The article deals with letters – quoted, summed up or just mentioned – in the fictitious memoirs Le confessioni d’un Italiano by Ippolito Nievo. In particular, it tries to examine the various functions that the narrative strategy of ‘included’ letters – with antecedents in genres such as autobiography, epistolary and historical novel – assumes in the author’s work. Apart from some narratological functions, like authenticating the story, introducing different perspectives and secondary events, letters are connected to some aspects more typical of Nievo’s work. So, for example, rather than being actually differentiated from the narrator’s voice, ‘other peoples writings’ are often described from a linguistic and stylistic point of view. Eventually, the emphasis given to the material description of the letters, seen as objects, appears to be intimately connected to the specific concept of memory underlying Nievo’s novel.
Bollettino di italianistica. Rivista di critica, storia letteraria, filologia e linguistica