Overview


Beginning students of Italian language and literature will welcome this bilingual anthology edited especially for their needs. Ranging from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries, it features the works of Dante, Boccaccio, Pirandello, and fifty-two others in both the original Italian and expert English translations on the facing pages. Selections include excerpts from poetry, fiction, history, and philosophy.
This is a "first reader" in the sense of its introduction to ...
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First Italian Reader: A Dual-Language Book

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Overview


Beginning students of Italian language and literature will welcome this bilingual anthology edited especially for their needs. Ranging from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries, it features the works of Dante, Boccaccio, Pirandello, and fifty-two others in both the original Italian and expert English translations on the facing pages. Selections include excerpts from poetry, fiction, history, and philosophy.
This is a "first reader" in the sense of its introduction to Italian literature from the 1300s to the 1920s. A solid background in Italian grammar is necessary for the fullest appreciation of the original text. The excerpts are unadulterated, not retold or simplified. Readers can sample the works of men renowned for other talents, such as Michelangelo and Galileo, and discover the original language of The Decameron, The Prince, and even Pinocchio. This self-contained anthology can be used with or without an instructor. It will thrill anyone seeking a fast-paced survey of a vital body of literature from one of the world's greatest cultural legacies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486120355
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Series: Dover Dual Language Italian
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 638,011
  • File size: 393 KB

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First Italian Reader

A Dual-Language Book


By STANLEY APPELBAUM

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-12035-5



CHAPTER 1

1. Novellino (ca 1300): 3 novelle


(A) Uno re fu nelle parti di Egitto, lo quale avea uno suo figliuolo primogenito, lo quale dovea portare la corona del reame dopo lui. Questo suo padre dalla fantilitade sì cominciò e fecelo nodrire intra savi uomini di tempo, sì che, anni avea quindici, giamai non avea veduto niuna fanciullezza. Un giorno avenne che lo padre li comise una risposta ad ambasciadori di Grecia. Il giovane stando in su la ringhiera per rispondere alli ambasciadori, il tempo era turbato, e piovea; volse li occhi per una finestra del palagio, e vide altri giovani che accoglievano l'acqua piovana, e facevano pescaie e mulina di paglia. Il giovane vedendo ciò, lasciò stare la ringhiera e gittossi subitamente giù per le scale del palagio, e andò alli altri giovani che stavano a ricevere l'acqua piovana; e cominciò a fare le mulina e le bambolitadi. Baroni e cavalieri lo seguirono assai, e rimenârlo al palazzo; chiusero la finestra, e 'l giovane diede sufficiente risposta. Dopo il consiglio si partio la gente. Lo padre adunò filosofi e maestri di grande scienzia; propuose il presente fatto. Alcuno de' savi riputava movimento d'omori, alcuno fievolezza d'animo; chi dicea infermità di celabro, chi dicea una e chi un'altra, secondo le diversità di loro scienzie. Uno filosofo disse: "Ditemi come lo giovane è stato nodrito". Fuli contato come nudrito era stato con savi e con uomini di tempo, lungi da ogni fanciullezza. Allora lo savio rispuose: "Non vi maravigliate se la natura domanda ciò ch'ella ha perduto; ragionevole cosa è bamboleggiare in giovinezza, e in vecchiezza pensare".

