The Last Witness

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Mes sentiments et mon experience du caractere de M. Au reste, Milord, veuillez bien dire a M. L'un etait deja votre avant la lettre de M. Les occupations de M r Murray ne lui laissant pas le tems pour repondre a ma lettre, j'ai pris le parti d'ecrire a l'imprimeur qui me fit aussi attendre, et me repondit enfin de maniere a ne rien vous pouvoir dire de certain. E qui fa il punto la mia lunga istoria. Dear Sir — I enclose two advertisements to be engraved on the very facsimile of Petrarch's letters — a loss which had been — still is — and will ever be a source of sorrow to me.

Have therefore the goodness to propose both for the choice of my Lord Holland, in order that I may send it to the engraver as the book is on the eve of being published. I enclose also the plan for a journal which I requested Lord John to ask your opinion of — and I trust he did even before my request. But your opinion would be pronounced from more Connoissance de Cause were my letters to his Lordship on this subject laid before you.

You will see that whilst proposing the undertaking to M. After some hesitation he has now altogether declined it, and Lord John is about to propose it to Mess. But I should fear let me open to you; and, if you think it dangerous, to you alone my opinion I should fear that while acting themselves as men of business, they would, possibly, expect, that I should allow myself to be treated as a gentleman. The full meaning of this, perhaps you, with all your learning, do not understand — Cum tu inter scabiem tantam, et contagio lucri, Nil parvum sapias, et adhuc sublimia cures.

The same printers work for booksellers at L. Now whatever is deemed a law, and generally practiced every day by every body, is done conscientiously. Thus if not always, certainly often, booksellers in agreeing to share the profits of a work with an author charge printing, stitching, advertising, and so on, not at the price paid by them, but at the price which the author would himself have paid to printers, stitchers, and advertisers. In my own observations, which are often involuntary, I have noticed instances in which the expences for the Edition of a book were for exemple L.

I have no doubt that Mess. Of all this I have not given the least hint to Lord John; I think now better to acquaint him with it, but I leave it to you to decide whether or not it would be prudent to mention it to Mess. I should undoubtely prefer them as great capitalists, though I could easily awail myself of two or three booksellers, who wish to undertake my journal, — but joint small funds are seldom at hand to be promptly and regularly employed. I hope I need not say that I look if not for the assistance, at least for the patronage of the Whig talents.

I will not, because I ought not, devote a single line of the journal to the party interests and dissentions of Englishmen about their domestic administration; — but it is high time for me to devote myself to their principles on Liberty, and chiefly to join in with their exertions to mend the policy of Europe.

I apply myself to the heavy task of a periodical work the more willingly as all historical facts past present and to come will furnish me with ammunition for an unceasing battery against the mad hypocrisy of the Holly Alliance, and the Tories of the Continent who still dream of passive obedience, and of the Kings of Samuel, — and English Tories while laughing at them, still support them. I have also a patriotic object of another description in view, — that of finding some employment for those Italiens of parts and learning who are daily landing in England with no support but their parts and learning.

Perhaps by meeting here a countriman already experienced in the melancholy trade of intellectual manufacture, they may suffer less than I suffered until I learn it — if indeed I have learn it, and shall cease to suffer. Nous sommes contens de tout, hormis la dedicace. Nous sommes inquiets au sujet de la lettre que nous vous avons ecrit il y a une semaine. My Dear Sir — I am sorry to hear from thy obliging letter that thou hast been unwell.

I sincerely hope that the fine frosts we have this week had will have restored thee to thy usual tone. For myself, it is rarely I am unwell, and if, as some one of our philosophers has said, happiness consists in having mens sana in sano corpore , I am one of happiest of men. I return thee many thanks for the favour of thy name amongst my subscribers, which I assure thee I consider a tower of strength, and of more value to my object than the names of the other great poets which accompany it.

You Italians are very successful in saying genteel things, and when you grant a favour do it with all the air of one receiving a favour. I communicated immediately with His Grace on the subjects thou wast desirous to have mentioned: the following is the answer I received. Foscolo must use his discretion as his own judgment will dictate to him, with regard to noticing the work on the Woburn Abbey Marbles.

As it is not for publication, but merely a limited number of copies for my own private friends, and some of the admirers of the Fine Arts, it appears to me, that it is hardly a fit subject for a Review; but should M r. Foscolo think it right to notice it, in the Journal he is about to establish, I shall rely with confidence on his good taste and judgment, to say what the work may merit, and nothing more. Lord John showed me the plan of thy proposed Journal which I like extremely: one thing alone struck me which I cannot understand.

When it is said that no person in power shall be flattered or abused, I can readily conceive the possibility of acting up to the principle — but in a work professedly devoted to literature, that no book shall be either praised or censured seems to me to go beyond the shell to compass: there is besides to me something stoical in the doctrine; to strike off approbation from entering into the judgment you give if any judgment is to be given of the book you review; and if no judgment is to be given —— the Journal will perhaps more fail to guide the public mind on the merit of a book than a Journal of this high character should.

Again — for what do Authors write? Yet the Classical Journal has readers to support it, and why should not a Journal of Foreign Literature, which would I apprehend be less exclusive in its nature and character to general readers, than the Classical — why should not that be supposed likely to meet success under such an Editor.

I hope the question will be answered by the trial. I shall not forget the paper for Tasso; so soon as I have begun to put to press my translation of Garcilasso , about which I am just now very busy. I shall print it myself, but want a publisher to whom I intend giving for the 1 st Edition half the profits. Shouldst there be writing to Murray, thou mights mention it to him. Blanco White is looking over my M. Believe me, my dear Sir. Mio caro Amico — Vi ringrazio di tutto cuore de' vostri regali. Discorre intorno a cose vecchie, ma che gli pajono nuovissime, inaudite, — per la sola ragione ch'ei non le aveva mai imparate a scuola.

Tutte queste cose a quattr'occhi fra voi e me. Or addio da tutto il cuore. Dear Sir, — Accept my thanks for your kind answer, and for your intention to communicate my plan to the persons who may take some interest in its execution; indeed I sent you the prospectus to be kept by you for this purpose. I am now making every exertion to establish some way or other the Journal; — and thus foreseeing the difficulties in my way that I may be prepared to meet them, I have already taken steps to find other publishers, should I not come to terms with Longman.

The advertisement for Petrarch's letters is already gone to the engravers as altered by you; — and the Essays will be published, I hope, before the middle of January. I will send at Hollandhouse the lines to be engraved on the facsimile, — and if approved of, I will send them directly to be engraved. Remember that to satisfy Ladies and gentlemen I shall want a dozen copies of the Essays.

Gamberale Chiara

Now God bless you. Whether she alludes to a promise subsequent to her corrections, I cannot say; — but if from M. To please therefore every body, but myself, I have picked out some sentences from the one, and some from the other of the two re—translations, and put them together into one Epistle, and if they approve of it, let my name be signed under the everybody's composition.

