BIOGRAPHY DINO BUZZATI – Italian journalist and writer, Dino Buzzati is a famous transalpine author. In parallel with his career at Corriere della Sera, he wrote some major works, including “The Desert of the Tartars”.
Short biography of Dino Buzzati – Born October 16, 1906 in San Pellegrino di Belluno in northern Italy, Dino Buzzati comes from a wealthy family. He benefits from a thorough education and is oriented towards law studies by his parents. But in 1928, when he finished his studies at the University of Milan, he was hired by the famous daily Corriere della Sera. He did not know it yet, but he remained there practically until the end of his existence, climbing the ranks within the editorial staff. The boredom and austerity of his work in the 1930s prompted him to start writing novels. In search of new sensations, he begins to write at home with a style that will always remain his: give everyday events a fantastic dimension.
His first works, Bàrnabo of the mountains (1933) and The Secret of Old Wood (1935), do not allow their author to gain notoriety. It is a photographic mission in Africa which ultimately inspires his greatest achievement: The Desert of the Tartars (1940). For the first time, his work goes beyond transalpine borders and meets international success. Special envoy during World War II, Dino Buzzati is slow to resume editorial activity. A prolific author and a great lover of paintings, he tried his hand at poetry and writing plays after the war. More active after retirement from Corriere della Serra, he publishes A love (1964) and The K (1966), before dying of pancreatic cancer on January 28, 1972 at the age of 65.
In 1940, with World War II raging in Europe, it has been over a year since Dino Buzzati was dispatched by his newspaper as a special envoy and war reporter. Using his past experience, he publishes Il deserto dei Tartari, translated into French as “Le Désert des Tartares”. The novel met with resounding success in Italy and received rave reviews both nationally and abroad. The plot centers around the military career of a young officer, Giovanni Drogo, mobilized in a fort located near a fictional desert region, which gives the novel its name. We follow his daily life, his sorrows, his doubts and his boredom while he persists in remaining mobilized on the front while awaiting an enemy attack. The latter finally arrives too late for him, Giovanni having become too old and diminished to fight. Many themes are addressed in this work, for example the in relation to time that flows inexorably, boredom, or even the prospect of not having been able to give meaning to his life. We can also imagine that Buzzati wishes to describe in The Desert of the Tartars the stupidity of certain armed conflicts. The story he describes is close to the “funny war“between 1939 and 1940 when the soldiers, like the protagonist, wait for months on end for the arrival of German troops. A film adaptation directed by Valerio Zurlini was released in 1976, with French actor Jacques Perrin in the role main.
Released in 1963, An amore (“Un amour” in French) is the ultimate novel written by Dino Buzzati. Although it did not have the same repercussion as The Desert of the Tartars when published, the timelessness and realism of this tragic love story allowed the book to gain popularity over the decades. The protagonist, an architect named Antonio Dorigo who is approaching his 50s, lacks self-confidence when it comes to addressing women. He uses the services of an underage prostitute, Laïde, for whom he feels so strong that she is now his only concern in life. The feeling is not mutual, and Antonio will learn it the hard way as the story goes. Here, Dino Buzzati paints a sarcastic portrait of love, which he compares to a kind of sickness which one cannot escape and which often ends badly. It also highlights the character pathetic of his hero, a character torn by his emotions in the present who has lost most of his past and who feels no form of hope for the future. It’s also likely that Antonio is Dino Buzzati’s own mirror, who at the time of his book’s publication is still unmarried despite being 57 years old. He finally finds love a year later inAlmerina Antoniazzi who, unlike Laïde in the novel, will share his life until the end of his days.
This collection of fantastic short stories published in 1966 brings together most of Dino Buzzati’s most famous short stories. The one who gives her name to the collection, He columbers, has been translated into French by “Le K”. Different reasons can explain this choice of translation, for example the fact that Buzzati is considered in France as one of the heirs of Franz Kafka, both literally and on the topics covered. the colombre, original name chosen by the author is used to speak of a kind of sea monster imaginary who chases the hero of the short story. The latter is a young boy who, attracted by the sea and adventure, decides to pursue his dreams by taking to the sea, although being pursued. It is only at the end of his life, when he decides to give up the escape and confront the creature, that he learns that the latter did not want him any harm and that she could have allowed him to access success and happiness. The old man understands that he has spent his life running away from what could have brought him all that he lacked. This news once again illustrates themes dear to Buzzati, already present for The Desert of the Tartars, namely the weight of time and the transience of life.
Other popular news from Dino Buzzati are also featured in The K. We can cite in particular Poor little boy!, who follows in the footsteps of a child, Dolfi, beaten by his comrades, and who turns out to be Adolf Hitler in his youth. In The Bewitched Jacket, a young man uses a magical garment to appease his greed, while realizing that the money he obtains by this process comes from the wealth of others. The themes of old age and the fear of seeing time pass are central to the plot of Old Hunters, in which the elderly are chased by the younger ones. Another news, The egg, exaggeratedly shows the weight of words and how far a mother’s love can take her so that her daughter will be happy. In The collapse of the Baliverna (1958), we can find news like The envious musician Where Mice. In the latter, Dino Buzzati delivers a dystopia in which animals, here rodents, multiply over the course of the story before gradually enslaving the entire family with whom they have taken up residence.
- October 16, 1906: Birth of Dino Buzzati
- Dino Buzzati was born on October 16, 1906 in San Pellegrino di Belluno (also known today as Belluno), a town located in Veneto in northeastern Italy. He is the son of Giulio Cesare Buzzati, a lawyer and law professor at Luigi Bocconi University in Milan, and Alba Mantovani, a veterinarian. He is the third of three siblings, with an older brother (Augusto Buzzati), a sister (Angelina Buzzati) and another younger brother (Adriano Buzzati). His education went mostly without a hitch, and he followed in his father’s footsteps by starting a law course at the University of Milan in 1924, before integrating at the end of the latter the drafting of the Corriere della Sera (“Courrier du soir” in French).
- January 28, 1972: Death of Dino Buzzati
- Dino Buzzati died on January 28, 1972 in Milan of complications from pancreatic cancer. The author of Désert des Tartares leaves behind no descendants, preferring to focus on his professional career at Corriere della Sera as well as his passion for writing. His wife Almerina Antoniazzi has probably inherited most of his property. Dino Buzzati has influenced many Italian authors and politicians. François Mitterrand, the former President of the Republic, explains in the show Apostrophes by Bernard Pivot that he was marked by his reading of Desert of the Tartars.