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Pictures from Italyby Charles Dickens
Synopses & Reviews
"A whimsical cross between a fairy tale and a travelogue. . . This version includes beautiful illustrated collages by the Italian artist Livia Signorini." -T, The New York Times Style Magazine
"It is no wonder that Signorini was moved to assemble collages that embrace the span of time that clearly resonated with Dickens as he explored Italy. Images from antiquarian books cozy up to Photoshop embellishments like enlarged rigatoni, made even more impressive by the gatefold pages across which these compositions spread, complementing Dickenss running theme of the moment being everything and nothing, honoring the poignancy of stone, water, light, and shadow." - "Imprint," Print Magazine
Pictures from Italy, one of Charles Dickens' earlier works, is a whimsical foray into the twin worlds of travel and the imagination. Italian artist Livia Signorini plays with Dickens' sense of place, memory, and politics. The result is a brilliant contemporary dialogue with his work that renews our sense of his enduring vision. An extraordinary work that is as much about travel writing as it is about Dickens journey to Italy itself, this handsome volume features 11 full-color gate folds.
US Grade Level Equivalent: 7-8+
US Guided Reading Level: Z
Lexile® Measure: 1200L
"This travelogue of Dickens's 1844 Italian sojourn retains the wit and sumptuous detail of his novels, but lacking an explicit narrative, the book never coalesces into much more than a series of sketches. The fragmentary nature of the text is exacerbated by the removal, by editor V. Geetha, of 'sections that appear tediously familiar today.' As a result, the most memorable sections of the book are not descriptions of the Italian countryside or cities, but Dickens's own reveries on memory and history, which still hold their power even in excerpt. In fact, the text is somewhat secondary in this handsome edition; the primary reason to obtain this volume is the gorgeous illustrative work of Italian artist Livia Signorini. Collaging old maps, postcards, and photographs, Signorini's design complements the introspective nature of Dickens's text, particularly when she interprets his surreal vision of Venice in an eerie, dream-like four-panel spread. So while Dickens aficionados may be disappointed by the textual liberties taken by Geetha, those interested in studying the ways in which visual art and text can interact with and complement one another will gain much from paging through this edition. Color illus. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Dusts off an early Dickens work, a whimsical cross between a fairy tale and a travelogue covering his trips to Italy and France with his family in the 1840s. This version includes beautiful illustrated collages by the Italian artist Livia Signorini." -T, The New York Times Style Magazine
Pictures from Italy is one of Charles Dickens' earlier works, a fantastic and whimsical foray into the twin worlds of travel and the imagination. Inspired by his words, Italian artist Livia Signorini plays with Dickens' sense of place, memory, and politics. The result is a brilliant contemporary dialogue with his work — a reading of history, time, and change — that renews our sense of his enduring vision.
An extraordinary work that is as much about travel writing as it is about Dickens journey to Italy itself, this handsome volume features 11 full-color gate folds and will appeal to fans of the Victorian novel, travel buffs, and art lovers alike.
About the Author
Charles Dickens (18121870), one of the greatest British novelists of all time was also a journalist, an actor and a curious observer of the streets. In his novels, essays and journalism he brought to life the momentous nineteenth century, captive to commerce and greed, science and progress, conquest and colonialism. Human oddities, frailty, greed, sorrow and sentiment, the poor, meek and the laboring moved him. Acts of time and history, mortality and the compassion that may yet redeem us absorbed his attention and got written into his extraordinary fiction.
Livia Signorini is based in Italy and splits her time between Rome and Milan. She studied art at Temple University and Università la Sapienza of Rome, and has worked as an artist and picture researcher since 1988. Her work has been exhibited in different galleries in both Rome and Berlin, and includes mostly collages or the reinvention of found objects.
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