Trieste's early role in the Italian reception of Charles Dickens.
This article presents new material which allows us to modify substantially the chronology and mode of Dickens's reception in Italy, pushing back the first recorded translations by half a century. This material is contained in the Triestine periodical La favilla, a cultural journal founded in 1836, which struggled for survival against Austrian censorship till 1846. La favilla published two Dickens short stories in 1845: though not mentioned so far in any account of Dickens's reception in Italy, Un vizio (The Drunkard's Death) and La scampanata del Capo d'Anno (The Chimes) are to be classed as two of the very earliest Italian translations of Dickens to be published.
The original edition of the Drunkard's Death appeared on 17 December 1836 in the Morning Chronicle, (5) a London periodical for which the young Dickens worked as a journalist. One year later, it was included in the second edition of the Sketches by Boz, (6) while in the 1839 edition, where all fifty-five Sketches were collected in a single volume and organized in four sections, the Drunkard held the last position among the Tales, which brought together the very earliest of Dickens's prose pieces.
On the other hand, The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New One In was written in Italy, in Genoa, where Dickens stayed from July 1844 to June 1845. (7) It was published in London by Bradbury and Evans in December 1845, immediately after being completed, and it was the second of those Christmas books Dickens was engaged in writing at the rate of about one per year. (8)
To understand how in the 1840s a journal like La favilla could be in the vanguard of cultural transfer, it is important to reflect on the general social and cultural trends in Trieste at that time. In fact, though historically on the periphery, from both a geographical and a cultural point of view, Trieste always loudly expressed its own adherence not to Austria, but to the Italian peninsula in general and neighbouring regions like Veneto and Friuli in particular. This was a new, rich, and cosmopolitan Trieste, which for the last few decades had been experiencing progressive economic and commercial expansion. It had been a small and impecunious town in the late eighteenth century, but the new century greeted it as a powerful commercial and financial centre of the Habsburg empire, the headquarters of banks and insurance and shipping companies. It is worth mentioning the birth in the 1830s of the Lloyd Austriaco company, and its main publication, the Giornale del Lloyd, modelled on the London contemporary Lloyd's List, which reported all commercial news relevant to Triestine shipping and trade.
The representatives of the rising middle class were company employees and intellectuals (artists, tutors, and journalists) from the Veneto, who, after the treaty of Campoformio, could easily move to Trieste to service its cultural and social aspirations. Their mentality was active, open to contributions from modern European culture, whether English, French, or Spanish. (9) They aimed expressly at widening and realigning the city's social structure to reflect Trieste's undoubted position in the economic sphere.
La favilla, conceived by Antonio Madonizza and Giovanni Orlandini and then directed by Francesco Dall'Ongaro (10) and Pacifico Valussi, (11) was one of the new intellectuals' favourite forunls, (12) 'per la sua volonta di porsi quale elemento mediatore tra civilta italiana, tedesca e slava, [...] attenta ai nascenti problemi nazionali, agli aspetti istituzionali della vita letteraria ed artistica'. (13) As with the Conciliatore in Milan and the Antologia in Florence, the Triestine periodical chiefly gives us evidence of the modern middle classes' cultural revival. Dante's motto 'poca favilla gran fiamma seconda' (14) which was printed in the journal's heading from the very first issue, aptly sums up its aspirational programme.
I have already mentioned the interest of the favillatori in European culture. It is no surprise to find considerable foreign material in the periodical. (15) Still, we may wonder why the editors chose Dickens, and, above all, ask ourselves by what means Dickens's earliest works reached Trieste.
The Dickens-Italy relationship has been the object of continuous critical interest since the beginning of the twentieth century. None the less, that relationship has always been considered from a one-sided viewpoint, namely how the English novelist sketched Italy and Italians in his Picture from Italy. Cannavo's comment on this, though dated, is appropriate and typical. The 'picturesque' (16) and lazy Italy that Dickens sketches in 1844-45
deriva da queste [Dickens's] qualita negative che gli impedirono di capire l'Italia del suo tempo, e in verita l'Italia di tutti i tempi: la sua ignoranza di cose d'arte, la sua ignoranza di storia e di politica, la sua incapacita di comprendere la nostra religione e la sua parzialita per il culto della propria, la visione che egli aveva dell'Italia ancora prima di venirci--[...] nient'altro che l'idea che dell'Italia aveva l'opinione popolare in Inghilterra--e Dickens, scrittore eminentemente popolare per necessita e per genio, non poteva naturalmente allontanarsene. (17)
Such one-sided critical sources serve only to validate the absence of any kind of Italian reception of Dickens during his lifetime. Trieste's alertness to cultural signals is therefore all the more remarkable.
