- Paperback: 672 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (1 July 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520049284
- ISBN-13: 978-0520049284
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.1 x 20.3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,600,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Operette Morali: Essays and Dialogues (Biblioteca Italiana) Paperback – 1 Jul 1992
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"Leopardi was Italy's premier romantic poet and one of the great literary figures of 19th century Europe. . . . In "Operette Morali, he presents a series of stunning dialogues and essays that are as unique, penetrating and blackly humorous as Kafka's parables or Beckett's plays."--"San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
About the Author
Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi (June 29, 1798 - June 14, 1837) was an Italian poet, philosopher, essayist and philologist. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most radical and challenging thinkers of the 19th century
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
-- Susan Sontag
Fiabe che incantano. Melodie filosofiche di una strana saggezza che tradisce i metodi antichi in un dialogo strumentalizzato dal'epicentro del cuore stordito da illusioni intelletuali. Poesia in prosa.
The translation here is adequate, and just as sharp as the earlier rendition by Betram Dobell but not as stellar as the Columbia University Press scarce edition entitled "The Moral Dialogues" where Patrick Creagh's modern version is still the best one available. The above quotation of Sontag is referring to the Creagh translation. However it bears mentioning that this is the only version I have ever encountered that has the original Italian alongside the English. Giovanni Cecchetti is a fine man of letters and interprets the tone of the tales and dialogues well. His introduction and notes are very helpful and fill some gaps a lay reader will likely have. All in all, by the by the best choice out there.
I think his humorous dialogues show much more invention and wit than other, more serious, essays. Although seriousness pervades every work it's not always visible. The hopelessness and pessimism that runs through most of the Operette Moralli may not suit the style of most people. But hopelessness here is the result of strength, and it's done with no hatred. Some of his opinions are surprisingly contemporary.
There are better books out there in my opinion, but this is still a very good book, and as Leopardi himself notes: "... books now are mostly written in less time than one needs to read them, and you see very well that since they cost what they are worth, they also last in proportion to what they cost."