Valerio Magrelli
Il commissario Magrelli (Police Commissioner Magrelli)
Einaudi, November 2018, 80 pages

“Irony is his lethal weapon.” Corriere della Sera

“Since all books now have commissioners, I appoint myself commissioner of poetry and set off on the trail of misdeeds still unpunished in this world.”

I have to confess that when I met the police commissioner with the name as mine, I was not surprised. With all his colleagues coming and going, sooner or later it was only normal that he should appear, too. Rather, what amazed me was the doggedness with which he traveled from Egypt to France, from the United States to Turkey, always devoted to that childish dream of justice. Indeed, of justice in verse.
His homeland, however, remains Italy, while his specialty seems to consist in defending the victim – the victim as a sacrificial figure: debased, invisible, taken away. In the wake of his illustrious predecessors, our hero tackles the most diverse cases, which comes through in a small but rich encyclopedia of crime, full of mini-stories and invective. Yet the real connecting thread remains a reflection on a rule of law that all too often ignores the rights of the prey, above all the poorest and most vulnerable: women, the landscape and childhood.


Valerio Magrelli

Valerio Magrelli (born in Rome) is a tenured professor of French literature at the University of Cassino. He has published four monographs: Profilo del dada (1990), La casa del pensiero. Introduzione all’opera di Joseph Joubert (1995), Vedersi vedersi. Modelli e circuiti visivi nell’opera di Paul Valéry (2002, Prix Littéraire de Francesistica des Thermes de Saint-Vincent, l’Harmattan 2005) and Nero sonetto solubile. Dieci autori riscrivono una poesia di Baudelaire (2010). Some of his most recent works are Geologia di un padre (2013), Il sangue amaro (2014), La lingua restaurata e una polemica. Otto sonetti a Londra (2014), Millennium poetry. Viaggio sentimentale nella poesia italiana (2015), Lo sciamano di famiglia. Omeopatia, pornografia, regia in 77 disegni di Fellini (2015), Le cavie. Poesie 1980-2018 (2018), Il commissario Magrelli (2018, Premio Nazionale Elio Pagliarani 2019), La vicevita (2009; 2019) and Sopruso: istruzioni per l’uso (2019). He had a short story featured in the collection Contro Roma (2018). He directed the trilingual series Writers Translated by Writers (National Award for Translation 1996). In 2019 he won the Premio Mauro Maconi for poetry.



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