(Belluno, 1906 – Milano, 1972)
Dino Buzzati was a painter, playwright, poet, novelist, short story writer, opera librettist, mountaineer, and science fiction writer, and-from the age of twenty-two until his death-worked as a journalist with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Buzzati began his career on the Milan daily Corriere della Sera in 1928. His two novels of the mountains, written in the style of traditional realism, Barnabò delle montagne (1933; “Barnabus of the Mountains”) and Il segreto del bosco vecchio (1935; “The Secret of the Ancient Wood”), introduced the Kafkaesque surrealism, symbolism, and absurdity that suffused all of his writing.
His works of fiction include five novels, theatre and radio plays, librettos, numerous books of short stories and poetry. His librettos include four for operas by Luciano Chailly, as well as that of the opera La giacca dannata by Giulio Viozzi.
Also an acclaimed and exhibited artist, Buzzati also combined his artistic and writerly exploits into making a comic book based on the myth of Orpheus, Poema a fumetti.
The Tartar Steppe, his most famous novel, tells the story of a military outpost that awaits a Tartar invasion. In its sentiment and its conclusions, it has been compared to existentialist works, notably Albert Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus.
His writing is sometimes cited as magical realism, social alienation, and the fate of the environment and of fantasy in the face of unbridled technological progress are recurring themes. He has also written a variety of short stories featuring fantastic animals such as the bogeyman and, his own invention, the colombre (il colombre)