As for the journal in contemplation, I will send a copy of my plan to M. Je crains toujours de ne m'exprimer pas assez clairement. C'est sera avec reconnoissance que le triste solitaire recevra dans le Digamma Cottage la visite dont Lady Caroline Lamb voudra bien l'honorer, et il aura aussi boucoup de plaisir en serrant la main du veritable Maecenas des Imprimeurs des Libraires, et des Auteurs — surtout des Poetes.


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I long to see you at Digamma Cottage, and you must perform your promise to dine with me; bring Master Murray with you, I keep a bottle of claret for you , and I will have an apple pye made for the Boy, — besides plenty flowers to be sent to the little girls; — choose your day; and let me know on Saturday when I shall come into town expressely to see you.

I regret extremely that the thousand little concerns which belong to settling in a new residence, especially for a wretched old bachelor, dragged me into London the very day that you undertook so endless a voyage to see your friend — who will be your friend during this and future life — Adieu de tout mon coeur. Noi v'andremo poco dopo le ore cinque , e Riego abita al numero in faccia a San Pancrazio New Road, in casa di uno scultore. Ma per non perdervi, venite qui, e v'andremo insieme.

Mon cher Monsieur — Comme de chez moi jusque a Piccadilly c'est un voyage, je prendrai la precaution de vous ecrire que je viendrai demain — Vendredi — chez vous entre 11 heures et midi; puisque il y a bien longtems que je ne vous vois pas —. Brand, ses enfans, et autres ici. Je vous conte tout ceci My dear Friend — I thank you heartely for the translation of the Latin verses, so much the more, as they will admirably complete the criticism on Petrarch's Latin poetry which constitutes the addition intended for the new edition — But may I ascribe the translation to Lord Byron?

Your letters and parcels will always reach me safely and without any delay by the two penny post, addressed thus — Ugo F. Je regarderai donc comme une faveur si M. Je ne puis attendre que M. Mais je me souviens exactement de la couleurs du papier. My dear Sir —— Enclosed are the verses of Tasso: be so good as to look them over before thy departure, and if there is any thing that does not please thee, I will try to improve it. I beg to assure thee, I shall always be happy to render my similar assistance, and am, with much sincerity,. Cette Canzone est la plus difficile de toutes. C'est le malheur de la traductrice, mais son merite n'en est que plus grand.

Lord D l'a lue et relue avec beaucoup de complaisance. Qu'un homme comme vous dise de si belles choses de moi, et qu'un homme comme lui s'y complaise c'est assez de gloire pour moi, et les Reviews n'ont qu'a me dechirer tant qu'ils veulent. Je tacherai du moins de retapper mes larmes. Adieu povero Foscolo. My dear Sir — About out two quotations which show what I said to you was concert. There is of course no risk of your losing your lease, by perfection but if you ever wish to sell it then no one will buy, as you being an alien.

It is always noble to be seized for the benefit of the crown. I shall be very sincerely glad to learn that you do not entangle yourself with the purchase and consequent mortgage of your houses. I beg to assure you that it will give me any great pleasure to afford you any legal advice which it may be in my power to give: I shall return your medal very carefully on Thursday morning and am most faithfully your very obedient Servant etc. Dear Sir — I have felt from time to time so much pleasure in the perusal of the Lettere di Jacopo Ortis, that, having but yesterday certainly learned by whom they were written, I cannot refuse myself the gratification of addressing you.

It was but yesterday, that calling on an Italian gentleman who teaches my eldest son Italian, I mentioned to him how much I admired these letters. The name of this gentleman is Mantegazza: he immediately told me that you were the author of them: for till yesterday I imagined that they had been the production of the German author Wieland.

The works I meant to send you are as follows. The last is published by Press J. My address is Charles Lloyd Jun. Believe me to be, dear Sir, with the highest veneration for your talents yours grateful and humble servant etc. Dear Sir, — The delicate way in which you mentioned an arrangement about the two rooms makes me believe you and aware that it might be disagreable if a stranger come to reside in them.

Assured of this and also that you are inclined generally to accomodate me I submit the following to your friendly consideration. Along with my present rent I offer to pay whatever you think reasonable for those two additional apartments — and this with the view of being master of every part of my house, and of being able to let or not to let any part of it, as my feelings or perfect wisdom judge of a proposed inmate may lead me — The mode of payment shall be in the ordinary way, or as follows, if, joined to your rest to oblige me, the proposals be not inconvenient to yourself.

I offer to translate for a year, or nine or six months, every thing you may have to translate, at a stated sum per page to be named by yourself — also to assist you regularly in your English letters — Your translations I engage to leave fit for the press, attending, at any period, to your alterations —. At the end of six, nine, or twelve months, a statement could be made out, when, if I appeared owe any balance of rent, I would settle it.

To leave myself free for the necessary attention and punctuality to your translations, I shall, provided you like these terms, give up a part of my present literary pursuits — but I make no merit of this as I candidly own I should prefer it — that is — I should rather earn money from you than from a mercantile Editor —. Meantime I trust you will think nothing put that I am ready to assent to your refusal as well as approval of my proposal, any of course, to ingage to meet my rent to usual way and at the stated times —. May I request that, whatever turn our communication may take, you will do me as kindness to regard it as confidential —.

I know your sentiments on interests — I know it is my interest to write this note — but I also believe that, amongst the most honourable, human interest may from only a rational link of the chain of human sympathies —. Excuse any unintentional freedoms of this note which no one could be further from contemplating than —.

Foscolo mio amat. E nemmeno il suo Telemaco Mad. Come sia sistemata la di lui economia? Del resto de' vostri plauditi travagli io ne sono bastantemente istrutto dai fogli inglesi, che talvolta giungono fino a me. E quando vi sento applicato, e produttore di cose belle, e di voi degne, nulla di nuovo quei fogli mi dicono. Se mai voleste per una volta mandarmi lettera col mezzo di qualche amico non oso pregarvi per la posta obbligarete assai l'ingenuo vostro amico ecc.

Mais M. Aussi en voyant, au lieu de mon nom, la circolocution The Author of the Essays on Petrarch , ils se desesperont un peu moins. Je n'en puis plus. Lord Byron vient de s'ecrier: [segue la citazione come nella stesura definitiva]. Mais avec vous, Madame, il est inutile de parler de nine hundred ninety nine — ou de trois quart. Les beaux chefs d'oeuvres qui servent [ L'homme qui sent plus fortement se rappelle aussi plus frequement, presque une force [..?.. L'homme de foi qui s'occupe de arranger mes affaires avec mes autres creancier, passera chez Miss.

Du reste ne croyez pas que le parti que vous voulez prendre puisse vous rabaisser dans l'estime de ceux dont l'estime vaille quelque chose. Il ne jase pas comme moi, mais il dit en trois mots tout ce qu'on dirait en cent pages.


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En attendant croyez—moi toujours. My dear Friend — I am afraid you will think I had completely neglected you but the fact is otherwise — for the very day after I received your propositions, I put them into the hands of a professional friend of mine, whom I thought most likely, from his habits of business and connections, to be able to serve you — and I now send you the observations which I have just received from him on the subject. I am very sorry indeed that they are so discouraging, and must fear that you will not be able to meet with what you want.

