Review of La Superba by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, trans. Michele Hutchison

Review of La Superba by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, trans. Michele Hutchison

Review of La Superba by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, trans. Michele Hutchison

Often holed up in a bar enjoying an aperitif and claiming to write poetry, Ilja assumes the role of careful observer, creating caricatures and recording the stories of those around him. As a foreigner himself, Ilja presents us with a character who is simultaneously within and without— though he has seemingly mastered the Italian language, and purchased nice Italian suits beyond his means to traipse around the city in, Ilja is never fully integrated into the Genoese world he adores. He even identifies with tourists, describing their behaviors in connection to himself: “Incomprehension and insecurity are written all over their faces as they hesitantly wander around the labyrinth. I like them. They’re my brothers. I feel connected to them.”