Arguably, scholars have not yet fully mapped out Milton's engagement with the Italian literary models foregrounded by Rolli's adaptation. Older works such as F. Prince's The Italian Element in Milton's Verse , or Irene Samuel's Dante and Milton focus on Milton's stylistic and, as it were, atmospheric borrowings from those Italian poets he is known to have admired.
More recently, Patrick Cook has argued for the importance of Tasso's pastoral drama Aminta as an intertext for A Maske , in particular, and for the Poems more generally. Indeed, during the 29 years he spent in London, Rolli geared the majority of his work as an editor, poet, librettist, and translator either toward his own expatriate community or existing English admirers of Italian, who had often acted as his patrons. Here, too, Rolli capitalized on an existing admiration for Italian culture, especially the Italian opera, in his adopted country, composing libretti for the Royal Academy throughout the s.
Throughout the s and early s, too, while paying his way with opera, Rolli was hard at work on a translation of Paradise Lost , the first six books of which would be published in London in , and the whole epic in Aimed, of necessity, at Italian readers, and widely published in Italy after its completion, Del Paradiso Perduto combines the expatriate Rolli's fascination for English literature, particularly Milton, with his great pride in the Italian language—especially when, par distance , he saw or sensed it was under attack.
In this work, published in , aimed at English readers in his adopted country, Voltaire pronounces upon the literary and linguistic character of several European countries. In his opinion, It is as easy to distinguish a Spanish , an Italian , or an English Author, by their Stile, as to know by their Gate, their Speech, and their Features, in what Country they were born[. As a French writer resident in England, Voltaire has most praise for both his native and his adopted languages, and rather less for Italian and Spanish; he remarks upon [t]he Italian Softness, their Witticism, so often degenerating into Conceit, the pompous and metaphorical Stile of the Spaniard , the Exactness and Perspicuity of the French , the Strength peculiar to the English …[.
Even when Voltaire does admire an Italian author, as with Tasso, he seems able to praise him only at arm's length, while denigrating the present state of the Italian peninsula and its language: Time, which undermines the Reputation of indifferent Authors, hath stamp'd the Character of Immortality upon [Tasso's] Works. Such faint praise at least suggests that Italian literature and the Italian taste were at a peak of excellence during the Renaissance, even if they have since degenerated.
But even in this opinion, Voltaire is not consistent, writing, When [Tasso] enters into descriptions which require Strength and Majesty, it is wonderful how the natural Effeminacy of the Italian Language soars up into Sublimity and Grandeur, and assumes a new Character in his Hands, if we except about an hundred Lines in which he flattens into pitiful Conceits, but I look on these Errors as a kind of Tribute, which his Genius condescended to pay to the Italian Taste. Voltaire's Essay , published in , he objects to the suggestion that the poetic style of different nations could be qualitatively assessed.
I always thought that the Country of an Author was to be discovered by his Language, or what he related of his Age, Country or himself…. There is a Degree of Perfection and Taste, which when Authors and Criticks are arriv'd at, make them all of one Nation, call'd the Commonwealth of Letters. Despite Rolli's energetic call for literary parity between nations, he still proceeds to make a special plea for his language, rather than Voltaire's, as the best; and, revealingly, he mounts this defense on the basis of which language makes the fitter, more faithful medium for rendering Paradise Lost 4.
This was before Rolli's translation of the epic had been published, but, to judge by his anecdote here, at least part of it was already circulating.
Dam (The Heights)
He writes, When I was in France I was acquainted with some learned Frenchmen that understood English , and had read Milton's Paradise Lost , and they admired that Battle [of the angels] as a prodigious fine Poetical Description. One of them whose Name I don't remember, who was a great Friend to the Noble and learned Venetian Abbate Conti , had undertaken to translate the Poem; and when he read the two first Books translated by me, he said that the Italian language was the fittest for it, and that the French cou'd never make so literal a Translation, for some Reasons he alleged, the Principal of which was the Want of Blank Verse, which by the Bye was first invented by Italian Poets.
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Voltaire , when he shall see the Italian Softness and Effeminacy soar to Sublimity, and grow when required, as strong and as majestick as the Language of Milton. Here, Rolli is using Paradise Lost as a touchstone for poetic excellence—so that if a language is good for translating the epic, that is an endorsement of the language in itself. In part, this is a sop to Rolli's English audience, whose approval he is trying to win.
A milestone in Italian criticism of Milton, Rolli's preface to Del Paradiso Perduto is an important indicator of many of the beliefs about language, poetry, and literary translation that also animate his adaptation of A Maske. A version published in Verona in also included an Italian translation of Rolli's response to Voltaire. He imitated Petrarch both in the style and the meter of his English sonnets, and he translated the second Psalm into his own language in tercets using the Dantean meter. Although Rolli overstates the extent to which Milton imitated, rather than assimilated and transmuted, Italian poetry in his own, we might still recognize his consciousness of an aspect of early Milton that arguably even now is inadequately registered.
It seems particularly notable, in the context of a work aimed at impressing upon Italian readers the peculiar impact of their own language and literary history on a famous English author, that Rolli chooses this occasion to suggest that English critics have not always been as astute as they might be to Milton's Italian influences.
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Il Verso avrebbe ritenuta la medesima se non maggior forza, in tal maniera cangiato. The line would have kept the same, if not greater force, altered in such a way. Che astruso Enigma! Dorris In consequence, I cut a miserable figure. What an abstruse enigma! Rolli wrote Sabrina for the Opera of the Nobility, the breakaway group he and other Italian rebels had founded in , in opposition to Handel and his Royal Academy of Music. The music has been lost, but Rolli's libretto for Sabrina was published in London the year of its production.
Falsehood and lying are in utterance; deceit and deception may be merely in act or implication. Deception may be innocent, and even unintentional, as in the case of an optical illusion; deceit always involves injurious intent. Craft and cunning have not necessarily any moral quality; they are common traits of animals, but stand rather low in the human scale. Duplicity is the habitual speaking or acting with intent to appear to mean what one does not.
Dissimulation is rather a concealing of what is than a pretense of what is not. Finesse is simply an adroit and delicate management of a matter for one's own side, not necessarily involving deceit. Synonyms: craft , cunning , deceit , deceitfulness , delusion , dissimulation , double-dealing , duplicity , fabrication , falsehood , finesse , fraud , guile , hypocrisy , imposition , lie , lying , prevarication , trickery , untruth.
Antonyms: candor , fair dealing , frankness , guilelessness , honesty , openness , simplicity , sincerity , truth , veracity. Princeton's WordNet 5. English Synonyms and Antonyms 0.
ROSSINI: Inganno felice (L') [Opera]
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Alternate Versions. Rate This. The unexpected arrival of a wounded Union soldier at a girls school in Virginia during the American Civil War leads to jealousy and betrayal. Director: Sofia Coppola. Added to Watchlist. From metacritic.