From other friends, to whom I have verbally communicated your intentions, I have met with similar objections grounded on the general dislike of leasehold property in the light of security , and the almost total worthlessness of furniture etc. I am myself disposed to think that the only way in which you are likely to succeed in raising money upon your houses is by an immediate sale , subject to a lease for life to yourself of the one which you inhabit.

I am not insensible to the suggestion which you make at the conclusion of your proposal, and wish that my circumstances were such that I could conveniently enter into your views in my own person — but that is not the case — and I regret much that it is not. What you add about your plan of teaching grieves me exceedingly — and I hope that the thought has only occurred in a moment of literary vexation and does not form the ground of any serious and fixed intentions.

At all events, I must hear from you further on this subject, before I can bring myself to mention it as your determination. In the meanwhile I shall not lose sight of your other object, and if I can arrive at anything more satisfactory with regard to it, you shall immediately hear from me. I think you said that the back—door at Venice, which opens into the street, is called La porta della strada —.

Near Bassano there is a house haunted by a Ghost, called the White Lady. What would she be called there — La Signora Bianca? Is not Murato a technical word for the punishment of inclosing a man in a wall? Pray forgive me the trouble I am giving you. I am confined with a cold or I should have done myself the pleasure of calling upon you. I hope you have not suffered from this Lapland weather. Dear Sir — At least the proofs returned from Her Ladyship; and you will find them inclosed — She prefers the first and longer dedicatory, therefore let be printed the longer one marked with red ink, — only you must alter the formal word my work and put in its place my Essays.

Mind also my alteration at page 68 of the cancel, — an alteration the most indispensable to avoid the occasional, casual remembrance and resemblance of the translator. Mind also the errata corrected in several Italian lines. But do not send proofs any more; print off for God's sake, for without advertising, as I mentioned you, I cannot begin my sad but necessary trade of an itinerant teacher. My dear Friend, — I delayed sending the list of my debts, —— which you will find here inclosed — because the day after I say you, I was again allured to trust in professional gentlemen who gave me hopes again and again that they could deliver me out of my present scrapes by the means of a mortgage; — and although this way was attended with expences, still I preferred it to the expedient of troubling my best friends.

But after six days of negotiations it turned out that to receive now L. Now that this hope too is over, I send you the list, by which you will see that, indipendently of what is owed to you and to the printer and translator of the unfortunate book on Parga, — my debts amount to L.

The half of this sum is becoming due partly before the end of January, — and partly namely L. As this half of the L. Kinnard and Co. They would undoubtely grant even a long delay at the same interest; but not without a proper security, since after having not fulfilled my promise in due time, I have lost every claim to be trusted.

So I have not dared to open, as yet any negotiation with them, — neither I should be listened to; — and in the meanwhile my anxiety increases, and the more with regard to Mess. Kinnard and Co: because my promissory note is backed by a gentleman, whom I will not leave in the scrape on my account, were I to sell even myself and be exposed to perpetual prison — Now to negotiate for some delay with these two banking houses, — and to get the L.

But although the plan is a practicable one, still it appears to me less easily brought about, than I thought at first. For in such cases there is always a great deal of humiliations to be endured, — and many difficulties and delays in the way. Great men being able to part with L. Possibly I do not express myself very clearly; but you know enough of the world and of the human heart to comprehend my full meaning. For, as things now stand, on what security could they lend the money? Let the leases be no longer than my natural life, and suppose I die before paying, the leases would be forfeited to the crown by the Alien by law, of which I insert you two interpretations of Lord Coke and judge Blackstone.

By that law the leases, would be forfeited the very moment that I should make any ostensible use of them; — and I am even now advised to destroy them lest any informer bring me into a scrape with the lawyers appointed to find out the forfeited properties. I must therefore transfer my leaseholds on trust, — but to preserve the property from dangers and claimants and lawyers a regular deed must be made, for which a great caution against informers is required and which at the same time will be attended with delays, and expences — both ruinous for me as my circumstances now are.

Many things about Leases, Mortgages and Laws seemed to me very easy, — indeed I was told they were very easily done; neither M. I did nothing rashly, nor without consulting lawyers, — and what I did was countenanced by the examples of many foreigners; — when lo! I beg you pardon, — I am long; and wordy, and tiresome; but I deserve pity since I write under the pressure of the most severe headache I ever experienced, — and scarcely I can keep my eyes open; I resorted to blisters; — tomorrow I will be better, — but I write because I have not a moment to loose.

Pray therefore, as you are so liberal towards me, to devise some means to deliver me from my present embaras , — for as to the future I am almost certain that in the course of twelve or eighteen months I shall, in case I live, out of such miseries. I got already two pupils, and am told that a third a M. Yet I must not venture to ask ready payment; and if my pupils pay every six months I shall consider myself as the most lucky tradesman about London.

Were I not to give credit, I should have no customers. But by giving lessons in the morning, and applying miself to litterary labours in the evening I may easily rise again after the end of the year; still it is not less true that now fallen, and unable to help myself without the assistance of others. Have then the kindness to see what is to be done, by renewing the consultation with M.

In the meanwhile although without strength I am not without courage ; and distressed and harassed — and now tormented with the headache — I work as steadily as I am able. You will undoubtely have at your disposition towards the end of February the paper on the Opera and before the end of March the History of the text of Homer. Of this two articles and of whatever I will give you hereafter, you shall deduct the half of the price allowed by you, and appropriate it towards the discharge of my debt with you.

The same deduction will take place with the novel with which, unhappily for me, I had no spirits to go on, — but as soon as it is done to my satisfaction, both by me and the translator, I will give to you so that it may be published as soon as possible; — I take a great deal of pains with it, because I mean to make not only un Coup d'Essai mais also un Coup d'Eclat.

And in case the Coup d'Eclat be successful, two or three more bold attempts of the same description will enable me at once to sit down to some work less popular but more lasting. Dear Sir — M. Read this note first and act accordingly without delay. Without even looking at my longer note, do give orders to Mess. My dear Sir, — Suffer me to express the greatest respect and admiration at the mind which has produced the essays I read and have just finished reading — Their characteristics are, in my apprehension, criticism that no English writer could pretend to cope with — philosophy expounding criticism and the highest poetical sympathy illumining both —.

Reality Bites - Events & Concert in Florence

Do not suppose me intrusive in these opinions. I am carried away by impulse and speak only what I feel strongly. Here are points in which I caught most quickly the spirit and [ The translation, after about 25 pages, is admirable — first glowing — sincerely — with none of the trait of translations in general. Meantime if you think fit I could direct your attention to a press error here and there which it would be a pity to overlook —.

When you shall have received the Essays again will you permit me to proceed with them? My dear Sir, — You will oblige me by again lending me the commentary on Dante for a day or two, I wish to show it to a friend. I am collecting a few notes on opera for you: you will find in the Spectators, Tatlers and other periodical works of that day, observations of the effect the opera then had: and the reasons pro, and con.

