Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Review of Ettore Fieramosca,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. XII: Literary Criticism - part 04 (1902), pp. 223-224


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


[page 223:]

ETTORE FIERAMOSCA, OR THE CHALLENGE OF BARLETTA, AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE OF THE TIMES OF THE MEDICI, BY MASSIMO D’AZEGLIO. TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN BY C. EDWARDS LESTER, U. S. CONSUL AT GENOA, AUTHOR OF “THE GLORY AND SHAME OF ENGLAND,” MEMBER OF THE ATENCO ITALIANO AT FLORENCE, ETC. NEW YORK: PAINE & BURGESS.

[Text: Broadway Journal, Aug. 9, 1845.]

THIS is a neatly printed duodecimo of nearly 300 pages, and forms the first number of “The Medici Series of Italian Prose.” The design of this series is to supply the American public with. translations of the best Italian prose romances. Mr. Lesser is to be translator and editor. Something of this kind is certainly much needed. While we have been fairly overwhelmed with both good and bad from the literature of France, Germany, and Sweden, that of Italy has been of late altogether, or nearly altogether neglected. The present enterprise extends, we believe, no farther than to the Italian Romance, in its ordinary acceptation; but it is not generally known that there exists a vast mine of Italian Comedy, some of which would amply repay the working. Maimontel, in his “Encyclopédie,” roundly declares that there is not a single comedy in the language worth reading; and the usual error on this subject has probably found its origin in his ignorance. Some of the greatest names in Italian Literature were writers of Comedy. Baretti mentions four thousand dramas collected by Apostolo Zeno; the greater portion of these were comedies; and many of [page 224:] them possessed not only high but very peculiar excellence. It is time that some of these works should he unearthed.

“The Challenge of Barletta” has been frequently designated, by the Italian and British critics, as the best romance of its language. It is certainly a vivacious work, but is defective in having little of what we understand by file “autorial comment” — that which adds so deep a charm to the novels of Scott, of Bulwer, or of‘ D‘Israeli — more especially to the works of Godwin and Brockden Brown. The book before us is feeble, too frequently, from its excess of simplicity in form and tone. The narrative proceeds as if to narrate were the author’s sole business. The interest of mere incident, is all.

 


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


Notes:

None.


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

[S:0 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Review of Ettore Fieramosca)