This is how La favilla introduced the first Dickensian novel to be published. It was 21 June 1845:
Questo schizzo (18) del celebre romanziere inglese Dickens ci parve si efficace e bella pittura, che non abbiamo resistito alla tentazione di darlo tradotto a' nostri lettori. Uno scrittore si originale, e si poco noto in Italia merita che se n'abbia fra di noi maggiore contezza: e forse non tornera sgradito se daremo di lui qualche altro brano de' piu caratteristici. Mentre e' ci dipinge al vivo e con poetici colori i costumi della sua nazione, ha un particolare attraente per l'agile sua fantasia e per il desiderio di giovare agli sventurati che dalle sue pagine trasparisce. (19)
The title of the novella Valussi is talking about here (20) is Un vizio, a free translation from the original The Drunkard's Death. (21) This new title only reinforces the moralistic character of the tale. The aspiration 'di giovare agli sventurati' here ascribed to Dickens is in fact the plain manifesto of La favilla when it opens its seventh year of publications in 1842. To teach 'agli oppressi a soffrire con dignita', and to show 'alla nostra eletta societa come anche il povero ha un'anima capace di virtu e di grandezza' (22) is the service Francesco Dall'Ongaro wished a popular literature to offer society.
The Drunkard's Death was printed as a serial in two consecutive issues, dated 1 and 21 June 1845 respectively. The Drunkard evokes madness: an alcoholic father neglects his wife (who eventually dies of a broken heart), drives his sons away from home, and exploits his daughter. The latter, in turn, eventually leaves him when one of her brothers, now a murderer who has returned to their slum apartment for refuge, is betrayed by the drunk father into the hands of the police.
Subsequently, for seven instalments starting with the issue of 10 July 1845, (23) La favilla published La scampanata del Capo d'Anno, (24) which, like A Christmas Carol, 'concerns the conversion of the protagonist by supernatural agency'. (25) Trotty Veck (Tobia in the Italian version), a good-hearted porter, is convinced by figures of authority that the poor are 'born bad'. (26) On Christmas Eve the spirits of the chimes disabuse him as he is falling asleep, and show him a frightful vision of what the future might hold for those he loves. Trotty learns the lesson 'that we must trust and hope, and neither doubt ourselves, nor the good in one another', (27) and awakes to the joyful wedding preparations of his daughter.
The way the two novels are presented by instalments was almost certainly at the complete discretion of La favilla's editors, and most probably related to strict commercial considerations. As far as I can ascertain, there is no evidence of a specific, large-scale Dickensian project. The plan for the tenth year of publication was 'migliorare la parte essenziale' of the journal, namely the contents. (28) La favilla wanted to assume a more intellectual guise, and planned to publish once a fortnight, with the text reorganized into a single-column, book-like format and the number of pages doubled to sixteen. As a consequence, the greater part of each issue was dedicated to Dickens. Normally this was followed by a piece of poetry, usually by Dall'Ongaro, a review by Valussi, or perhaps one or two bibliographic announcements.