There is also something in Burney's and Hawkins' History of Music. Dear Sir — I now send you the rosewood table, — and the bearer will tell you how it ought to be kept clean — I send also the drawers of the library table with their key. Pray do not forget the characters, — and if instead of a professional compositor, you can recommend to me a youth who should be satisfied with light wages for light labour, I should be more obliged to you —. I should also like, nay prefer to have a professional compositor every other day to whom I would willigly pay for the three days fifteen shillings.

Adieu — dear Sir, and believe me. My dear Friend, — Since I called twice in vain upon you, I must submit only to write as I can in good and bad English, but also to give you the trouble of decyphering one more of my usual long notes. What follows is still a more serious occurrence. I think it proper that you be informed of this conversation; — an information, however of which you will awail yourself with discretion.

Lord Dacre seems to be almost certain that I would easily get more than two hundred subscribers at five guineas each for twelve lectures from Easter to the end of June. To my objection that I could not deliver lectures unless in my maternal language, he answered that the persons who are in situation to pay for admission are, or wish to be consider so Italian scholars.

There is, however, another objection, namely the repugnance I feel to do any thing which in my apprehension looks like a quackery; thus with all the strenght of my nerves, and my former habits of speaking in public, I fear that there is a wide difference between feelings of a speaker, sorrounded by his own countrimen, for fame, and of a lecturer before a fashionable assembly for money. Yet if you and M. Lord Dacre having thoroughly considered the matter of the leases, decided that to prevent information and forfeiture, they ought to be speedily destroyed, and the possession transfered on trust; but even this, as things now stand would be impossible for me, on account of the expenses for the legal acts and new deeds of the transfer.

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To get out at once I was until now negociating with the builder to have returned the money I paid him, and give up to him the rent of the next cottage, and the property of this I inhabit, and continue to keep it as a tenant at will, at L. I would thus be at great loss for the future, but relieved from the horrible present; and the bargain was so advantageous for the builder that he promised to do his utmost in order to raise money, and thus kept me in hopes which are still disappointed; and he now begs two or three months delay which, if granted by me, would ruin me both for the future, and the present.

I return Orloff's work on Music. I read it throughout, with loss of patience and time, as it only affords for my purpose the title page to be placed at the head of the articles. If tomorrow the weather be not as dreadful as to day, I will call and look at some translation of the Atys of Catullus and borrow some lines to describe the curious Monstrum of our singing Eunuchs, so as to preserve Virgins and Matrons from the double trouble of guessing and blushing. Rose is in town with plenty verses and prose for you, and as I engaged, and indeed I am very willing to revise the proofs of his translation, have the goodness to order your clerk to forward them to me in small several parcels by the two penny post.

Now Adieu —. Addio di cuore.

I prossimi eventi

My dear Friend —— I should have called on you for the bad weather and the almost impassable roads, which, as I am not a great walker, turn me back home with the wish rather to go to bed than to write — Have the goodness to direct your clerk to send the inclosed parcel to the Hoo by any stage coach — I sent it yesterday evening to Chesterfield Street, but nobody answered the door.

I have drawn up the prospectus for the lectures, and you shall have it on Thursday morning, even ere I know Lord Dacre's opinion to whom as the chief manager of the Speculation I submitted the outline of them; — and indeed I should let you have it even now, were not I distressed for a Copist. At the same time I am nervous at every letter delivered by the postman, and tinkling of the bell; — and since all my endevours to escape through a mortgage or a sale from these torments of Hell have been of no awail, I must have recourse to you. The list in your hand contains debts already become due; and am now receiving intimations from lawyers; do therefore what you can ; — and so soon as I am a little out of this situation I shall do what I ought.

As for the generous intentions of M. Thus I hope that if you do for me what you have done for M. Look therefore at the list and do what you can. Here you will find a letter from my builder, — whose credit of L. I will therefore receive it as a great favour if you could send to him a draft before evening, as the credit of the poor man is at stake, — and in case your messanger does not find him at home, M.

Of the first L. As for the other L. Caro amico — Il Sig. Egli mi ha trovato pieno d'acciacchi, e ancor travagliato da una lunga e funesta malattia d'occhi, che da otto mesi in qua mi ha costretto a cessare da ogni lavoro. So d'avervi mandato per via del librajo Murray una copia de' miei Sinonimi italiani, appena usciti alla luce nel , ma non so se gli abbiate ricevuti.

In ogni caso il Sig r Crowe ne ha una copia per voi. Accoglietegli come solete le cose del vostro amico lontano. Mio caro Amico — Troverete qui annesso un prospetto di Letture ; e il pensiero di leggere a un'adunanza di soscrittori mi fu suggerito da Lord Dacre e da altri.

Addio dall'Anima. Marvellous Foscolo — I have read your translation from Ariosto over and over with fresh wonder. Two or three of these I have turned otherwise in my mind, but I think it too impertinent to offer any thing of mine to such a translation, so I only put a X to attract your notice to the passage. Two or three of my marks I will explain, as they only refer to trifles of idiom. You see how I have sifted and resifted every line and word, and picked a quarrel whereever it was possible.

It is easy harmonious spirited and every thing one can wish. So thinks at least your humble admirer and friend. Dacre who would be very proud if she had done it. Lord Dacre admires your translation as much as I do. The review of your book in the literary Gazette is very favorable to our lectures. I am sure our lectures will answer our wishes but I must take the management of your money into my own hands, I believe, or you will give it all away in elegant presents to us Ladies young and old. Dear Foscolo — Your translation is quite astonishing.

It has the perfect ease and flow of an original, and has also what I consider as a great merit — extreme closeness to the italian. There are two or three mere trifles which I will point out when I have considered them more, and notwithstanding the warning you give thro' Lord Dacre, I shall work and scratch like a little terrier after a rat to find faults, for I cannot bear to be thus beaten black and blue with my own staff. We are delighted with the prospectus of your lectures, but Lord Dacre will tell you how much we object to the publishing and giving copies of them.

It would swallow up all the profits, and must not be thought of. The third chapter of this section is dedicated to Dante. Titled "Dante e la stella della scrittura," this chapter describes how Dante's development of a poetic-rationalist model of writing is the product of a synthesis between Greek and Christian notions of testimonial writing. However, for Lollini, Dante also enriches the established tradition by placing emphasis on the role of the individual in acts of testimony.

Lollini analyzes this role in his exemplary reading of the final vision of Paradiso, where Dante, vainly seeking to understand the mystery of Incarnation through the description of the human face of Christ, finally acknowledges the absence of adequate words to represent the sacred space. While such absence gives truth-value to Dante's own, individual testimony, his desire to publicly relate his experience further suggests that a newly formed nexus between individuality and literary testimony has been established for Romance literatures.

The importance of the individual in the act of testimony is also present in works by Petrarch and Galileo, which are analyzed by Lollini in the fourth and fifth chapters, respectively. The fourth chapter, titled "'In guisa d'uom che pensi et pianga et scriva': Petrarca," focuses on those moments where Petrarch voices the inadequacy of his own writing by foregrounding how the other, personified in the face of Laura, remains irreducible to the order of representation.

