The Castle of Fratta/The Confessions of an Italian

Discussion on any 19th century written works by authors other than Hugo.
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between4walls
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The Castle of Fratta/The Confessions of an Italian

Postby between4walls » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:43 pm

I just started reading The Castle of Fratta/The Confessions of an Italian (same book, multiple titles) by Ippolito Nievo, who was a 19th century writer and member of Garibaldi's redshirts/the Thousand who overthrew Bourbon rule in Naples and Sicily, uniting that area with the rest of Italy. Nievo died in a shipwreck at a young age while traveling back and forth doing related administrative work, but he left behind a massive novel which reminds me of LM and War and Peace in that it is a historical novel set a few generations prior, with Napoleon playing a significant background role, and explains the author's theory of life/politics/God/everything. It follows four people from childhood to death in old age, with the most important part being their adventures following Napoleon's invasion of Italy, the collapse of the Venetian Republic (where they live), and the beginnings of Italian nationalism.

Anyway, I'm not very far in yet, but it's good so far, though you can tell it was written by a young guy who didn't get a chance to edit. The only English version is abridged, so that's what I'm reading.

The first sentence is fantastic and encapsulates the theme: "I was born Venetian on October 18, 1775, the day of St. Luke the evangelist; and I will die by the grace of God Italian, whenever it pleases the providence who mysteriously governs this world."
Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you and you will be reborn with me. From the heavy embrace of all desolations springs faith.

The real name of devotion is disinterestedness.

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