Ippolito Nievo’s ‘Le confessioni d’un italiano’

TLS_cover_Oct_10_1100526mLast week’s TLS (Oct 10) carries a long review by Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author of a prize-winning biography of D’Annunzio, of the new English translation by Frederika Randall of Ippolito Nievo’s Le confessioni d’un italiano (1857-8, published posthumously in 1867). The protagonist of this fictional autobiography, Carlo Altoviti, drifts hither and thither like Tristram Shandy: ‘You will have noticed’, he says to the reader, ‘that among all the professions I’ve dedicated myself to, my own free will directed me to none of them.’ Since in the 1850s the idea that there might be an ‘Italian’ with confessions to share was considered dangerously revolutionary, the book was first given the title Le confessioni di un ottuagenario. Nievo died in 1861 aged 29.

Tagged ,