A semi-autobiographical novel inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s travels in Italyand one of the author’s best-known works in his native Denmark
Published to great acclaim in 1835, Hans Christian Andersen’s debut novel, The Improvisatore, initially eclipsed his fairy tales, which first appeared in the same year. Andersen, the captivating teller of enchanted tales, is very much in evidence in this classic Bildungsroman inspired by his travels in Italy earlier in the decade. The novel’s hero, Antoniomuch like Andersen himselfrises from impoverished beginnings to become a successful artist, at every turn learning charming and often alarming lessons in the ways of the world.
Adopted by a nobleman, smitten with an opera singer, challenged to a duel, captured by bandits, beset by a temptress, Antonio follows a dizzying itinerary on his path to enlightenment and, perhaps, happiness. Along the way he experiences the delights of Italian culture and nature so clearly and deeply absorbed by his peripatetic authorfrom the inescapable power of some of the world’s most enduring paintings and sculptures to the drama of an erupting Mount Vesuvius and the rampages of wild buffalo on the Roman campagna, all in the shadow of classical mythology and in the company of characters from every level of Italian society: beggar, brigand, priest, and poet.
This first English translation since the 1840s captures the brilliance and brio, the sweep and the nuance that made The Improvisatore one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most widely read and best loved works.
|Publisher:||University of Minnesota Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author best known for his fairy tales, including “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “The Ugly Duckling.” He was also a prolific writer of novels, plays, travel books, and poetry.
Frank Hugus has taught Scandinavian and German at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 1970 and has translated three novels by the Danish author Hans Scherfig in addition to dozens of short stories by contemporary Danish writers. He has published scholarly articles on Hans Christian Andersen’s novels and plays.
Date of Birth:April 2, 1805
Date of Death:August 4, 1875
Place of Birth:Odense, Denmark
Place of Death:Copenhagen, Denmark
Table of Contents
ContentsIntroductionFrank HugusThe ImprovisatorePart IIMy Earliest SurroundingsIIThe Visit to the Catacombs I Become a Choir Boy The Pretty Little Angel The ImprovisatoreIIIThe Flower Festival in GenzanoIVUncle Peppo A night in the Colosseum My DepartureVThe CampagnaVIMy Visit to Palazzo Borghese The Story of My Childhood EndsVIILife at School Habbas Dahdah La Divina Commedia The Senator’s NephewVIIIA Pleasant and an Unpleasant Encounter The Little Abbess The Old JewIXThe Jewish GirlXOne Year Later The Roman Carnival The SopranoXIBernardo as Deus ex Machina La Prova di un Opera Seria My First Improvisation The Last Day of the CarnivalXIILent Allegri’s Miserere in the Sistine Chapel A Visit to Bernardo AnnunziataXIIIThe Picture Gallery A More Accurate Explanation The Easter Celebration The Turning Point of My FateXIVThe Farmers of Rocca del Papa The Den of Thieves The Goddess of My FatePart IIIThe Pontine Marshes Terracina An Old Acquaintance The Birthplace of Fra Diavolo The Orange Garden near Mola di Gaeta The Neapolitan Signora NaplesIIPain and Consolation A Closer Acquaintanceship with the Signora The Professor The Letter Did I Understand Her?IIIA Walk through Herculaneum and Pompeii An Evening on VesuviusIVAn Unexpected Encounter My Performance at Teatro San CarloVSanta The Eruption Old RelationshipsVIThe Journey to Paestum The Greek Temples The Blind GirlVIIThe Adventure in Amalfi The Blue Grotto in CapriVIIIThe Trip HomeIXMy Education The Little AbbessXOld Domenica The Discovery An Evening in Nepi Terni The Sea-farer’s Song VeniceXIThe Storm A Soirée at the Home of My Banker The Podesta’s NieceXIIThe SopranoXIIIPoggio Annunziata MariaXIVVerona’s Distinctive Features The Cathedral of Milan A Meeting at Napoleon’s Triumphal Arch Dream and Reality The Blue Grotto