«Ad amare una volta un po’ meglio tutti gli altri mortali». Ugo Foscolo and the Sentimental Journey

by Alessio Mattana

Since the 19th century, Italian critics of Ugo Foscolo have found the 1812 translation of Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey (1768) lacking in the patriotic overtones that characterize politically-charged works such as the epistolary novel Ultime Lettere di Jacopo Ortis (1798). In this article I aim at challenging this dichotomy by investigating in what ways Foscolo crafted his translation so as to fit his own political agenda. Specifically, I argue that the language of Viaggio Sentimentale deliberately underscores the themes of hatred of tyranny and celebration of freedom that feature in Sterne’s original text.