“One September morning, Giovanni Drogo, being newly commissioned, set out from the city for Fort Bastiani; it was his first posting.This was the day he had looked forward for years - the beginning of his real life”
‘Undoubtedly a masterpiece, a sublime book’ Sunday Times
A dark and beautiful tale full of pain and longing, introduced by Tim Parks.
Idealistic young officer Giovanni Drogo is full of determination to serve his country well. But when he arrives at a bleak border station in the Tartar desert, where he is to take a short assignment at Fort Bastiani, he finds the castle manned by veteran soldiers who have grown old without seeing a trace of the enemy. As his length of service stretches from months into years, he continues to wait patiently for the enemy to advance across the desert, for one great and glorious battle …
Written in 1938 as the world waited for war, and internationally acclaimed since its publication, The Tartar Steppe is a provocative and frightening tale of hope, longing and the terrible sorcery of dreams and desires.
“A strange and haunting novel, an eccentric classic”
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“It is not often that a masterpiece falls into one’s hands. But The Tartar Steppe is undoubtedly a masterpiece, a sublime book, and Muzzati a master of the written word”
“There are names that the coming generations will not resign themselves to forget. Surely one of them is that of Dino Buzzati”
Jose Luis Borges
“A beautiful, masterly novel that shimmers like a mirage, bringing into sharp focus the rise and fall of our ambitions and the pitiless erosion of time. It is the story of one Giovanni Drogo - yet how many of us will be stricken to recognise something of ourselves in him?”
”The Tartar Steppe is a nightmare, a comedy of errors, a beautiful and anguished fable, a call to resistance against folly, the inspired assurance that one last act may justify our lifelong struggle to remain human”
Dino Buzzati was born in Italy in 1906. After receiving a law degree from the University of Milan, he worked as a reporter and later as special correspondent and editor for the Corriere della Sera. His literary career began in 1933 with the publication of Barnabas of the Mountains and The Secret of the Old Forest; however, it was not until he wrote The Tartar Steppe in 1940 and The Seven Messengers in 1942 that he received proper recognition in the mainstream of contemporary European literature. His works have been translated into many languages. Buzzati died in Milan in 1972.