SiStan ChapLee

Thursday, March 8, 2018

1623: The Year of Poetry

An 80-year-old Chinese Dutchman draws a silent graphic novel in which three human boys and a baby angel live a dangerous adventure in a world inhabited by Hieronymus Bosch's critters. But, the true danger is not those critters. Some mystical hints are more or less obvious or hidden: Eden, the Holy Grail. The book is also available in other languages; in Italy it has just been published by Beisler Editore.

In 1623, the same year in which Shakespeare's First Folio and G. B. Marino's long poem Adone appeared, a nephew of Michelangelo -- he too called Michelangelo Buonarroti (il Giovane, i.e. the Younger) -- published the great artist's poems. It was a highly debatable edition from a philological viewpoint, but on the other hand it was the very first one, posthumous. Michelangelo's poems provide a rabid, unruly, even experimental version of Neoplatonism, filled with bitterness, distress, and bisexual love.

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