The translation is by Gerolamo Fanti, a young writer from Belluno, 'carattere antico, lavoratore assiduo, maestro valente', (29) who moved to Trieste in the 1840s, giving private lessons and working for La favilla in order to make a living. He would eventually be one of Valussi's closest assistants, particularly in the last phase of the periodical's life. Unfortunately, we have no information on the vital matter of how, or indeed whether, he learnt English: his other publications in Trieste do not make the picture any clearer, being principally simple short stories and pedagogical articles. (30) Certain contextual considerations encourage the hypothesis that Fanti based his translations upon earlier (or even contemporary) French or, more likely, German ones (see n. 37). In fact, 'the immediate and lasting success of Dickens' work in Germany is without parallel'. (31) There can be 'few countries in Europe where his books were read with greater enjoyment, and certainly none which surpassed Germany in the eagerness which greeted the first translations'. (32) It is relevant here to point out that, though no law of international copyright regulated British, European, and American intellectual exchanges at that time, Victorian Britain had passed the first international copyright act in 1838 to authorize reciprocal copyright treaties with other nations. It may well be by virtue of this law that in 1843 Bernhard Tauchnitz, editor of one of the earliest and best-known collections of Dickens's works (initiated in Leipzig in 1841), (33) visited England and arranged to pay Dickens a fee for his 'personal authorization for the Leipzig reproductions of all future books by him'. (34) Mutual interests were at stake. Tauchnitz, imitating typical British publishers, 'wanted protection for his copyrights to keep his business competitive with piratical, protectionist Yankee publishers', while a young, budding author such as Charles Dickens in the 1830s 'desired to have his [...] own natural right in intellectual property acknowledged the world over'. (35) Under this successful agreement the proof-sheets of Dickens's books were sent to Leipzig immediately after correction, which allowed their simultaneous publication in England and Germany.
The Stuttgarter Literaturblatt, for instance, a contemporary paper of fairly wide influence, which the favillatori (as Habsburg citizens living in a German-speaking environment) presumably knew, published in translation the first selection of the Sketches as well as the German version of The Chimes by H. Roberts, respectively in February 1839 (36) and April 1845. (37) The same journal published a second selection of the Sketches by Johann August Diezmann in 1840. (38) Despite the best efforts of the Austrian censors, it may well have been Valussi, his pockets bulging with foreign newspapers, (39) who acted as the go-between for Fanti's contact with Dickens's writing.
Whether working from the original or through previous foreign translations, it is true that Fanti's paraphrasing may often sound quite embellished. Such is the case, for instance, in the very first paragraph of Drunkard, where alcoholism is defined as that
fierce rage for the slow; gusto depravato per quel sure poison, that oversteps veleno lento e sicuro che every other consideration; prima di distruggere la vita, that casts aside wife, la spoglia di quanto poteva children, friends, happiness, renderla preziosa; a quella and station; and hurries its passione sfrenata che vince victims madly on to tutti gli ostacoli, pone in degradation and death. (40) non cale moglie, figli, amici, posizione, stato, felicita, e spinge fatalmente le sue vittime alla degradazione, all'infamia, alla morte. (41)
Fanti's choices in language and style seem unequivocally programmatic. Let us observe his translation of proper names in The Chimes, for instance: Gigia for Lilian or Nencia for Meg. (42) These archetypically humble forms drawn from the popular lexicon clearly aim at rendering the tone even harsher. A few other linguistic features are typical of nineteenth-century Italian realistic (soon to be verista) prose. Let us consider the Second Quarter of The Chimes: Trotty-Tobia is reading the newspaper and cannot help thinking that
none but people who were bad non c'e che genre senz'anima at heart, born bad, who had no e senza viscere capaci di tale business on the earth, could infamia! Gente nati cattivi, do such deeds. It's too true, che sarebbe stato meglio che all I've heard to-day; too non fossero mai venuti al just, too full of proof. We're mondo. Ah! Quanto ho udito Bad. (43) dire oggi e pur troppo vero, troppo giusto, troppo provato ... Noi siamo cattivi. (44)
Repetition is one of those features which catches one's eyes immediately, here evident in the preposition 'senza ... senza', in the adverb 'troppo ... troppo ... troppo', as well as in the adjective 'cattivi ... cattivi'. In Dickens himself, 'semantic repetition often goes hand in hand with the repetition of syntacraise tic patterns', (45) its aim being to emphasis and to intensify descriptions. Likewise, I would not hesitate to assert that Fanti makes deliberate use of repetition, going perhaps even further in rendering the tone popular, as if the most spontaneous thoughts of the character were literally printed on the page. It is also worth noting the characteristically colloquial agreement ad sensum in 'gente nati cattivi' for the proper 'gente nata cattiva'. Fanti's choice of adjective, here opting for the fiat 'cattivi' for the English 'bad', might also find its place within a realistic lexicon, which, in order to make an adjective more intense, refrains from any affectation and instead favours simple repetition.