(B) Federigo imperadore fece impendere un giorno un grande gentile uomo per certo misfatto. E per fare rilucere la giustizia, sì 'l faceva guardare ad un grande cavaliere con comandamento di gran pena, che nol lasciasse spiccare. Sì che questi non guardando bene, lo 'mpiccato fu portato via. Sì che quando quelli se n'avide, prese consiglio da se medesimo per paura di perdere la testa. E istando così pensoso in quella notte, sì prese ad andare ad una badia ch'era ivi presso, per sapere se potesse trovare alcuno corpo che fosse novellamente morto, acciò che 'l pottesse mettere alle forche in colui scambio. Giunto alla badia la notte medesima, sì vi trovò una donna in pianto, scapigliata e scinta, forte lamentando; ed era molto sconsolata, e piangea uno suo caro marito lo quale era morto lo giorno. El cavaliere la domandò dolcemente: "Madonna, che modo è questo?". E la donna rispuose: "Io l'amava tanto, che mai non voglio essere più consolata, ma in pianto voglio finire li miei dì". Allora il cavaliere le disse: "Madonna, che savere è questo? Volete voi morire qui di dolore? Ché per pianto né per lagrime non si può recare a vita il corpo morto. Onde che mattezza è quella che voi fate? Ma fate così: prendete me a marito, che non ho donna, e campatemi la persona, perch'io ne sono in periglio, e non so là dov'io mi nasconda: che io per comandamento del mio signore guardava un cavaliere impenduto per la gola; li uomini del suo legnaggio il m'hanno tolto. Insegnatemi campare, che potete, e io sarò vostro marito, e terròvi onorevolmente". Allora la donna, udendo questo, si innamorò di questo cavaliere e disse: "Io farò ciò che tu mi comanderai, tant'è l'amore ch'io vi porto. Prendiamo questo mio marito, e traiallo fuori della sepultura, e impicchiallo in luogo di quello che v'è tolto". E lasciò suo pianto; e atò trarre il marito del sepulcro, e atollo impendere per la gola così morto. El cavaliere disse: "Madonna, elli avea meno un dente della bocca, e ho paura che, se fosse rivenuto a rivedere, ch'io non avesse disinore". Ed ella, udendo questo, li ruppe un dente di bocca; e s'altro vi fosse bisognato a quel fatto, sì l'avrebbe fatto. Allora il cavaliere, vedendo quello ch'ella avea fatto di suo marito, disse: "Madonna, siccome poco v'è caluto di costui che tanto mostravate d'amarlo, così vi carebbe vie meno di me". Allora si partì da lei e andossi per li fatti suoi, ed ella rimase con grande vergogna.

(C) La volpe andando per un bosco, si trovò un mulo, che mai non n'avea più veduti. Ebbe gran paura, e fuggì; e così fuggendo trovò il lupo. E disse come avea trovata una novissima bestia, e non sapeva suo nome. Il lupo disse: "Andianvi". Furono giunti a lui; al lupo parve via più nuova. La volpe il domandò di suo nome. Il mulo rispuose: "Certo io non l'ho ben a mente; ma se tu sai leggere, io l'ho scritto nel piè diritto di dietro". La volpe rispuose: "Lassa! ch'io non so leggere: che molto lo saprei voluntieri". Rispuose il lupo: "Lascia fare a me, che molto lo so ben fare". Il mulo sì li mostrò il piede dritto, sì che li chiovi pareano lettere. Disse il lupo: "Io non le veggio bene". Rispuose il mulo: "Fatti più presso, però che sono minute". Il lupo si fece sotto, e guardava fiso. Il mulo trasse, e dielli un calcio tale che l'uccise. Allora la volpe se n'andò, e disse: "Ogni uomo che sa lettera, non è savio".


