Gifted in translation (4): Glorious Goldoni

The True Friend, by Carlo Goldoni, published by Sparkling Books

As I’ve been putting together the last few posts on books as Christmas gifts, it’s been a lovely surprise to discover so many publishing houses specialising in their own niche markets or in helping little-known authors get published. Sparkling Books:

are publishers of non-fiction and fiction.

Our series are:

  • Sparkling Perspectives – non-fiction
  • Sparkling Imaginations – fiction
  • Sparkling Revivals

Our aim is to give a voice to quality writing by authors ignored by larger publishers. We welcome new authors who have something worth saying and can say it well. But, above all, we want to give good new authors the chance of seeing their book in print.

In the Revivals category, Sparkling has recently published Carlo Goldoni’s The True Friend, in the original Italian version with the English parallel translated text. In his memoirs, Goldoni described the play as one of his favourites. The translation, by Anna Cuffaro,

has been acclaimed by Goldoni academics for brilliantly preserving the rhythm, humour and the fast pace typical of Goldoni’s dialogue.

This publication would make a great gift for students of Italian/English, for students of Goldoni and Italian theatre, or for theatre-lovers. Or for a true friend.

I lived in Italy for over 20 years, but the only recollection I have of seeing a Goldoni play performed was here in Glasgow, at the Citizens Theatre, during the glory years (more than 30 of them!) of the Triumvirate (Giles Havergal, Philip Prowse and Robert David MacDonald). Robert worked as a translator before moving to the Citz, where he translated several of Goldoni’s plays for the company. You can read more about his work on his Doollee page (what a fantastic resource!).

Wouldn’t it be lovely to see some enterprising theatre company stage The True Friend, or to see it used as a text book in schools’ Italian departments (are there any left)?

By Marian Dougan

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