For Lollini, such inadequacy reveals why the description of Laura is not only developed through the formulae of conventional lyric poetry, but is often accompanied by an ethical reflection on how the experience of the individual always exceeds the boundaries of symbolization.

The fifth chapter, titled "Galileo e la faccia della luna," addresses Galileo's Dialogo dei massimi sistemi. Here Lollini argues that the importance of the new science resides not only in having freed human observation from the prejudices of scholastic philosophy, but also in having assigned a truth-value to the empirical observations of nature carried out by the individual. The last chapter of this section, "La stella della redenzione: la nozione di testimonianza nella cultura neoebraica," contrasts the Western tradition of testimonial writing with the Judaic one.

Lollini contends that, in Judaic culture, testimony is not the result of an intellectual quest or of a mystical vision but, rather, depends upon the obedience to a divine command. From here stems not only the importance of listening, as opposed to the act of seeing, but also the different notion of subjectivity developed by Judaic writers. Having thereby established the historical development and specificity of the Western paradigm of testimonial writings, Lollini dedicates the remaining two sections of his volume to an exploration of works from the 20th century.

While the second section, titled "Il testimone, la guerra e il carcere," is dedicated to Serra and Gramsci, the third section, titled "Etica della scrittura e testimonianza," focuses on Levi, Celan, and Calvino. In the first four chapters of the second section, Lollini discusses a number of works by Renato Serra and firmly establishes this writer's importance in a context shaped by Croce's metaphysics.

While, for Croce, writing is the manifestation of the ideal, Serra, through the philosophy of Kant and Shopenhauer, recognizes that there exist elements of experience that remain irreducible to narration. However, Serra's recognition does not bring him to a position of nihilism, but, rather, prompts him to accept the inevitability of both the limits and the necessity of writing. Close readings of Serra's Partenza di un gruppo di soldati per la Libia and Esame di coscienza di un letterato establish the validity of Lollini's claims.

Furthermore, these readings also reveal Serra's crucial role in anticipating some of the reflections of Gramsci. The discussion of Gramsci occupies the last two chapters of this section. In "L'importanza dell'ombra: il giovane Gramsci, Serra e la cultura del primo Novecento," Lollini argues that the influence of Serra on Gramsci's work is revealed in a number of Gramsci's early articles.

As it is well known, this mode of writing will be concretized in Gramsci's own Lettere dal carcere, which is analyzed in the chapter "Il testimone invisibile: le Lettere dal carcere di Antonio Gramsci. A cogent reading of Gramsci's notes on Dante's tenth canto of Inferno becomes Lollini's primary evidence of Gramsci's painful realization that no representation will ever be capable of expressing the trauma of the subject.

This awareness might explain why Gramsci's project to tie politics to the ethical and personal dimensions of life in an autobiography was never realized. The issue of the subject in relation to testimonial writing is again addressed by Lollini in the third section of his volume. Titled "Etica della scrittura e testimonianza," this section is dedicated to works by Levi, Celan, and Calvino.

Such a process is brought to completion by collections such as Atemwende and Fadensonnen Here Celan's poetry renounces meaningful communication and begins to exhibit the aphasic expressions of an anti-writing. Nonetheless, as Lollini argues, despite the different visions that inform the work of these writers, Levi remained very interested in Celan's poetry.

In fact, he not only sought to explore the reasons for Celan's obscurity, but detected a coincidence between the poet's abdication of communication and his desire for non-being, expressed not only by his writing, but also by his dramatic decision to commit suicide. The remaining chapters on Levi are focused upon the relationship between science and literature. Lollini explores how Levi, despite a desire to communicate, was always skeptical of monological truths. Such truths encompassed, for Levi, not only literary, but also scientific knowledge.

As in the case of Leopardi, for Levi, scientific knowledge increased the mystery of the world and forced the poetic vision into that state of radical uncertainty exemplified by Levi's "Plinio" and "Autobiografia. Lollini not only suggests that the relationship between science and literature was also fundamental to Calvino's work, but he also argues that it developed according to the philosophical perspective of phenomenology. This perspective brought Calvino to reject the idealist division of subject and object upon which scientific inquiry from Descartes onwards depends. Further, it also led him to acknowledge the irreducible opacity of the world.

A discussion of Calvino's Palomar and Racconti per i cinque sensi complements Lollini's reading. However, as has been the case in other examples of testimonial writings discussed in this volume, in Calvino's work, the complexity of experience never coincided with a refusal of referential expression. Rather, it developed into an ethics of writing, specifically into a meditation upon the relative and partial truth-value of human representation. Such truth-value was evident in Calvino's more autobiographical works, particularly in the short stories "La strada di San Giovanni" and "Ricordo di una battaglia" A fourth section, titled "Sintesi, conclusioni e aperture: verso un'etica del soggetto," reprises some of the most important arguments addressed earlier on, and provides a brief conclusion to the volume.

In summary, with his latest book, Lollini offers a clear and sophisticated account of very complex philosophical issues. While Lollini's description of testimonial writings from antiquity to the modern era establishes a solid historical paradigm, his analysis of 20th-century testimonies foregrounds the paradoxes of a mode of symbolization that, while revealing its inevitable inadequacy, also expresses its own compelling necessity.

Finally, then, thanks to Lollini's subtle discussion, not only do writers as diverse as Serra, Gramsci, Levi, and Calvino, converge in a shared ethical effort to provide some sense to the chaos of the world of personal and public history, but reveal that a position mid-way between the weak subjectivity of the deconstructionist project and the strong Subject of metaphysical idealism remains a viable possibility for future literature.

An extremely intelligent book, Lollini's Il vuoto della forma will undoubtedly become an important addition to the existing bibliography on the topic. Furthermore, because Lollini's solid philosophical analyses are always corroborated by insightful close readings, the volume will most certainly be a very valuable work for scholars of Italian literature and culture. The Rose in Contemporary Italian Poetry. Gainesville: UP of Florida, If De Sanctis takes up the rose in tracing "la splendida e sconcertante avventura dell'arte nell'amara stagione del declino" 9 from Lorenzo il Magnifico to Giambattista Marino, then Thomas Peterson, in his recent The Rose in Contemporary Italian Poetry, follows this most privileged flower in its many incarnations through a century of rapid evolution and innovation.

In the preface to the volume, Peterson recalls Walter Benjamin's temptation to write a book consisting entirely of citations, as well as the new method of "drilling" as opposed to "excavating" and the resulting "forcing of insights" such a project would entail. He goes on to liken his own study of the poetic rose to Benjamin's project: "To study a topos is also an act of critical drilling" vii.

In keeping with this notion, Peterson's commentary, at times quite orthodox, at times provocative and corrective of other critics, is often intentionally restrained, the book's sense relying rather upon the "placement or dispositio" of the citations - as Hannah Arendt says of Walter Benjamin's project - "so as not to ruin everything with explanations that seek to provide a causal or systematic connection" vii.