    2. Dante (1265–1321): La divina commedia

    Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
    mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
    ché la diritta via era smarrita.
    Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura,
    esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
    che nel pensier rinova la paura!
    Tant'è amara che poco è più morte;
    ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai,
    dirò de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte.
    Io non so ben ridir com'i' v'entrai:
    tant'era pien di sonno a quel punto
    che la verace via abbandonai.
    Ma poi ch'i' fui al piè d'un colle giunto,
    là dove terminava quella valle,
    che m'avea di paura il cor compunto,
    guardai in alto, e vidi le sue spalle
    vestite già de' raggi del pianeta
    che mena dritto altrui per ogne calle.
    Allor fu la paura un poco queta,
    che nel lago del cor m'era durata
    la notte ch'i' passai con tanta pieta.
    E come quei che con lena affannata,
    uscito fuor del pelago a la riva,
    si volge a l'acqua perigliosa e guata,
    così l'animo mio, ch'ancor fuggiva,
    si volse a retro a rimirar lo passo
    che non lasciò già mai persona viva.
    Poi ch'èi posato un poco il corpo lasso,
    ripresi via per la piaggia diserta,
    sì che 'l piè fermo sempre era 'l più basso.
    Ed ecco, quasi al cominciar de l'erta,
    una lonza leggera e presta molto,
    che di pel macolato era coverta;
    e non mi si partia dinanzi al volto,
    anzi 'mpediva tanto il mio cammino,
    ch'i' fui per ritornar più volte vòlto.
    Temp'era dal principio del mattino,
    e 'l sol montava 'n sù con quelle stelle
    ch'eran con lui quando l'amor divino
    mosse di prima quelle cose belle;
    sì ch'a bene sperar m'era cagione
    di quella fera a la gaetta pelle
    l'ora del tempo e la dolce stagione;
    ma non sì che paura non mi desse
    la vista che m'apparve d'un leone.
    Questi parea che contra me venisse
    con la test'alta e con rabbiosa fame,
    sì che parea che l'aere ne tremesse.
    Ed una lupa, che di tutte brame
    sembiava carca ne la sua magrezza,
    e molte genti fé già viver grame,
    questa mi porse tanto di gravezza
    con la paura ch'uscia di sua vista,
    ch'io perdei la speranza de l'altezza.
    E qual è quei che volentieri acquista,
    e giugne 'l tempo che perder lo face,
    che 'n tutti suoi pensier piange e s'attrista;
    tal mi fece la bestia sanza pace,
    che, venendomi 'ncontro, a poco a poco
    mi ripigneva là dove 'l sol tace.
    Mentre ch'i' rovinava in basso loco,
    dinanzi a li occhi mi si fu offerto
    chi per lungo silenzio parea fioco.
    Quando vidi costui nel gran diserto,
    "Miserere di me", gridai a lui,
    "qual che tu sii od ombra od omo certo!"
    Rispuosemi: "Non omo, omo già fui,
    e li parenti miei furon lombardi,
    mantoani per patrïa ambedui.
    Nacqui sub Julio, ancor che fosse tardi,
    e vissi a Roma sotto 'l buono Augusto
    al tempo de li dei falsi e bugiardi.
    Poeta fui, e cantai di quel giusto
    figliuol d'Anchise che venne di Troia,
    poi che 'l superbo Ilïòn fu combusto.
    Ma tu perché ritorni a tanta noia?
    Perché non sali il dilettoso monte
    ch'è principio e cagion di tutta gioia?"
    "Or se' tu quel Virgilio e quella fonte
    che spandi di parlar sì largo fiume?"
    rispuos'io lui con vergognosa fronte. [...]


1. Storybook (ca. 1300): 3 stories

(A) There was a king in the area of Egypt who had a firstborn son that was to bear the crown of the kingdom after him. Beginning with his childhood, this father of his had him raised among wise, elderly men, so that when he was fifteen he had never known any childish ways. It came about one day that his father entrusted him with a reply to ambassadors from Greece. As the youth stood on a platform to reply to the ambassadors, the sky clouded over and it began to rain; looking out through a palace window, he saw other youths welcoming the rainwater and damming up pools and making straw mills. Seeing this, the youth left the platform, suddenly raced down the palace stairs, and joined the other youths who were receiving the rainwater; and he began to make mills and play games. Many barons and knights followed him and brought him back to the palace; they shuttered the window, and the youth made the proper reply. After the council the people departed. His father assembled philosophers and teachers of great wisdom, and expounded that event to them. One of the sages thought the boy's bodily humors were out of kilter; another, that his mind had become weak; one said he was brainsick; they said this and that, depending on their various store of knowledge. One philosopher said: "Tell me how the boy was brought up." He was told how he had been raised among sages and old men, far from any childish matters. Then the sage replied: "Don't be surprised that nature claims what it has lost; it's a reasonable thing to play games in youth and to be a thinker in old age."