But why did the favillatori take to Dickens? I feel confident in stating that their main interest was Dickens's attitude towards reality in his fiction. Both Drunkard and Chimes portray a harsh reality. Despite sentimentalism, in fact, 'non e [mai] un mondo edulcorato che Dickens ci presenta' (46) but, instead, a real world, in which he elevates good feelings and criticizes ambiguity and hypocrisy. On the one hand we have the Sketches, a reflection of the social changes happening in London in the 1830s; on the other, the Christmas novel, poised between reality and fantasy, pathetic and humorous themes, and expressing typical English Christmas sentimentalism aiming at an inner regeneration, as well as alarm at the increasingly widening gap between rich and poor. According to Dickens's moral, the possible solution to this social crisis lay 'in the spread of mutual understanding and sympathy between the classes'. (47) Such a programme may well have found favour among Triestine rich and cosmopolitan upper-class backers of the newspaper, faced with all the problems attendant on rapid urban expansion and immigration. In fact, La favilla enjoyed an assiduously loyal readership over its ten years of publication, both local and international. It was first published 'merce il concorso di duecento Fondatori con altro numero estraordinario di Socj', (48) and its spread increased even further after Valussi took on the role of co-editor in 1840. The majority of La favilla's subscribers were from Trieste and Istria, but also from Fiume, Zara, Venice, Padua, Verona, Milan, Florence, Turin, and even Cattaro, Messina, Paris, and Brussels. This means that the journal had quite a significant, European sphere of influence, among Italian speakers. It is to be remembered that there was a considerable diaspora of political refugees, of varying liberal persuasions, in Europe, who may well have been attracted by the cultural stance adopted by Valussi and Dall'Ongaro.
Dickens's point about the condition of the poor is 'so strongly expressed that it repeatedly attracts the reader's attention to the world of actuality beyond the story'. (49) As I pointed out earlier, the wish 'di giovare agli sventurati che dalle sue [Dickens's] pagine trasparisce' (see p. 4) must have attracted contributors to La favilla, by virtue of those new social and political ideals which they themselves were trying to pronmlgate so vigorously via the periodical. Dickens's 'didactic fiction', (50) in fact, is perfectly comparable to the 'impegno testimoniale e pedagogico, unito all'esigenza d'un racconto realistico' (51) of another contributor, Caterina Percoto, as well as to Francesco Dall'Ongaro's social novels and poems. Both of them signed articles of this persuasion in La favilla, especially in the 1840s. And it may not be accidental, as I hope to show elsewhere, that Dall'Ongaro's poems and the various instalments of Dickens's short stories are very often published in rapid succession.
It is worth comparing here Manzoni's new realism and historicism, exemplified in I promessi sposi. His novel is above all a moralistic contrast between good and bad. This is the same topical theme we saw in Dickens, as well as in contemporary Italian popular (if not rural) literature. Displaying the psychology of working-class people, and immersing their characters in the scenario of the nation's history, were precisely compatible with Lafavilla's programme. Culture and literature could then promote a patriotically oriented education, and 'fulfil a socially useful moralising and ideologising function'. (52)
Positive as such initiatives were, I would nevertheless argue that Dickens also shares some limitations with Francesco Dall'Ongaro. Armando Balduino and others maintain that 'anche i componimenti piu apertamente sociali [by Dall'Ongaro], dove maggiore e l'aderenza a problematiche attuali ed inquietanti, di popolare conservano l'argomento non la destinazione'. (53) In this way, a kind of literature which is on and for the working class emerges, but never a literature of the working class; moreover, the naturalism that emerges ends up being no more than 'l'invito ad una piu solida unita, coesione sociale'. (54) In the same way, Dickens's working man remains 'either an object of pity, needing guidance, to be repaid with gratitude; or of guilt, used to bring the upper classes to a sense of their responsibilities'. (55) Any middle-class Triestine reader of the time must have felt the pages of Dickens's stories to be immediately relevant, if we consider how, in the early nineteenth century, the severe social misery and distress of the working classes occasioned in Trieste the rise of a real 'cultura della povertfi'. (56) This is the other side of that rapid political and economic growth I referred to above, which necessarily meant that the modalities of social assistance had to be reconsidered and improved.
