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Botteghe Oscure

Commerce, Botteghe Oscure

writing english caetani international

an international literary review, the title of which means ‘dark shops’, founded in Rome in 1949 by Princess Marguerite Caetani (18801963), who edited it until its closure in 1960. Caetani had been editor of Commerce between 1924 and 1932 in Paris, publishing work by many of the leading writers of the day, including James Joyce, Federico Garcia Lorca, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Botteghe Oscure, which ran for twenty-five issues of up to 500 pages, featured writing in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish and was distributed in Britain, the USA, Holland, Germany, Australia, and Japan; the contributions in English, which made up over half the total volume of work, tended to be predominantly by poets, who included W. H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, Dylan Thomas, Hugh MacDiarmid, Thom Gunn, Louis MacNeice, Robert Lowell, and Marianne Moore. Among the eminent Europeans whose writing appeared were Octavio Paz, Günter Grass, Carlos Fuentes, Italo Calvino, Albert Camus, Alberto Moravia, and Andre Malraux. The periodical published work by many authors at early stages of their careers and constituted a uniquely catholic international forum for creative writing during the post-war years; it was dedicated, as Archibald MacLeish wrote in his introduction to the index published in 1964, ‘to the proposition that literature exists in a wider and more integral world than politics’.

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