Lot 652: Important Italian poet, essayist, philosopher, and philologist (1798–1837). ALS in Italian, signed "Leopardi," one page, 4.75 x 7.25, May 31, 1826. Letter to Italian printer and publisher Antonio Fortunato Stella, a friend and supporter of Leopardi. In part (translated): "If the 'Operette morali' can be issued here by only means of having them printed in the 'Raccoglitore,' I do immediately request you to kindly send the manuscript back to me as soon as possible. Either I'll be able to publish them somewhere else or I'd rather prefer to keep them unpublished at all to the sorrow of seeing this hard work of mine released by passages on a newspaper like a brief work bound to last likewise. Please keep in mind that I could do only few remarks if none at all on the Note latine Ciceroniane that you are sending me because, not having the text, its pages and lines which the notes refer to, before my eyes, I will not understand anything about these notes. I'm awaiting Petrarca's new work which I have not received in the past. I will not fail to read the volumes one by one and let you know about the mistakes there. I'm giving to Mr. Marcheselli the Petrarca of Florence. If you don't mind it at all, I would be very grateful if you could send me two or three more copies of Petrarca and the essay. If too inconvenient, please disregard my request. I keep working on Petrarca, as much as my poor health allows me to do so." In very good condition, with scattered foxing, wrinkles and small tears to edges, and show-through from the recipient's name penned on the reverse.
This is an absolutely remarkable letter within the context of Leopardi's life and work, writing to his publisher regarding his prose magnum opus, Operette morali [Small Moral Works]. Just as Leopardi hoped, Stella was able to publish the volume in 1827. Considered his masterpiece, it is an influential collection of philosophical dialogues that outline his 'doctrine of despair.' During this same period, he was working on compiling and editing editions of Cicero and Petrarch, also mentioned in this letter. Leopardi continued to revise and correct Operette morali for the rest of his life, publishing new editions in 1834 and 1835, the final edition containing 24 dialogues. An extremely rare and highly important letter.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
Write a response...