Emanuel Carnevali’s biography and life best early Italian-American poetry deals with the excitement and disillusionment of life in this “new-found land. Emanuel Carnevali. The Apprentice. Alfred Kreymborg, ed. Others for . Emanuel Carnevali is the author of Il primo dio – Poesie scelte – Racconti e scritti critici ( avg rating, 45 ratings, 5 reviews, published ), Il.
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This piece is about 20 printed pages emanjel. The Internet address of this page is http: Emanhel of what we know about the life of Emanuel Carnevali is made available to us in The Autobiography — a selection edited from letters to Kay Boyle and from an unfinished novel on which he worked toward the end of his life and from things written by Carnevali to William Carlos Williams.
Kay Boyle wrote a wonderful book called Words That Must Somehow Be Said North Point Press, — and the intensity and the intent of that title are applied by her to what she salvaged and made accessible of otherwise-lost portions of the life of Carnevali.
Carnevali was born in Florence on December dmanuel He described the school as a kind of militaristic institution — but was grateful that it was in Venice the loveliest city in all the world. I have never regretted one day that I was not at school. I had the spirit of rebellion and these days marked my awakening to catnevali things.
“OUT OF DOORS” POET EMANUEL CARNEVALI IN ITALY AND AMERICA | Barbara Carnevali –
I wore a flowing necktie and was believed to be either an anarchist or a futurist, the two things being strangely carnevall together. So I said goodbye to Italy, she to whom I gave so little and from whom I received less. His father predicted that in America he would never amount to anything more than a street-cleaner. He suffered from bedbugs. He hated his job and carevali lived in fear of losing it. I was fired within a month. The days I was not employed by work I carnnevali employed by hunger.
He received a card announcing that his brother was in New York — when they met they found that they had less than fifty cents between them. When this job was done with I went four days without eating and the sight of food in restaurants I passed began to nauseate me. But when I found a crust of bread on the ground I washed it carefully in a fountain and ate it.
Picking up cigarette-butts in the street was not the lowest thing I was reduced to then, but still I never begged at least not from strangers ; later on when I had friends I pestered them freely for pennies which would permit me to eat. Then I lost the second job mentioned above, and when I announced this loss to my brother, he answered in these very words: So the next morning I beat it and left him in the lurch. I never saw him again.
I did not hear of him again until they wrote me he had been killed in the war, peace to his soul. And all of a sudden I began to write: They were variously colored slips, and from them I took stereotyped encouragement to continue. It is difficult to say how rotten the poems were, and how impossible the stories. Finally an editor accepted two of my poems: Orage of the Seven Arts Magazine! The owner of a rooming house on Willoughby Street in Brooklyn where he lived found him a job at the Yale Club — it was also at that rooming house that he met his wife.
She was a blessed little woman, my wife; blessed for the song that was in her face, blessed for all her misfortune. Blessed because she loved unloved, because she was a very little thing and her love was big, her love was despair, her love depended solely on me. I began to live in a glorious mist. The wife is working and I am not, so I do the things around the house. Already he was pulling no punches. He attended a weekly literary meeting of very young writers.
A talk was given on a subject chosen the week before. Carnevali gave a talk on contemporary Italian literature. I went and spent a few days at his home. It was perhaps at this talk that he made his wife sit beside him — this from the introduction — He visited his wife on weekends in the country. I fell in love with her because she was kind to me.
That was the way all my love affairs began. When I went to see my wife I had the letter in my pocket in which Dorothy S. I decided to let them die, those dying butterflies I never say her again, but I met Caroline D. I do not know from what skies she fell into my arms.
After the affair with Caroline ended his wife wept and wept until I was reduced to going to live with her again — but — What had been destroyed could not be mended.
Emanuel Carnevali – Emanuel Carnevali Biography – Poem Hunter
We were surrounded by the calmness of death. His wife confessed that she too while working in the country had had an affair. Harriet Monroe came to New York and offered him a job in Chicago. His wife and Waldo Frank saw him off at the station.
He visited Niagara Falls — Niagara was to me an immensity that had, by miracle, found a way of speaking. Again he lived in rooming houses He was befriended by Jack Jones who helped him.
But now on top of a house a star shone, a hole revealing ejanuel the sky is a diamond palace covered with a blue cloth.
Well, I had to hurry up, as I was at the end of my strength. I swung myself up, whirled through the air, writing a beautiful parabola over the skirt of night and Cra — rck! I fell on the side of a house and broke my bones in pieces.
I believed absolutely now that I was the Only God.
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But no god was ever humbler than I, and no god ever made worse blunders, and no god was ever as ugly as I was. Every vestige of reality had left me, and I was staggering and stumbling about, helpless in an uncertain world. Out in the snow again I said out loud: And then something strange happened or did not happen: I felt that one of my eyes could not shut, and that it acted now quite separately from the other eye.
It must have been about two in the morning that I got back to my room, and I stood looking at myself in the mirror, able to see nothing, to prove nothing. I spent the time until daylight shouting that I had found the formula for godhead, this is the formula: This is the formula of acceptance and denial, at the same time and at different times, and if simultaneous acceptance and denial could be achieved, then godhead would be at your door.
At first I was appalled by the extraordinary simplicity of the thing.
I had found the solution of life in the formula: God is or God is not. God neither is nor is not. God absolutely is or God absolutely is not. The easiest thing in the world was to live and now I could live, survive forever because of this simple formula of godhead I had found.
For at least fifteen days he was in a psychiatric ward. Annie returned from New York and wept every time she visited him. His mental suffering continued. He returned to live alone in a tent in the dunes. He took up residence in the hospital in Bazzano. It was later diagnosed as encephalitis lethargica — an illness that causes the victim to shake and to convulse uncontrollably and continuously. His arms became strong from clinging to the head of the bed to control the shaking. He could often write not more than a sentence a day because he had to hold one hand steady with the other in order to type.
This constant trembling is the most absurd, the most awful joke.
It is the falsest and at the same time the truest of all illnesses — it consists of nothing, practically nothing, but it is made of a multiplication of nothing until in the end it becomes an enormity.
I was still fitting the sentences and paragraphs of the book together when the dark curtain came down between France and Italy. Since then there has been silence, and it can only be concluded that Carnevali died during the course of emanusl war. There is no record of his death, no trace of his name or of the few poor things he owned. Oh, lady Death, take me, is now the common refrain of all my songs! Take me with you emaniel I will be docile as a child and I will follow obediently in your footsteps without terror, knowing you are the divine mistress and the divine gift of God.
I will not so much as slay a worm who comes to greet me and crosses my path, oh, Lady Death! I will be good and kind to all those who are going the same way. I will not talk out loud and too much emsnuel way I always did in life.
I will merely stammer a few words in your ear. The editor of Fireflies writes that Carnevali lived in Hell, and wrote in beauty. I know of almost no other example of that almost slogan-like symbol — the-little-man-makes-good — in the world of poetry — as that of Carnevali.
The poems are divided into sections — a further affectation this time assuredly of the editor Dennis Barone. Barone writes that — I have made a few changes in spelling and punctuation in both the essays and the poems. The poems are literal and lateral — they carry no dead matter forward from life but live rather as life-lived. Carnevali never forgot what he was doing — as compellingly as life found him a component in its complexities.
This that this that carried the verses along.