Review: ‘Butterfly of Dinard’ by Eugenio Montale

Via NYRB Classics, also the May 2024 selection of the their Book Club

The author of this collection described it variously as a novel, a noveletta, etc, seemingly unsettled on its exact nature.

Individually the stories offer a slice of life: rich, concise impressions of a place and time. It makes for effortless reading: writing that’s a pleasure to read for its own sake, with the subject matter just a nice bonus.

Most (or maybe some) stories reveal a small detail to flesh out something prior, or to lay the groundwork for some future revelation.

The result is a book that reads simultaneously like a short story collection (fragmented) and a novel (interwoven). It’s intelligent, graceful, enjoyable, and I highly recommend.

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