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Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life
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Author:  jimcheval [ Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

I enjoy Casanova and am surprised at how much of what he writes can be documented.

Personally, I find him most interesting for the period details he provides (one being his insistence on wearing a condom - to protect HIMSELF from disease.) The sexual focus at times is a bit relentless. It should be pointed out that, though in a general way I believe he did enjoy women beyond simply copulating with them, one episode he describes is essentially a kidnapping and gang rape, so it's not like it was all charm and seduction. Otherwise, he is attractively open about his own frauds and hustles.

I'm sure he exaggerated or put himself in too good a light at times, but then so did most memoirists.

The image too of the old roue working as a librarian to an aristocrat, regarded less than respectfully by those around him, is poignant in its way.

Richard Chamberlain did a rather polite portrayal of him at one point. My favorite so far is still Marcello's.

Author:  jimcheval [ Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

Now you can see his original manuscripts, which Gallica has started digitizing and putting on line:
http://blog.bnf.fr/gallica/?p=1347

Now all you amateur graphologists can make what you will of his hand:

Image

Author:  Ludy [ Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

I was utterly disappointed with this book. As already mentioned above, Casanova's stories have more to do with unquenchable sexual urges than subtle seduction, and the writing style does not especially embroiders them. It's not about moral jugdment of any kind, just that the literary qualities cut no ice with me.

I would not say either that it is especially interesting as far as History is concerned, or that it provides the reader with a particularly vivid picture of the times.

Author:  baron de batz [ Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

I don't share your reaction but i read the memoirs in french which was the original language and that can change a lot if the translation is poor. Personally they amused me and i did find the mood of the 18thc on them.

Author:  Marija Vera [ Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

I've read only two volumes and found them quite witty and amusing. The language was Serbian. Still, I agree that the modern image of Casanova doesn't have much similarities to the original and that he wasn't a subtle seducer who knew women's hearth. He knew more women's sexuality. I was intrigued with many interesting details about the 18th century society and there are so many examples of that amazing 18th century wit! For example I loved his reply when a man accused him for laughing at the Parisian opera...

Author:  Ludy [ Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

Well, what foxes me a bit is the size of the book. You all seem to insist on its being quite big. I read quite a "small" book actually, maybe it was shortened ? it was not mentioned on the cover in anyway, but I do wonder. It would explain why I found it so insipid, because all I read was sexual scenes, really.

Would someone be so kind as to telling me how big is supposed to be the book ?

PS I am French but I read it in Russian, because I happened to find it when I was in Russia.

Author:  Marija Vera [ Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

I read two volumes about his youth, 300 pages each (so 600 pages in all) as that is all what they had in the library but there should be much more.

Author:  baron de batz [ Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

Each volume I read was over 800 pages long and in small print! I remember teasing Marija about her abridged version already here in an earlier post :wink: . It seems that we really didn't read the same book at all! The full original version is not that easy to come by I had to order it on special reserve.

Author:  Ludy [ Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

Ok, I get it. Actually, I long looked for it in France and never found. When in Russia I was lent it, and thought it was this book, although yes it did strike me how small it was. I think I have now to keep on looking for the Holly Grail. :lol:

Author:  Adrienne [ Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

I started to read Casanova back when I was an undergraduate. I would go to the library and pull one of the volumes from the shelf and read for an hour or two between lectures (I was actually studying classical and medieval history back then and used to like to find other historical nuggets to entertain me or distract me from the papers I had to write for my course!)

Now in all the time I spent in that library reading I didn't ever actually finish the whole thing. The work was immense, as the baron says, the print was small and I think there may have been 6 volumes in the edition I was reading (in English translation) ... my memory isn't as good as it ought to be!

Author:  Marija Vera [ Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Giacomo Casanova: The Story of My Life

I've just missed an excellent opportunity, to buy on one auction site 5 volumes (each around 350 pages) for 10 euros. I don't think I could find an original version translated to my language, in English maybe. After two rather short volumes I would really like to read more.

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