Man of Smoke

Man of Smoke


“Man of Smoke,” Aldo Palazzeschi’s experimental anti-novel, was first published in 1911 as part of the Italian Futurist movement. It is now recognized as one of the most original creations of early twentieth-century fiction. Quite literally a “man of smoke,” Perelà appears one day to delight, inspire, and alarm the men and women of the City. His popular rise and disgraceful fall – marked by a series of encounters with every type of modern citizen – make for an often hilarious and sometimes nightmarish social satire. The Man of Smoke becomes the pivotal metaphor around whom the author weaves his tragicomic play between lightness and heaviness. Palazzeschi offers an existential vision of human life that stands besides the best works of Pirandello, Svevo, Calvino, or Musil.
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