THE LAUREATE: Giosue Carducci was born in a small village in Tuscany in 1835. He attended college for philosophy and letters (presumably classical letters), became a professor of Italian literature , and wrote a great deal of poetry. He was an atheist and anti-clerical in the extreme, and (unusually enough for a poet) his writing actually affected the real world: his Hymn to Satan was published right around the time when Italians were trying to gain freedom from the Vatican. Carducci was the first Italian to receive the Nobel, and he died in 1907.
WHAT I’M READING: Poems of Italy, a selection of poems that is free on Google Books. Check it out.
REVIEW: I would be so pissed if I had paid any amount of money for this collection. I mean, don’t get me wrong; the translation, though a little florid at times, carried itself well for what it is, and I love Carducci’s sensibility and treatment of modern (or “modern;” none of his work is less than a hundred years old) material with Greco-Roman forms and aesthetic. The problem is that there were all of eight poems in this book. Fortunately, the translation that all the reprint on demand houses are charging thirty bucks for is also on Google books, but I can’t read that in a single trip to the bathroom.
ANYWAY, like I said above, in the little bits I read, Carducci is pretty much right up my alley. He is a classicist who uses the old forms for new material. He’s also a prime candidate for the Nobels, since, like quite a few other authors, he defined a literature, namely national Italian.
RECOMMENDED: Yes, but get the translation Emily Tribe put out.
WHAT’S NEXT: In the “This is free, so I’m reading it on my phone” category of books, I don’t really go by a set schedule. Whatever catches my fancy or whatever I feel like getting printed at Kinko’s is what I end up reading. I have no idea what that might be. It’s a secret to everybody (even me!) Also, since these posts are bullshit, this (hopefully) won’t count against the normal twice a week, Monday-Thursday schedule, but that depends on how much Lagerlof I read the next few days (as of this writing)