Trieste, then, seems comparable with nineteenth-century London more than just figuratively. Occupying both a physical and conceptual position 'fra co-scienza europea e volonta di inserimento originale nella cultura italiana', (57) Trieste allows us to see the young Dickens in his earliest 'Italian' guise and through its citizens' openness to foreign cultural innovation anticipates the role of mittel-European city which, not much later, will inspire Benco, Svevo, and Joyce.
(1) A typical view on chronology, from the Italian standpoint, is represented by Rossana Bonadei: 'La fortuna di Dickens in Italia risale alla fine dell'800' (Charles Dickens, Mugby Junction, ed. by Rossana Bonadei (Pordenone: Studio Tesi, 1991), p. xl).
(2) Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens, ed. by Paul Schlicke (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999), p. 568. No further indication is given. Distinguished Italian historians of English literature like Mario Praz, Storia della letteratura inglese (Florence: Sansoni, 1937), or Aurelio Zanco, Storia della letteratura inglese (Turin: Loescher, 1947), do not offer any detailed reference themselves, the latter only remarking, 'Per quanto si riferisce alle traduzioni italiane esse sono numerose; i nostri migliori traduttori sono stati Silvio Spaventa Filippi e Gian Dauli' (p. 527). These translations were available in the early 1900s. The British Library online catalogue shows that the first recorded translations (leaving aside those in La favilla) can be dated to the 18708: Una canzone del Natale, trans. by Eugenio de Benedetti (Milan: Salvi, 1873); La battaglia della vita, trans. by Arturo Bortolotti (Milan: Tipografia Bortolotti, 1877); La piccola Dorrit, trans, by Federigo Verdinois (Milan: Treves, 1879). I am grateful to Gabriella Caponi Doherty for the following information on Oliviero Twist, ovvero il progresso di un fanciullo di parrocchia: Un volgarizz amento dell'originale inglese, trans, by G. Basseggio, 3 vols (Milan: Treves, 1840), arguably the very first Italian translation of Dickens to be published, and on several other publications (the majority of which are held at the Biblioteca Comunale di Milano) which date as far back as the 1850s and 1860s.
(3) The best-known translation of Pictures from Italy goes back to Impressioni d'Italia, traduzione, prefazione, bibliografia e note di Luigi Caneschi (Lanciano: R. Carabba, 1911). But once again the British Library online catalogue reveals an earlier edition: L'Italia: impressioni e deserizioni di Carlo Dickens, trans, by Edoardo Bolchesi (Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1879), held at the Biblioteca della Societh Napoletana di Storia Patria, Naples, as well as at the Biblioteca della Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice.
(4) Translations from this period include David Copperfield (short version), by Gian Dauli (Milan: Aurora, 1934); Le storie e le personali esperienze di David Copperfield, by Cesare Pavese (Turin: Einaudi, 1939); Barnaby Rudge, by Fernanda Pivano (Milan: Frassinelli, 1945); Grandi speranze, by Carlo Linati (Milan: Martello, 1945).
(5) According to what Dickens himself maintains, on 7 December 1830 The Drunkard's Death had not yet been completed. On that date he wrote to T. C. Hansard, printer of the Second Series, that 'the little tale I am on, is a very good one (I think). I have taken great pains with it, as I wished to finish the volume with eclat. It will run to 28 slips, and I am on the 28th. But I must keep the whole to read, in order that I may give it the finishing touch here and there' (The Letters of Charles Dickens, ed. by Madeleine House and others, 12 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965-2002), 1, 208).
(6) The first Sketches volume was published in 1836: Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People. In Two Volumes. Illustrations by George Cruikshank (London: John Macrone, St James's Square) (26 sketches).
(7) It was mid-October when Dickens was in such a 'ferocious excitement with the Chimes' that he would complete it on the following 'Third November, 1844. Half-past two, afternoon. Thank God! I have finished the Chimes. This moment. I take up nay pen again to-day, to say only that much; and to add that I have had what women call "a real good cry"' (The Letters of Charles Dickens, IV, 210).
