Dissipatio H.G.

By Guido Morselli, Frederika Randall (translator),

Book cover of Dissipatio H.G.: The Vanishing

Book description

A fantastic and philosophical vision of the apocalypse by one of the most striking Italian novelists of the twentieth century.

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…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Dissipatio H.G. as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is the best ‘last man on earth’ novel I have ever read. It’s a subgenre with a few classic titles to its credit, including M.P. Shiel’s The Purple Cloud and Mary Shelley’s The Last Man. But Morselli’s book is neater, more concise, sharper in tone, and deeper in thought.

It’s a philosophical fable and reminds me, in terms of style, a little of Italo Calvino. But there is an attenuated bitterness in Morselli that seems especially suited to the theme of a solitary survivor living in a world where all other members of his species have evaporated in an…

I found Dissipatio H.G. through a New York Times book review when the first English translation was released in 2020. The story was originally published in Italian in 1977, four years after the author died from suicide. This obscure but brilliant work of fiction takes place in a fictional mountain metropolis. One day our main character wakes up, and every human being on the entire planet has vanished. Except of course for him. Part philosophical treatise, part post-apocalyptic adventure, Dissipatio H.G. is a rare find for those lovers of eclectic literature.

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