(B) One day the Emperor Frederick had a great nobleman hanged for a certain crime. And to make his justice conspicuous, he had him guarded by a high-ranking knight, setting a severe penalty if the body were taken down. This knight guarding the body inadequately, the hanged man was carried away. When the knight became aware of this, he took counsel with himself in fear of losing his head. Thinking and thinking all that night, he decided to go to a nearby abbey to see if he could find some corpse recently dead, so that he could hang it on the gallows in place of that other one. Reaching the abbey that same night, he found there a woman in mourning, her hair disheveled, her clothes in disarray, lamenting loudly; quite disconsolate, she was weeping for her dear husband, who had died that day. The knight asked her gently: "Madam, why are you carrying on so?" And the lady replied: "I loved him so much that I never want to be consoled anymore; I want to end my days in weeping." Then the knight said to her: "Madam, is this wise? Do you wish to die of grief here? Because neither lamenting nor tears can bring a dead man back to life. And so, what is this folly you are committing? Rather, do this: take me for a husband, for I have no wife, and save my life because it's in danger and I don't know where to hide: because by my master's orders I was guarding a knight who had been hanged by the neck, and men of his family have taken him from me. Show me how to stay alive, for you can do it, and I shall be your husband and shall keep you honorably." Hearing this, the woman then fell in love with this knight and said: "I'll do whatever you order me to, so great is the love I bear toward you. Let us take this husband of mine, let us draw him out of his grave, and let us hang him in place of the man taken away from you." And she left off her weeping, and helped draw her husband out of the grave, and helped hang him by the neck, dead as he was. The knight said: "Madam, the other man was missing a tooth from his mouth, and I fear being dishonored if the body were inspected again." Hearing this, she broke a tooth out of the dead man's mouth; and if anything else had been necessary in that matter, she would have done it. Then the knight, seeing what she had done to her husband, said: "Madam, just as you have cared so little about the man you gave signs of loving so much, so you would care even less about me." Then he left her and returned to his business, while she was left there covered with shame.

(C) The fox, walking through the woods, found a mule; she had never seen one before. She was very frightened and ran away; as she ran, she met the wolf. She told him she had come across a very strange animal, and didn't know its name. The wolf said: "Let's go there." They came up with him; the wolf found it even odder. The fox asked it its name. The mule replied: "I can't exactly recall it, but if you know how to read, I have it written on my right hind foot." The fox replied: "Alas, I don't know how to read, and I'd be very glad to learn this." The wolf replied: "Leave it to me, because I know how to read very well." The mule showed him its right foot, on which the horseshoe nails looked like letters. The wolf said: "I don't see them very well." The mule replied: "Come closer, because they're tiny." The wolf placed himself below and looked hard. The mule recoiled and gave him such a hard kick that it killed him. Then the fox departed, saying: "Not every man who knows his letters is wise."


    2. Dante (1265–1321): The Divine Comedy

    Halfway through our allotted span of life
    I found myself in a dark forest,
    for I had strayed from the straight-and-narrow path.
    Ah! What a hard thing it is to tell what it was like,
    that wild, rough, dense forest,
    the very thought of which renews my fear!
    It's so bitter that death is not much more so;
    but to discuss the benefit I found there,
    I shall tell of the other things I observed in it.
    I can't readily recall how I entered it:
    I was so full of slumber at the moment
    when I deserted the true way.
    But after I had reached the foot of a hill
    which was the termination of that valley
    which had afflicted my heart with fear,
    I looked upward and saw its sides
    already clad in the beams from that planet
    which guides men straight, whatever their road.
    Then my fear was somewhat calmed,
    that fear which had remained in the lake of my heart
    all that night I spent in such a pitiful state.
    And like a man who, with panting breath,
    having emerged from the sea onto the shore,
    turns back to the perilous waters and stares at them,
    thus my thoughts, which were still in flight,
    turned back to gaze again at the passage
    that had never admitted a living person.
    After I had rested my weary body a while,
    I resumed my journey up the deserted slope,
    so that the foot that supported me was always the lower one.
    And behold, almost at the outset of the ascent:
    a very slender and swift leopard,
    covered with spotted skin,
    which wouldn't depart from its place before my eyes,
    but hindered my ascent so much
    that I turned to go back several times.
    It was early in the morning
    and the sun was rising in that constellation
    it had been in when divine love
    first set those lovely things in motion;
    so that I was given cause for hope
    of protection from that beast with the variegated hide
    by the hour of the day and the sweet spring season;
    but not so much so that I failed to be frightened
    by the sudden appearance of a lion.
    It seemed to be coming toward me
    with head held high and a ravenous hunger,
    so that the air seemed to tremble at it.
    And a she-wolf, which seemed to be laden
    with all longings, skinny as it was,
    and which has already made many nations live in sadness,
    instilled such great oppression in me
    through the fear that emanated from the sight of it
    that I lost all hope of reaching the summit.
    And like a man who loves to acquire wealth
    and, when the time comes that makes him lose it,
    weeps and is saddened in all his thoughts,
    thus I felt when faced by that insatiable beast,
    which, coming toward me, was gradually
    driving me back to the place where the sunshine can't enter.
    While I was plunging back to the plain,
    there was presented to my eyes
    one who seemed to have a faint voice because of long silence.
    When I saw him in the great wilderness,
    I shouted to him: "Take pity on me,
    whoever you are, whether ghost or living man!"
    He replied: "I'm not living, though I once was,
    and my parents were Lombards,
    both natives of Mantua.
    I was born at the time of Julius Caesar, though late in his life,
    and I lived in Rome under good Augustus
    in the days of the false, lying gods.
    I was a poet, and I sang of that just
    son of Anchises who came from Troy
    after proud Ilium was burned.
    But why are you returning to such distress?