(8) A Christmas Carol (London: Chapman and Hall, 1843), The Chimes (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1845), The Battle of Life: A Love Story (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1846), and The Haunted Man, and the Ghost's Bargain: A Fancy for Christmas Time (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848). Initially published separately, in 1852 they were collected in a single volume for the Cheap Edition of Chapman and Hall.
(9) Surprising references to contemporary Spanish culture are quite frequent. See e.g. Anon., 'Sulla letteratura spagnuola contemporanea', Favilla, 6, no. 29 (18 July 1841); M. Milza, 'Il Re Eserdi: Apologo di M. Milza, trad. dallo spagn.', Favilla, suppl. 7 (7 February 1844); Anon., 'Un'autrice drammatica spagnuola' (Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda), Favilla, 9, suppl. 39-40, (26 October 1844); Anon., 'Ad alcuni giornali di Spagna due parole dall'Italia', Favilla, 11, no. 9 (1 March 1846).
(10) For Francesco Dall'Ongaro in Trieste, see Angelo De Gubernatis, Francesco Dall'Ongaro e il suo epistolario scelto (Florence: Tipografia Editrice dell'Associazione, 1875); Attilio Gentile, 'Francesco Dall'Ongaro: nel cinquantesimo anniversario della morte del poeta precursore', Il piccolo della sera, 10 January 1923, pp. 1-5 (p. 3); Giulio Piazza, 'Francesco Dall'Ongaro a Trieste', La porta orientale, 2, no. 8 (1932), 601-23; Regdo Scodro, 'Francesco dall'Ongaro direttore di giornali a Trieste, Venezia, Roma', Giornalismo del Risorgimento (Turin: Loescher, 1961), pp. 545-77.
(11) See Giovanni Comelli, 'Un giornalista friulano a Trieste: Pacifico Valussi', in 410 Congresso della Societa Filologica Friulana--Comitato di Trieste e Gorizia (Udine: Doretti, 1964), pp. 69-76; Francesco Fattorello, Pacifico Valussi (Udine: Percotto, 1931); Pacifico Valussi, Dalla memoria d'un vecchio giornalista dell'epoca del Risorgimento italiano (Udine: Pellegrini, 1967).
(12) There were also initiatives led by Lloyd Austriaco, such as, for example, the Osservatore triestino edited by Pacifico Valussi from 1843 to 1848, and the historical-archaeological periodical Istria (1846-59) by Pietro Kandler; at the beginning of the twentieth century Trieste hosted many cultural and musical journals, such as Adalberto Thiergen's Caleidoscopio.
(13) Fulvio Salimbeni, 'Variazioni storiografiche e culturali su una citta "nuova": Trieste tra Sette e Ottocento', Archeografo triestino, 3, 4th series (1992), 21-36 (p. 35).
(14) The Divine Comedy, Par., 1, 34.
(15) We have already mentioned the presence of Spanish culture (see n. 9). French examples include Giovanni Orlandini, 'Teatro francese', Favilla, 2, no. 37 (8 April 1838); Antonio Gazzoletti, 'La poveretta: traduzione dal francese', Favilla, 3, no. 4 (26 August 1838); G. L. Morpurgo, 'Un precursore dell'abate de l'Epee [sic]: racconto' (trans. from French), Favilla, 9, no. 9 (24 May 1844); Anon., 'Chi la fa l'aspetta' (on the translation into French of some Italian novels), Favilla, 11, no. 38, suppl. 26 (20 September 1846).
(16) Michael Hollington, 'Dickens and Italy', Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies, 1 (1991), 126-36 (p. 128).
(17) Francesco Cannavo, 'Charles Dickens e l'Italia', Nuova antologia, 1 August 1918, 277-96 (p. 290).
(18) 'Schizzo' might well be considered a literal translation of the original 'sketch', and thus an indication that The Drunkard's Death was translated directly from English rather than from a translation in another language. However, the earliest German version of a selection from the Sketches by Boa by H. Roberts (see n. 32) keeps literally to the English title: Londoner 'Skizzen' von Boz: dus dem Englisehen, by H. Roberts (Leipzig: Weber, 1838).
(19) Favilla, 10, no. 11 (21 June 1845).
(20) One presumes, in the absence of a signature, that this foreword was penned by the editor himself.
