Translator’s Note

Toti O’Brien

I have loved the poetry of Maurizio Castè for decades, appreciating his unique balance of lightness and depth, always surprised at how soft and whimsical he could make the sharpest insight sound. As I started to read his ‘Bestiario’, I knew I would translate it. The animals of his imagination are just irresistible. I wished to know them better, possibly through a number of extended play dates. Maurizio’s knowledge of the English language has allowed me to take risks, pull his text apart then re-form it — as if it were a tridimensional piece — puzzling up building blocks as often as needed in order to recreate his magic. I dared juggling those fragile fragments, trusting the author’s reading comprehension, waiting for his agreement. We have enjoyed the process, in the same improvisational mood that had marked our acquaintance, due to an itinerant “Don Quichote” we performed on stilts across European plazas, parks, bridges — many many years ago, but it was yesterday.


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