(Continues...)

Excerpted from First Italian Reader by STANLEY APPELBAUM. Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Introduction
1. Storybook (ca. 1300): 3 stories
2. Dante (1265-1321): The Divine Comedy
3. Petrarca (1304-1374): 5 sonnets
4. Boccaccio (1313-1375): Decameron
5. Sacchetti (ca. 1330-1400): The Three Hundred Tales
6. The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (ca. 1390)
7. Ser Giovanni Fiorentino: Pecorone (ca. 1400)
8. Pulci (1432-1484): Morgante
9. Boiardo (1441-1494): Orlando in Love
10. Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492): 2 lyric poems
11. Poliziano (1454-1494): 2 lyric poems
12. Sannazaro (1455-1530): Arcadia
13. Machiavelli (1469-1527): The Prince
14. Bembo (1470-1547): The Asolo Discourses
15. Ariosto (1474-1533): The Frenzy of Orlando
16. Michelangelo (1475-1564): 2 sonnets
17. Castiglione (1478-1529): The Courtier
18. Guicciardini (1483-1540): Florentine Histories & History of Italy
19. Bandello (1484-1561): Stories
20. Da Porto (1485-1529): "History . . . of Two Noble Sweethearts"
21. Straparola (ca. 1490-ca. 1557): The Pleasant Nights
22. Cellini (1500-1571): Autobiography
23. Della Casa (1503-1556): Galateo
24. Cinzio (1504-1573): The Hundred Tales
25. Vasari (1511-1574): The Lives
26. Stampa (ca. 1523-1554): 3 sonnets
27. Tasso (1544-1595): Jerusalem Delivered
28. Bruno (1548-1600): Cause, Principle, and Unity
29. Galileo (1564-1642): The Assayer
30. Campanella (1568-1639): The City of the Sun
31. Marino (1569-1625): Adonis
32. Vico (1668-1744): The New Science
33. Metastasio (1698-1782): 2 sonnets
34. Gozzi (1713-1786): 2 sonnets
35. Parini (1729-1799): sonnet
36. Alfieri (1749-1803): 3 sonnets
37. Monti (1754-1828): 2 sonnets
38. Foscolo (1778-1827): 5 sonnets
39. Manzoni (1785-1873): The Betrothed
40. Pellico (1789-1854): My Prisons
41. Leopardi (1798-1837): 2 lyric poems
42. De Sanctis (1817-1883): History of Italian Literature
43. Collodi (1826-1890): The Adventures of Pinocchio
44. Nievo (1831-1861): The Confessions of an Italian
45. Carducci (1835-1907): 2 lyric poems and a prose passage
46. Verga (1840-1922): Master Gesualdo
47. Boito (1842-1918): "The Black Chess Bishop"
48. Fogazzaro (1842-1911): Malombra
49. Pascoli (1855-1912): 3 lyric poems
50. Svero (1861-1928): Old Age
51. D'Annunzio (1863-1938): The Innocent One & verse
52. Croce (1866-1952): Breviary of Esthetics
53. Pirandello (1867-1936): The Late Mattia Pascal
54. Deledda (1871-1936): Reeds in the Wind
55. Saba (1883-1957): 4 lyric poems
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