(21) As far as I can ascertain, the first publication in book form of the Italian version of The Drunkard's Death is Charles Dickens, Un vizio: il grillo del focolare (Trieste: Coen, 1856), held at the Biblioteca Statale Isontina, Gorizia (in the same volume: Enrico Zschokke, Fanny e Annetta: eroiche gesta di un uomo di pace. Racconti). I have not seen this, but place and date of publication, as well as the identical Italian title (Un vizio), favour the assumption that it is nothing but a reprint in book form of the original translation by Fanti in La favilla. It is worth mentioning another Italian translation of The Drunkard's Death, not mentioned in any account so far: Charles Dickens, La fine del beone, trans, by C. Pigi (Turin: Biblioteca Antica e Moderna, 22, 1884), published in the same volume as Il prigioniero italiano (from The Uncommercial Traveller), trans, by Berenice Leosini, a copy of which is held at the British Library.
(22) Francesco Dall'Ongaro, 'Letteratura Leggera', Favilla, 7, no. 13 (15 February 1842).
(23) First quarter: Favilla, 10, nos. 13 (10 July 1845), and 14 (20 July 1845); second quarter: Favilla, 10, nos. 15 (3 August 1845), 16 (24 August 1845), and 17 (7 September 1845); third quarter: Favilla, 10, nos. 18 (21 September 1845) and 19 (5 October 1845); fourth quarter: Favilla, 10, nos. 20 (19 October 1845) and 21 (2 November 1845).
(24) The first recognized Italian translation goes back to Le novelle di Natale (Le squille--Il grillo del focolare--La battaglia della vita), trans, by Federigo Verdinois and illustr. by E. Sacchetti (Milan: Istituto Editoriale Italiano, 1913). However, as early as 1858 La scampanata del capo dell'anno: novella fantastica, was published in Trieste by Tipografia del Lloyd. Again, I have not seen this, but it seems likely that it is a reprint in book form of the original translation by Fanti in La favilla.
(25) Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens, p. 94.
(26) Charles Dickens, Christmas Books (London: Chapman and Hall, 1862), p. 97. 'Born bad' is significantly repeated several times in the course of the short story (see pp. 88, 101, 108, 119, and 127).
(27) Charles Dickens, Christmas Books (1862 edn), p. 155.
(28) [Editorial], 'Ai cortesi lettori della Favilla', Favilla, 10, no. 1 (12 January 1845).
(29) Alberto Boccardi, Della 'Favilla', giornale triestino 1836-1846 (Trieste: Caprin, 1888), p. 25.
(30) 'Celestino', Favilla, 9, no. 1 (20 January 1844); 'Eulalia: racconto del secolo III di G. Cesare Parolari', Favilla, 9, no. 2 (5 February 1844); 'Lucia e Murcimiro [I]', Favilla, 9, no. 11 (24 June 1844); 'Lucia e Murcimiro [II]', Favilla, 9, no. 12 (9 July 1844).
(31) Ellis N. Gummer, Dickens' Works in Germany, 1837-1937 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939), p. 1.
(32) Frank A. Gibson, 'Dickens and Germany', The Dickensian, 43 (1947), 69-74 (p. 70). It was H. Roberts who produced the very first German translations of Dickens with his version of Pickwick Papers, published in Leipzig by Weber in 1837-38.
(33) There is a complete list of Dickens's books in the Tauchnitz edition in Funfzig Jahre der Verlagshandlung Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1837-1887 (Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1887).
(34) Gummer, Dickens' Works in Germany, 1837-1937, p. 9. It was not even unusual for writers to put themselves forward as authorized translators of Dickens's books: we know, for instance, that in 1840 Johann A. Diezmann wrote to Dickens 'apparently to ask for advance copies of future books for translation' (ibid., p. 189).
(35) Philip V. Allingham, 'Nineteenth-Century British and American Copyright Law', Victorian Web (http://126.96.36.199/victorian/dickens/pva/pva74.html) [4 November 2002]. In fact, when Dickens first visited the United States in 1842, he aroused much editorial indignation by pleading for an international copyright law. He is believed to have drawn up and signed a petition to the American Congress, to which he makes allusion in a letter to Forster from New York of 27 February 1842: 'I have in nay portmanteau a petition for an international copyright law, signed by all the best American writers with Washington Irving at their head' (Lawrence H. Houtchens, 'Charles Dickens and Internationl Copyright', American Literature, 13, no. 1 (March 1941), 18-28 (p. 18)).
