Voices: Three Plays

Born in Trieste in 1939, Claudio Magris is a major Italian scholar, translator, and writer. His first book, Il mito asburgico nella letteratura austriaca moderna (1963), focused on the Habsburg myth of Austrian literature, reintroducing many great works of Central European culture to Italy. His journalistic writings have been collected in Dietro le parole (Behind Words) and Itaca e oltre(Ithaca and Beyond). He has also written essays on E. T. A. Hoffmann, Henrik Ibsen, Italo Svevo, Robert Musil, Herman Hesse, and Jorge Luis Borges.

In 1984, Magris published his first novel, Inferences on a Sabre, which concerns a battalion of Cossak fighters who collaborated with the Nazis in northeastern Italy during World War II. His most noted fiction, Danubio(Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea), a work the author describes as a "drowned novel," in which he tracks the run of the Danube from its sources to the sea, was published in 1986. Microcosmiwas published in 1997. That fiction won the prestigious Strega Prize in 1998.

Magris's plays, Stadelmann(1988) and Le Voci(1999), both included in this volume, have established him also as a significant Italian playwright.

Besides the Strega Prize, Magris has been awarded the Erasmus Prize and the Leipzig Book Prize. In 2004 he won the Prince of Asturias Award for his contribution to Literature. He has several times been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.