“Dora Markus” by Eugenio Montale (English translation)

A couple of months ago, I created a comics adaptation of an extract from the poem “Dora Markus” by Eugenio Montale (1896-1981). The comic was commissioned by Atelier, Italy’s leading online poetry magazine. I subsequently asked my old collaborators Dr. Marco Sonzogni and Dr. Ross Woods of Victoria University of Wellington to come up with an English translation of the extract, which I’m posting here.
Curiously, Montale originally wrote this poem (now one of his most famous) in honour of a woman he had never met. In 1928 he received a letter from a friend staying in Austria at the home of this Dora Markus. The friend was particlarly taken with the beauty of his hostess’s legs, and suggested that Montale write a poem about her. For inspiration, he enclosed this photograph of Dora’s legs, from the mid-thigh down, which I also used as the inspiration for my adaptation.



Posted in comics, marco sonzogni, new zealand centre for literary translation, Poetry, Poetry Comics, Poetry translation, ross woods, victoria university wellington | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

J. Alfred Prufrock on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert!

colbertLast night’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert featured a “Friday Night Fights” showdown pitting T. S. Eliot’s coffee-spoon-wielding time murderer J. Alfred Prufrock against Darth Vader’s grandson and known Universe disturber Kylo Ren, from the new Star Wars movie. And where did the show’s producers go for a profile pic of Prufrock but an image from the comics adaptation of Eliot’s poem by yours truly! Many thanks to Lia Bassin and all the other members of the Late Show team for making this happen!

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Prufrock in The Hindu Business Line

Happy New Year to all! Eight pages from my comics adaptation of T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” comic were featured in yesterday’s issue of BLink, the arts and culture supplement to The Hindu Business Line, an Indian business newspaper published out of Chennai.   Many thanks to Aditya Mani Jha for making this happen.


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Ungaretti’s Dead Comrade Identified? – An Article by Mario Colombo

silcivegliaOne hundred years ago today, on the 23rd of December, 1915, Giuseppe Ungaretti wrote what would become one of the most famous Italian poems of the First World War,  the very short but infinitely moving “Veglia” (“Vigil”). The 27-year-old poet had spent the previous night in a trench atop Monte San Michele (near the present-day Italian-Slovenian border), under a full moon, next to the body of a recently killed comrade. “Veglia” takes its inspiration from this grisly experience, a prolonged close encounter with death that is nevertheless transmuted by the poet into a tenacious celebration of life.

As a result of my creation of a comics adaptation of an English translation of “Veglia” by Marco Sonzogni and Ross Woods of the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, I was recently contacted by Mario Colombo, a native of Borsano (Busto Arsizio) in Northern Italy, who, after much in-depth investigation, believes he has discovered the identity of the dead soldier next to whom Ungaretti held his macabre vigil. As Colombo demonstrates in the article below, the soldier was almost certainly Simeone Silci, a 33-year-old man from Borsano who was drafted into the 19th Infantry Regiment, into which Private Ungaretti had enlisted as a volunteer. A foundling in the Brefotrofio (foundling institute) in Milan, Silci was adopted by the family of Giovanni Puricelli, a weaver in Borsano. At the age of 23 he married Adele Caprioli, and left three children behind at the moment of his death, which probably occurred in the early evening of December 22, 1915, while on a patrol mission.

For those of you who read Italian, I have posted Mario Colombo’s moving and exhaustively researched article below:

(To see my comics adaptation of Veglia, and other WWI poems by Ungaretti, both in the original Italian and in English translations by Sonzogni and Woods, click here: http://julianpeterscomics.com/veglia-by-giuseppe-ungaretti/)

“Veglia” di Ungaretti. Identificato il compagno morto?

di Mario Colombo

 Borsano, che oggi è frazione di Busto Arsizio, durante la Grande Guerra era un piccolo comune con meno di duemila abitanti. Nel corso della guerra furono chiamati alle armi 286 suoi cittadini delle leve dal 1876 al 1900 e 34 di loro persero la vita[1]. Il primo di questi fu Pietro Colombo, venticinquenne morto il 2 dicembre 1915 per malattia nell’ospedale da campo 230 a Langòris (ora detta Angòris) nei pressi di Cormòns[2], mentre il primo caduto “per ferite riportate in combattimento” fu Simeone Silci, la cui storia è molto speciale. Il cognome insolito e con la stessa iniziale del nome è chiaro indice della sua origine: trovatello del Brefotrofio di Milano o, come si usava dire, figlio dell’Ospedale o figlio di Santa Caterina, poiché il brefotrofio dipendeva dall’Ospedale Maggiore e si trovava nell’ex convento di Santa Caterina alla Ruota[3]. Continue reading

Posted in comics, Giuseppe Ungaretti, new zealand centre for literary translation, Poetry Comics, Poetry translation, victoria university wellington, World War One | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Frank Sinatra for Aklasu Magazine

An illustration to accompany an article by Q. V. Hough on the essential loneliness of Frank Sinatra, published in Aklasu Online Magazine. You can read the article here: https://aklasu.co/mag/deep-dream-sinatra-100/SadSinatra

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Interview with Blues.Gr

blues.grlogoI recently gave an interview to Michalis Limnios of Blues.Gr, an online forum dedicated to the promotion of blues music in Greece. I’m feeling quite honoured, as Limnios has conducted interviews on behalf of Blues.Gr with a number of the comics greats, including Robert Crumb, Gary Panter, Bill Griffith, and Pat Moriarty. You can read the interview here: http://blues.gr/profiles/blogs/artist-illustrator-julian-peters-talks-about-arthur-rimbaud-w-b?xg_source=activity

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White after Labour Day: A History and Guide

AklasuWhitePantsAn illustration to accompany an article in Aklasu Online Men’s Magazine on the subject of that great taboo of the Kennebunkport set: Daring to wear white after Labour Day.  You can read the illuminating article by Justine Smith here: https://aklasu.co/mag/white-labour-day-history-guide/

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