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The Tartar Steppe

Buzzati, Dino

(Book - 2005)
The Tartar Steppe
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"Often likened to Kafka's The Castle, The Tartar Steppe is both a scathing critique of military life and a meditation on the human thirst for glory. It tells of young Giovanni Drogo, who is posted to a distant fort overlooking the vast Tartar steppe. Although not intending to stay, Giovanni suddenly finds that years have passed, as, almost without his noticing, he has come to share the others' wait for a foreign invasion that never happens. Over time the fort is downgraded and Giovanni's ambitions fade--until the day the enemy begins massing on the desolate steppe."--Publisher's website.

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Publisher: Boston : David R. Godine, 2005
ISBN: 1567923046
9781567923049
Branch Call Number: FICTION BUZZATI 2005
Characteristics: 198 p. ;,21 cm
Additional Contributors: Hood, Stuart 1915-2011

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This is the 65th of a series of titles selected by writer Yann Martel to provide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to encourage an appreciation of the arts and literature in particular in the PM, and to also help Harper with his stillness and thoughtfulness. Martel has regularly sent books from a wide range of literary traditions to Harper. Martel has devoted a Web site to the reading list and his kind, considered and often poignant covering letters with each volume. (All of his letters can be read at http://www.whatisstephenharperreading.ca/.) Martel's thoughtful persistence in this quest, started in April 2007, is both heartwrenching and highly commendable. He has never received a direct acknowledgement from Harper, and only some fairly form-letter responses from Harper's staff. He has also received a response from Industry Minister Tony Clement, but it wasn't directly related to any of Martel's book selections.

Martel suggests that Buzzati reminds him of a "cheerier, warmer Franz Kafka." Why, I wonder, do you think he would suggest this author to Harper?

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