Peterson acknowledges that such an approach requires that readers "bring powers of inference to the poetry and sort through fertile ambiguities" ix-x. That the author allows the occurrences of the rose in contemporary Italian poetry to dictate the book's organization forces us to consider these poets from less common perspectives: alongside and very often in place of the traditional categories of Twilight, Futurist, Hermetic, and Neo-Hermetic poets, we hear also of poets of advent and of otium, as well as encyclopedic, apotropaic, and Anacreontic poets.

Consequently, names often collocated under, for example, the unwieldy term of Hermeticism find their way into fresh and thought-provoking categories Sinisgalli and Gatto, for instance, are by turns encyclopedic, Anacreontic, or exemplary of the characteristic of wonder or of the ironic reframing of traditional figures of the rose. The first chapter, "In the Garden of Italian Literature," serves as an introduction to the presence of the rose within the Italian and romance traditions, as well as to the critical approach informing the volume.

Peterson notes a crucial shift in poetic practices in the early twentieth century that profoundly altered the relation "between poetic form and content, between the facts of language and those of theme," and the consequent need for a criticism responding to this situation: "Given the nature of this transition, one cannot rely on a single semiotic, stylistic, linguistic, sociological means of exegesis. Rather an 'endogenous' criticism is required that is sensitive to a poem's interpretive needs on a case-by-case basis" 2.

This recognition, together with the desire to "minimize the importance of 'lines'" x , results in a broad selection of poets that incorporates many names often omitted from critical surveys of twentieth-century Italian poetry, not to mention an impressive sampling of dialect poets, such as Salvatore Di Giacomo, Giacomo Noventa, Achile Serrao, Biagio Marin, Franco Scataglini, and Abino Pierro.

Together with this extensive array of Italians are the names of several poets from the European poetic tradition. Rilke's prolific use of the rose introduces a discussion of "a host of Italian poets whose prayer, including secular prayer, engages the rose of sacrament as a votive object" , and Celan's rose "expresses a transformation of archaic religious objects, icons, and rituals into a form of spirituality that is negative and catastrophic" Laconic but Arcadian, the Anacreontic poet regales in the luxurious and exquisite, and possesses a heightened sense of the sensual and melic qualities of the poetic word" The use of figurative language, of course, touches on the problem of rhetoric, whose role is to persuade and lend coloring and conviction.

Or how, given the lexical nature of our study, does the evasion or deformation of a lexeme signal a change in literary sensibility? The poets under discussion respond to this situation in one of two ways: with a "rhetoric of rarefaction," or the "rarefaction of rhetoric. This recourse to the second-hand rose is an instance of what Harold Bloom has referred to as "the interpretive and revisionary power of a poetry perpetually battling its own belatedness" The imperative of having to position oneself with regard to an established literary culture is also keenly felt by writers familiar with the experience of marginalization.

Chapter eleven, "The Feminine Voice, and Other Alibis," examines the poets of the feminine voice, who aim at "creating an alibi or space apart from the coteries of the male-dominated literary world, and the 'pseudo-nature' of that world" The alibi, a "result not of a flight, but of dialogue and questioning" , situates the feminine voice "elsewhere" with respect to the assertive verbal armature of the masculine linguistic space. Peterson begins his survey of the feminine voice, quite understandably, with Sibilla Aleramo, then turns to "an example of a male poet with a feminine voice" He finds in Diego Valeri Paolo Volponi, Roberto Sanesi also figure in Peterson's discussion of the feminine voice that lexical indeterminacy and contingency that allow him to resist "the rationalistic and formalistic tendencies of much twentieth-century verse" Amelia Rosselli appears not among the poets of the feminine voice, but in the concluding chapter, "The Otiose Rose," where Peterson looks at the rose in poems conceived of as contemplative, theoretical enterprises.

In his discussion of Rosselli, Peterson ties together a number of the strings that run throughout the volume, and demonstrates an outstanding sensitivity to the complex nature of the poet's work. Here the author himself eases the rapid pace maintained through much of the book, a pace determined by the range of material treated in a relatively small space.

Indeed, many poets are accorded little more than a brief paragraph, and consequently one often wishes Peterson were able to devote to them as much attention as he does to those few discussed at greater length. In citing Maria Luisa Spaziani's phrase, "nebuloso mistero da vincersi a ristroso" from the poem "Quell'uomo-stella" , as an "inadvertent description of the rose topos itself, which must be denied in order to be validated" , Peterson recognizes a fundamental trait of the modern relationship to topoi in general. The phrase evokes as well what faces the critic engaged in clearing up the mysteries of textual interaction; and, in fact, the reader of The Rose in Contemporary Italian Poetry might wish that Peterson had ventured further in this direction, following the reverse path of influence and elaborating on the interrelations among texts.

Many of the poetic fragments examined remain just that - isolated fragments - and the reader is left to formulate many of those "causal and systematic connection[s]" toward which Peterson professes a certain skepticism in his Preface. Nevertheless, The Rose in Contemporary Italian Poetry is an extremely rich and challenging book, and goes a long way toward redeeming the study of literary topoi. It is both a welcome source and model for the scholar interested in such studies, as well as a "rosa dei venti" for the general reader on the high seas of twentieth-century Italian poetry.

Viktor Berberi, Indiana University. Iannace, ed. Maria Vergine nella letteratura italiana. The Blessed Virgin Mary, or Mary of Nazareth, is a complex figure in the contemporary academic scene, subject to, and of, diverse interpretations. For the traditional Catholic academic, she may be primarily a co-redemptrix, object of devotion as the earthly mother of Jesus Christ; for the Marxist or the atheist, she may be among the most visible and fertile symbols of the collective illusion of religion; for the liberal feminist, she may be a dangerous icon of patriarchal domination and female subordination to the role of mother and wife; for the feminist or liberation theologian or believer, she may be an example of full humanity achieved against all the odds of an oppressive, colonized context.

Among these multiple figures, the first is the dominant one in the essays collected in Florinda Iannace's Maria Vergine nella letteratura italiana. These generally short pieces there are over thirty of them in the admittedly long volume were originally presented as lectures at a congress at Fordham University entitled "The Virgin Mary in Italian Literature. Tusiani, a surprising presence in the book, is an Italian-American poet who writes in English and comments as critic - he is the author of the essay on himself - on his own poetic production.

Moreover, there are some general survey essays on Mary in Catholic theology and in Italian literature. Several different interpretive methods are used in the essays: there are stylistic, psychoanalytic Jungian, Kristevan, and Lacanian , and historical approaches, as well as biographical and devotional readings. Like the chronological frame and the interpretive methodologies, the quality of the essays is also wide-ranging: while some, more traditionally devout critics may find the pious tone used in many of the essays appealing, many readers will be put off by a heavy rhetoric likely to discourage not only non-believers "i critici miscredenti," as one of the contributors hastily describes them, , but also non-traditional believers like myself, from entertaining a dialogue with the critics.

