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Viewing Single Post From: Claudio Magris
Reflecting on the Alpine border region of the South Tyrol—long disputed by Italy, Austria, and Bavaria—Claudio Magris writes, 'There are borders running everywhere, and one crosses them without realizing.' This might serve as a general motto for Microcosms. The South Tyrol is only one of the half-dozen borderlands Magris visits in his allusive, and elusive, sly, witty, sorrowing, and wonderful oddity of a book. On its publication in Italy in 1997, it won the Strega Prize, the country's most important literary award, and became the year's unlikeliest best seller. It is easier to say what Microcosms is not than to say what it is. A memoir? No, although it ripples throughout with remembered scenes and places. A travelogue? Certainly not, though it does traverse northern Italy from east to west and back again. A literary meditation on what it is to be European? Perhaps—but it is more than that, too; much, much more.

from a review by John Banville
( I can't access the whole thing http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-pr...article_id=122)
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Claudio Magris · Continental European writers