophes by the English painter, thus becomes an apologue on the transient nature of books and the world, with a cheerful apotropaic value.