Dino Buzzati  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Dino Buzzati Traverso (October 16, 1906 - January 28, 1972) was an Italian novelist, short story writer, painter and poet, as well as a journalist for Corriere della Sera. His worldwide fame is mostly due to his novel Il deserto dei Tartari, translated into English as The Tartar Steppe.



Buzzati was born at San Pellegrino near Belluno, in his family's ancestral villa. Buzzati's mother, a veterinarian by profession, was Venetian and his father, a professor of international law, was from an ancient Bellunese family. Buzzati was the second of his parents' four children. In 1924, he enrolled in the law faculty of the University of Milan, where his father once taught. As he was completing his studies in law, he was hired, at the age of 22, by the Milanese newspaper Corriere della Sera, where he would remain until his death. He began in the corrections department, and later worked as a reporter, special correspondent, essayist, editor and art critic. It is often said that his journalistic background informs his writing, lending even the most fantastic tales an aura of realism.

Buzzati himself comments on the connection (as cited by Lawrence Venuti):

"It seems to me, fantasy should be as close as possible to journalism. The right word is not "banalizing", although in fact a little of this is involved. Rather, I mean that the effectiveness of a fantastic story will depend on its being told in the most simple and practical terms."

During World War II, Buzzati served in Africa, as a journalist attached to the Regia Marina. After the end of the war, Il deserto dei Tartari was published Italy-wide and quickly brought critical recognition and fame to the author. He married Almeria Antoniazzi in 1964, which also marked the release of his last novel, Un amore. In 1972, Buzzati died of cancer after a protracted illness.

Works summary

Buzzati began writing fiction in 1933. His works of fiction include five novels, theatre and radio plays, librettos, numerous books of short stories and poetry.

He wrote a children's book La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia (translated by Frances Lobb into English as The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily). Lemony Snicket wrote an introduction and reader's companion to a 2005 English edition.

Also an acclaimed and exhibited artist, Buzzati also combined his artistic and writerly exploits into making a comic book based on the myth of Orpheus, Poema a fumetti.

The Tartar Steppe, his most famous novel, tells the story of a military outpost that awaits a Tartar invasion. In its sentiment and its conclusions, it has been compared to existentialist works, notably Albert Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus .

His writing is sometimes cited as magical realism, social alienation, and the fate of the environment and of fantasy in the face of unbridled technological progress are recurring themes. He has also written a variety of short stories featuring fantastic animals such as the bogeyman and, his own invention, the colombre (il colombre).


  • Bàrnabo delle montagne (Barnabo of the Mountains, 1933)
  • Il segreto del Bosco Vecchio (1935)
  • Il deserto dei Tartari (The Tartar Steppe, 1940)
  • I Sette Messaggeri (The Seven Messengers, 1942 - Short stories)
  • La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia (The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily, 1945)
  • Il grande ritratto (1960)
  • Un amore (A Love Affair, 1963)
  • Il capitano Pic e altre poesie (1965, poetry)
  • Il colombre (1966, Short stories)


Alcune delle principali opere


Racconti (raccolte, anche non a cura dell'Autore)


  • Piccola passeggiata, 1942.
  • La rivolta contro i poveri, 1946
  • Un caso clinico, 1953
  • Drammatica fine di un noto musicista, 1955
  • Sola in casa, 1958
  • Una ragazza arrivò..., 1959
  • Le finestre, 1959
  • L'orologio, 1959
  • Un verme al ministero, 1960
  • I suggeritori, 1960
  • Il mantello, 1960
  • L'uomo che andrà in America, 1962
  • L'aumento, 1962
  • La colonna infame, 1962
  • Spogliarello, 1964
  • La telefonista, 1964
  • La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia, a cura di Gianni Colla, 1965
  • La fine del borghese, 1966

Libretti per la musica

  • Ferrovia sopraelevata, 1955
  • Procedura penale, 1959
  • Il mantello, 1960
  • Battono alla porta,1963
  • Era proibito, 1963


  • La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia, 1945
  • In quel preciso momento, 1950, 1955 e 1963
  • Il postino di montagna, 1951
  • Le storie dipinte, a cura di Mario Oriani e Adriano Ravegnani, 1958
  • Poema a fumetti, 1969
  • I miracoli di Val Morel, 1971
  • Cronache terrestri, servizi giornalistici, a cura di Domenico Porzio, 1972
  • Congedo a ciglio asciutto di Buzzati, inediti, a cura di Guido Piovene, 1974
  • I misteri d'Italia, Milano 1978
  • Dino Buzzati al Giro d'Italia, a cura di Claudio Marabini, 1981
  • Lettere a Brambilla, a cura di Luciano Simonelli, 1985
  • Le montagne di vetro, a cura di Enrico Camanni, 1990
  • La mia Belluno, a cura della Comunità Montana Bellunese - Assessorato alla cultura, 1992
  • Bestiario, 1991
  • Il buttafuoco, 1992
  • La "nera" di Dino Buzzati, a cura di Lorenzo Viganò, 2 vol., Oscar Mondadori, Milano, 2002

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dino Buzzati" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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