Publication Date: October 1, 2019
The acclaimed painter Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was also a multifaceted artist, working across genres and languages throughout a long and prolific career. While his French writing has been translated by Louise Bourgeois and John Ashbery—who proclaimed his novel Hebdomeros a masterpiece of Surrealist literature—De Chiricos’s writing in his native Italian language has been overlooked. Geometry of Shadows presents for the first time the entirety of the artist’s Italian poetry, translated by award-winning poet Stefania Heim.
Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was born in Greece to Italian parents. A gifted and prolific painter, de Chirico is considered the founder of the Metaphysical school of art; and a significant influence on the Surrealists. Over the course of his long career, de Chirico was involved with many of the twentieth century’s major art-world figures: he designed costumes for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and set productions for Luigi Pirandello; he was photographed by Irving Penn. De Chirico was also a prolific writer. His French surrealist novel, Hebdomeros, was translated by John Ashbery; and his French poems by Louise Bourgeois, among others. Geometry in Shadows compiles for the first time in translation the entirety of his writing in Italian.
Stefania Heim received a translation fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for her work on Giorgio de Chirico. A founding editor of CIRCUMFERENCE: Poetry in Translation, she is the author of the poetry collections HOUR BOOK, which was selected by Jennifer Moxley for the Sawtooth Prize, and A Table that Goes On for Miles, which was selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the Gatewood Prize. She lives in Washington.