(36) Stuttgarter Literaturblatt, 17 (13 February 1839).
(37) Stuttgarter Literaturblatt, 38 (4 April 1845). The brief time-lag between the German publication (April) and the Triestine one (July onwards) strongly suggests Fanti's dependence on a German rather than English text.
(38) Stuttgarter Literaturblatt, 42 (24 April 1840). Apart from his Sketches, Diezmann was also popular for his versions of Nicholas Nickleby and Oliver Twist, all published in the late 1830s.
(39) 'Tutti i paesi d'Europa mi servivano a patrocinare la causa della liberth coi fatti e colle opinioni che mi fornivano. [...] Era un'opera che costava molta fatica e che mi obbligava ad avere sempre le tasche, e perfino la mia camera da letto, piene di giornali delle varie lingue. Pero devo guardare con soddisfazione gli effetti di quel lavoro in tempi cosi difficili, nei quali il fare tanto sotto la censura della polizia austriaca pareva a molti un vero miracolo' (Fattorello, Pacifico Valussi, pp. 40-41).
(40) Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People (London: Chapman and Hall, 1861), p. 465.
(41) Favilla, 10, no. 10 (June 1845), 152.
(42) Gigia is the short form of the proper name Luigia typical of dialects spoken in the Italian north-east. Nencia is a proper name of peasant, probably Tuscan, origins, recalling Lorenzo de' Medici's poem 'Nencia da Barberino'.
(43) Charles Dickens, Christmas Books (1862 edn), p. 119.
(44) Favilla, 10, no. 17 (8 September 1845), 268-69.
(45) Knud Sorensen, Charles Dickens: Linguistic Innovator (Aarhus: Arkona, 1985), p. 79.
(46) Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz, ed. by Felicina Rota (Milano: Mursia, 1905), p. 16.
(47) Michael Slater, 'Carlyle and Jerrold into Dickens: A Study of "The Chimes"', Nineteenth Century Fiction, 24 (1970), 506-26 (p. 508).
(48) [Editorial], 'Avvertimento', Favilla, 1, no. 52 (23 July 1837).
(49) Deborah A. Thomas, Dickens and the Short Story (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982), p. 43.
(50) Michael Shelden, 'Dickens, "The Chimes", and the Anti-Corn Law League', Victorian Studies, 25 (Spring 1982), 329-53 (p. 329).
(51) Gianfranco Scialino, 'Caterina Percoto e Pietro Zorutti', in Caterina Percoto cent'anni dopo (Udine: Del Bianco, 1990), pp. 67-95 (p. 73); on Caterina Percoto see that centenary volume; also Gianfranco D'Aronco, Contributo a una bibliografia ragionata di Caterina Percoto (Milan: Aevum, 1947).
(52) The Cambridge History of Italian Literature, ed. by Peter Brand and Lino Pertile (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 431.
(53) L'Ottocento, ed. by Armando Balduino, 3 vols (Milan: Vallardi, 1973), 11, 1378.
(54) Giorgio Negrelli, 'Una rivista borghese nell'Austria metternichiana', in La favilla (1836-1846): pagine scelte della rivista, ed. by Giorgio Negrelli (Udine: Del Bianco, 1985), p. 26.
(55) Sheila M. Smith, 'John Overs to Charles Dickens: A Working-Man's Letter and its Implications', Victorian Studies, 18 (1974), 195-217 (p. 217).
(56) Fulvia Verani, 'Pubblica beneficenza e assistenza nell'Ottocento a Trieste: l'Istituto dei Poveri', Archeografo triestino, 51, 4th series (1991), 239-52 (p. 240).
(57) Walter Binni and Natalino Sapegno, Storia letteraria delle regioni d'Italia (Florence: Sansoni, 1968), p. 259.
<ADD> LUISA CARRER UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH </ADD>
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||The Modern Language Review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2003|
|Previous Article:||The Body Abject: Self and Text in Jean Genet and Samuel Beckett.|
|Next Article:||Beckett and Eros: Death of Humanisim.|