Reviewing Mario Pratesi: The Critical Press and Its Influence
Published: July 2014© 2014
184 Pages, 6.35 x 9.36 x 0.76 in
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A prolific member of the Tuscan verismo school of literary realism, Mario Pratesi (1842–1921) was much respected during his career but sadly neglected after his death. Using Pratesi’s personal archive, now preserved at Victoria College in the University of Toronto, Reviewing Mario Pratesi takes Pratesi’s life and papers as the basis of a unique study of the literary culture of post-Unification Italy.
Working with the original manuscripts, alongside previously unknown biographical materials and a vast collection of contemporary reviews, Anne Urbancic uses the methods of critique génétique not only to reconstruct the evolution of Pratesi’s works through their successive drafts and published versions, but also to document the impact of book reviews and the press on the development of Pratesi’s literary style. An insightful history of book reviewing as a genre and a detailed study of its role in Italian literary culture, Reviewing Mario Pratesi opens up a new area for investigation within Italian literary studies.
“Anne Urbancic’s meticulous and thorough archival research opens a fascinating window onto readers’ expectations at the end of the nineteenth century in Italy. Written in lively prose, Reviewing Mario Pratesi is a valuable source for scholars not only of Pratesi, but of verismo and indeed of post-unification Italian literature and culture generally.” Maria Truglio, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, Pennsylvania State University
“Reviewing Mario Pratesi represents an extremely well researched and original attempt to draw critical attention to Pratesi, a prolific but often neglected Tuscan author. Capitalizing on her extensive archival work, Anne Urbancic’s succinct history of book reviewing as a genre sheds new light on the cultural history of Italy in the post-unification era.” Margherita Heyer-Caput, Department of French and Italian, University of California, Davis