Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681374765
Pages: 144
Publication Date: December 1, 2020

Dissipatio H.G.The Vanishing

by Guido Morselli, translated from the Italian and with an introduction by Frederika Randall

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An NYRB Classics Original

From his solitary buen retiro in the mountains, the last man on earth drives to the capital Chrysopolis to see if anyone else has survived the Vanishing. But there’s no one else, living or dead, in that city of “holy plutocracy,” with its fifty-six banks and as many churches. He’d left the metropolis to escape his fellow humans and their struggles and ambitions, but to find that the entire human race has evaporated in an instant is more than he had bargained for.

Guido Morselli’s arresting postapocalyptic novel, written just before he died by suicide in 1973, depicts a man much like the author himself—lonely, brilliant, difficult—and a world much like our own, mesmerized by money, speed, and machines. He travels around searching for signs of life at the U.S. army base—palm trees, convertibles, and missile bays under the roadway—and scouts the well-appointed kitchens of his alpine valley’s grand hotels for provisions, all the while brooding on the limits of human vision: his own, but also that of humankind. Meanwhile, life itself—the rest of nature—is just beginning to flourish now that human beings are gone.

Dissipatio H.G. is a precocious portrait of our Anthropocene world, and a philosophical last will and testament from a great Italian outsider.