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Dino Buzzati-Traverso (16 October 1906 – 28 January 1972) was born in Belluno in northern Italy and grew up in Milan. After graduating with a law degree in 1928, Buzzati was hired by the Milanese newspaper Il Corriere della Sera with which he would remain until his death.
In his free time, Buzatti painted and wrote short stories, operatic librettos, plays, and novels.
“It seems to me, fantasy should be as close as possible to journalism. The right word is not “banalizing”, although in fact a little of this is involved. Rather, I mean that the effectiveness of a fantastic story will depend on its being told in the most simple and practical terms.” Dino Buzzati (as cited by Lawrence Venuti)
Buzzati’s most critically acclaimed novel was Il deserto dei Tartari or “The Tartar Steppe” (1940), the story of a military outpost that awaits a Tartar invasion.
His most successful novel, Un Amore, caused controversy at the time of its publication in 1963 due to its subject matter – the love affair between a 49 year-old lawyer, Antonio Dorigo, and a young ballerina, Laide, who prostitutes herself for money.
Buzzati’s writing style is often described as existentialism, magic realism, social alienation, and the fate of the environment and of fantasy in the face of unbridled technological progress.