Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hebdomeros by Giorgio de Chirico

First English edition of Hebdomeros published in the UK by Peter Owen in 1964
Giorgio de Chirico was primarily known for his large body of surrealist art in the first half of the 20th century; Hebdomeros was de Chirico's only foray into fiction. This slim novel, also titled Hebdomeros the Metaphysician, was first published in French in 1929 and recounts the protagonist Hebdomeros' travels throughout a bevy of surreal landscapes as well as his journey inward. Hebdomeros isn't easy to read in that it doesn't have a narrative so to speak, but it is like reading a really good succession of dreams. Written during a "block" in his painting career, de Chirico's novel ironically deals largely with Hebdomeros' humanity and the people around him, which comes in stark contrast to his paintings which are almost always barren landscapes devoid of people. This first English edition comes peppered with illustrations by de Chirico and features nice jacket design by Keith Cunningham.

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