This hagiographic approach is what we read in the introduction to the volume, where we find no mention of a more simpatica Virgin Mary, the Mary of Nazareth evoked, for example, by some contemporary theologians. Many of the essays abound in platitudes, others are not much more than an introduction to an author, a summary of texts, a compilation of quotations with minimal critical intervention. Let me also note, while I dwell on this negative paragraph, that the copy-editing of the volume leaves much to be desired, at times even impeding a clear reading of the text the year is placed for instance in the third century, That having been said, the volume includes several solid traditional literary readings - I am thinking, for example, of the essays on Dante by Walter Mauro and Giuseppe Di Scipio - as well as some veritable gems.

Although it bears no connection with the literature invoked in the collection's title, Father Avery Dulles's essay on the role of the Virgin Mary in Catholic theology is a useful, clear, and inclusive survey of Mary's interpretations in the second part of the twentieth century. I was happy to find it at the beginning of the book, and disappointed that many of the subsequent essays did not display an awareness of the breadth of interpretations so vividly presented by Father Dulles himself. The most insightful of the three essays which pay attention to sexual difference, Rinaldina Russell's work on Vittoria Colonna, is a well-written and original piece which explores Colonna's connection with the spirituali through an analysis of her writings on the Virgin Mary.

See a Problem?

In these texts, "Mary becomes a figura of the possible coming together of the human and the divine" , a union central to Colonna's existential and poetic quest. For Colonna, and for Torquato Tasso as well, Mary is a figure who above all else represents a point of juncture between humanity and divinity.

This connecting role is highlighted in Giuseppe Mazzotta's contribution on Tasso's "Le lagrime della Beata Vergine," an absolutely brilliant piece, and all too short. In little over three pages, Mazzotta evokes, with a critical prose that is itself highly poetic, a meditation on Mary's tears as they incarnate the impossible desire to re connect the mother's body and the son's pain, maternity and death. Thus, Tasso's link between sorrow and thought is also the link between pain and philosophy, strikingly allegorized in Mary's tears.


  • Table of contents.
  • An Eagle River Christmas;
  • The King and I?

Gaetana Marrone's Lacanian reading of Elsa Morante's Aracoeli stands out in the collection for its theoretical sophistication, but unfortunately it mentions only very tangentially the Virgin; its inclusion in the collection left me baffled. Finally, I found useful and engaging, as well as very well written, Alfredo Luzi's introduction to the presence of the Virgin Mary in twentieth-century Italian poetry. Because of the great chronological and interpretive spectrum, no one critic is likely to be engaged and profit by all of the essays in Iannace's collection. What I found annoying others may find inspiring, and vice versa.

Therefore, I would recommend the volume to anyone interested in the topic evoked in the title, or, even more generally, in the connection between religion and literature, spirituality and textuality. Cristina Mazzoni, University of Vermont. A History of Women's Writing in Italy. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, In these works, the authors sketch a broad historical and thematic introduction to women's writings, which is then followed by studies of the main themes present in the works of individual authors. Panizza and Wood propose here an overview of seven centuries of women writing and the diverse genres in which they simultaneously participated.

The book is divided into three major historical categories: the Renaissance, Counter-Reformation, and seventeenth century; the Enlightenment and Restoration; and the Risorgimento and modern Italy, The historical division allows for the inclusion of women's writings "beyond the conventional genres classed as literature" 1. As Wood and Panizza point out in their introduction, writing literature in Italy has always assumed a classical education as well as one in Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch. Since women were largely self-taught and often did not adhere to fixed models or discuss certain themes prevalent in male writers, their writing has largely been underestimated if not ignored.

The volume includes 19 essays written by women literature and history professors from the United Kingdom, North America, and Italy; six essays were translated from Italian. In addition to the essays, there is a useful bibliographical guide which gives a brief description of the writers discussed, followed by a short list of selected works and critical works. All works cited in the essays are included in the bibliography that closes the volume and that, admirably, attempts to recognize criticism on Italian women writers from both sides of the Atlantic.

It is not intended here to uncover a tradition of women's writing, a concept the editors deny. Most of the articles are primarily expository in nature. The diverse essays are united by their focus on the principal historical and cultural features of the periods the book addresses and how they "impinged on what women wrote" 3. Hence, the chapter divisions by generic form i. Rather these rubrics enable each critic to group together diverse women who used the same form to negotiate those various yet ever recurring practical, social, and ideological obstacles to writing that made it necessary for each generation of women writers to define and defend themselves anew.

The number of chapters in each section - six essays in Part 1; four in Part 2; nine in Part 3, including five chapters for the novel form alone - tells at a glance the ebb and flow of women's participation in writing across the centuries. The first major "genre" women used was letter writing. Maria Luisa Doglio's fine article reviews classical references which attributed the invention of this literary form to a woman who either counseled her sons or spoke of waiting for a loved one.

She then discusses Catherine of Siena's religious writings dictated to a scribe; Alessandra Strozzi's letters to her sons; Vittoria Colonna's more spiritual and intellectual letters; Veronica Franco's Lettere familiari ; and finally actress Isabella Andreini's Lettere printed in , three years after her death. Despite the differences in tone and content of all these letters, Doglio finds that "by writing to instruct, women demolish the barrier of submission founded on the age-old ban forbidding women to teach" In a brief chapter, Letizia Panizza examines the work of women humanists who wrote in Latin, such as Laura Cerati and Cassandra Fedele.

Although she finds it "hard to trace a continuity between these women humanists writing in Latin and their successors writing in Italian in the next and later centuries," the arguments in defense of women, such as those of Isotta Nogarola who questioned the Church's blaming of the fall of man on women since "where there is less intellect and less constancy, there is less sin" 27 , introduce a theme that will be repeated in almost every essay, that is, the need for Italian women writers of all generations to defend or deny their sexual difference since they experienced the Biblical paradigm for women not only as an account of a fall from innocence but as a definition and limitation of their creative abilities.

Giovanna Rabitti's chapter on lyric poetry from to discusses Vittoria Colonna again, along with Veronica Gambara, Gaspara Stampa whose "titillating" poetry has received perhaps "an excess of critical attention" [42] and ends with Isabella Andreini Her essay makes it appear that there was a Renaissance for women in the realm of lyric poetry brought about by "a shared experience" According to Virginia Cox in "Fiction, ," after the s the main model for women's writing was the Petrarchan lyric in its "amatory and spiritual variants" and the lettere familiari.

Cox argues that women's writing flourished in a rather "long sixteenth century," since the privileged literary idiom of Petrarchism was paradoxically amenable to assimilation by women. The Counter Reformation's moral repression "allowed for the return of pious and decent women on stage" in courtly pastoral dramas and for women to write historical poemi eroici. In her chapter, "Polemical Prose Writing, ," Letizia Panizza shows how the writings of women such as Moderata Fonte, Lucrezia Marinella, and Angela Tarabotti shifted the focus of participation in disputation in dialogues on love and friendship between men to defenses of women's moral character and against, as in the case of Tarabotti, social and legal injustices.

In the same time frame, as Gabriella Zarri writes in the concluding chapter of this section, women were also active in religious and devotional writing. Although these writings were not published, and so their influence was limited, they did reflect the Church's favorable attitude towards women engaged in mysticism and prophetic sanctity. Cox finishes her essay saying that at the beginning of the Seicento women seemed headed for the mainstream.

