A masterful collection about intimacy, loneliness, and time, each inspired by different works of art, spanning the entirety of the great Italian writer's career.
In Stories with Pictures, Antonio Tabucchi responds to photographs, drawings, and paintings from his dual homelands of Italy and Portugal, among other European countries. The stories in this collection spring forth from the shadows of Tabucchi's imagination, as he steps into worlds just hidden from view. From inscrutable masks of pre-Columbian gods, stamps of bright parrots and postcars of yellow cities, portraits of devilish Portuguese nuns, the way to these remote landscapes appear like a "train emerging from a thick curtain of heat." As we peer through the curtain, what we find on the other side rings distinctly human, a world charged with melancholic longing for time gone by. "Sight, hearing, voice, word" Tabucchi writes, "this flow isn't in one direction, the current is back and forth." Reading these stories, one feels the pendulum current, and the desire in this remarkable author to hold the real in the surreal.