Vivian Lamarque
Translated by Pasquale Verdicchio

The Golden Man

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Vivian Lamarque was born Vivian Daisy Provera Pellegrinelli Comba, on 19 April 1946 in a Waldensian family. She was adopted by a Catholic family at nine months old. Her grandfather Ernesto Comba published the important history book The History of the Waldensians (1934). At the age of four, her adoptive father passed away at thirty-four years old, a turning point which would gradually lead the young child to begin a life-long quest into her origins. As a writer, Lamarque published her poetry using her husband Paolo's family name. She has produced ten poetry books at major presses in Italy; a number of her books have won prestigious awards in Italy: Premio Viareggio, the Premio Montale, the Premio Camajore, Premio Cardarelli-Tarquina, the Premio Rodari, and most recently the Premio Carducci for her most recent collection Madre d'inverno (Mondadori, 2016). Beside being a short story writer, she has also translated works by La Fontaine, Paul Valéry, Jacques Prévert, and Charles Baudelaire.

The Golden Man is a narrative long poem presented in concise descriptive scenes. In short eloquent verse that projects a cheerful refusal of lyricism, Vivian Lamarque presents anecdotic depictions, much like the director uses his film camera. The poet, at times, smoothly pushes realism into imaginary sketches in which information is stated in a plain language with a minimal use of adjectives. Never does the narrator comment on what is being chronicled. This absence of moral judgement is the main attribute of Lamarque’s poetry. The poet charges her representations with colloquial reverence minus easy magician’s tricks, minus stylistic mannerism. The plot unravels in the same manner in which a story is recalled to friends across a table at dinner. Lamarque politely offers the reader her friendship and, at the end of every account, we can imagine her straightening up at her seat, murmuring, “Yes, this is the story I have to tell.” Vivian Lamarque’s poems have been reverently translated by Pasquale Verdicchio, who, we can imagine fondly tightening his fingers around Vivian Lamaruqe’s hand, promising her: “My translation will be as intimate as your original is generous.”
~ Antonio D’Alfonso

ISBN 978-1-77171-188-3
98 pages
5.5 x 8.5
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