Abba Abba: by Anthony Burgess by Paul Howard
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.