However, the 18th century provided no mainstream for women's writings. The literary genres in which their writing had flourished were no longer viable. Luisa Ricaldone's essay on the Enlightenment and the Restoration explains the sparse participation in writing by women of this era, and the oblivion into which the works of previous women writers fell.

The Holocaust and Compensated Compliance in Italy

Moral treatises assigned literature a role in women's education, if it was kept at an "amateur level" Few Italian women earned their living by writing or engaging in cultural activities Even fewer wrote novels: Giuseppina di Lorena-Carignano wrote some prose romances, but she wrote them in French. Verina Jones discusses women's entry into the field of literary journalism, ladies' magazines, and political journalism. Adriana Chemello introduces another new genre, literary criticism. Women went from participating in debates on the "excellence and dignity of women" to debates on whether or not they should be admitted to the study of the arts and sciences.

Chemello also discusses the work of Luisa Bergalli who, among other things, wrote an anthology of women's writing published in Venice in The final section begins with Silvana Patriarca's informative essay on women's increased participation in journalism. After , new outlets appeared for women, such as the periodical press for which women and men from the petite bourgeoisie could write As usual, women joined in debates on the role and function of women's education, and the first "feminist" journal, La donna, was founded by Gualberta Alaide Beccari in Patriarca reviews not only the "feminist" views of Beccari, Maria Mozzoni, and Jesse Mario White, but also the works of Cesare Lombroso's daughter, Paola, who published ethnography studies on the mentality of the lower classes along with children's books, whom she contrasts with Ida Baccini, a prolific author of articles for literary journals and the director of a popular girl's journal, Cordelia.

If Baccini's work exudes the values of the patriotic middle classes love of order, industriousness, etc. She quotes Delfina Dolza to defend Lombroso who, "like the other women, even when they appeared to be writing and sharing male opinions, was shaped by a sensitivity to the social context of women's subordination which made the author subvert some of the very convictions of her intellectual milieu" Lombroso's concern with a lack of civic spirit or participation in a democracy by people who were uneducated is looked upon as a sort of subversion of the same values of submission she openly espoused.

The essays on women's fictional writings - Lucienne Kroha's "The Novel, "; Anna Laura Lepschy's "The Popular Novel, "; Lucia Re's "Futurism and Fascism"; and Ann Hallamore Caesar's "The Novel, ," - deal as well with how to interpret the overt antifeminism of many women writers and their participation in conservative and Fascist genres. Paradoxes abound. Re writes how Futurism's iconoclasm was appealing to many women writers.

Under Fascism more women's works were published than ever before. Fascism was "contradictory, 'imperfect,' and flexible enough to tolerate a wide spectrum of relatively emancipated social and cultural modes of behavior and expression" But even women as different as Serao and Aleramo still "felt that there was something illegitimate about their writing as if it constituted the invasion of a masculine terrain and a betrayal of femininity for which they had to constantly apologize" These women are seen as open to more international influences, namely European modernism, through their interest in translations Yet these women writers were denounced by feminism's first authors, who threw literature and its compromising structures out.

Adalgisa Giorgio, in "The Novel, ," focuses on how the writing in her time frame "parallels the shift in Italian feminism from the political phase of emancipation and reality to the more cultural phase of affirming female difference in the imaginary psychic and symbolic linguistic and intellectual structures of society" Starting with Francesca Sanvitale, Maria Corti, and Alice Ceresa as writers who launched an inquiry into the role of gender in literature as well as the theme of female genealogies, Giorgio also includes writers from the s, thus making this essay a much needed supplement to the one done by this reviewer 11 years ago "From Margins to Mainstream: Some Perspectives on Women and Literature in Italy in the s," Contemporary Women Writers in Italy: A Modern Renaissance, ed.

Catherine O'Brien divides women poets into three major groups: those influenced by symbolism, those influenced by the hermetic movement, and finally those who "have advanced the case of women's poetry by achieving equality and recognition," although their work does not differ thematically or stylistically from that of their male counterpart The collection closes with Sharon Wood's essay on critical theory, which "seeks to place women's thinking about contemporary aesthetics and cultural practice, theoretical considerations on women and literature, and by necessary extension on women and language, within a historical or philosophical context" Since Wood dealt with these issues in Italian Women Writers, there might have been more of an advantage here if she had tried to outline some of the new directions for criticism and theory that these essays, with their wealth of information, have now made possible.

The few misspellings and bibliographical omissions e. The genre and time divisions work well to show the diversity in women's writings across the ages as well as to highlight the recurring similarities in themes and cultural debates. And the information included here makes it possible for future scholars to realize the volume's goal, which is, in Wood's words, to "not only rewrite the history of Italian women's writing, but to reshape our reading of Italian literature itself" Carol Lazzaro-Weis, Southern University. La scrittura e l'interpretazione.

Palermo: Palumbo, These two tomes comprise the second half of Luperini and Cataldi's work, of which the first two volumes cover Italian literary history respectively up to and from the Counter-Reformation. The last years are thus accorded as much space as the previous six centuries. This reflects escalating literary productivity, but also privileges modernity and contemporary relevance, to the extent, for instance, that not much less space is given to "il classico del secolo" Montale 41 pages , than to Petrarch 43 pages.

This is partly the effect of not very closely considering earlier Italian literature written in Latin, but more largely springs from the pedagogical intent of the work, which is implicitly aimed at students in the licei and in the early years of university. For these, it is an excellent guide, and it will also be extremely useful to their teachers and, indeed, to academics wishing to home in or update rapidly on unfamiliar areas, as well as presenting a reader-friendly introduction to the general lover of Italian literature.

For such pedagogical and informative purposes, it is admirably laid out. Each "Part", covering a historical period, opens with a long chapter mapping out broad socio-economic, intellectual and cultural developments in the western world and in Italy. The subsequent chapters respectively cover literary movements and debates within the same period, followed by each of the main literary sectors - poetry, narrative, discursive writing, and theatre. For each sector, there is a gradual zoom-in from developments in Europe and the Americas to those in Italy.

Major non-Italian writers - Baudelaire or Tolstoy, T. Eliot or Kafka - as well as all the major Italian writers have an individual chapter devoted to them, and there are also primi piani - chapters devoted to individual works of outstanding importance, whether Italian or not. Approximately a third of the text is thus given over to things other than Italian literature, in keeping with the principle enunciated in the introduction to the whole work, that Italian literature must be seen in the context of western culture generally, especially now that the role of the "national" literature in shaping the Italian nation-state has been historically superseded.

This cultural contextualization is aided by rich pictorial and photographic illustration in somewhat muted colours , but popular or mass culture is referred to mainly as a threat to "high" literature and culture. The work's pedagogical project is also furthered by numerous chronological tables and explanatory windows of schede e informazioni on historical and cultural phenomena , passato e presente on shifting debates , itinerario linguistico on specific terms , testi e studi bibliographies.

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