Lorenzo Berardi's Reviews > Il viaggiatore incantato

Il viaggiatore incantato by Nikolai Leskov
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Mar 29, 14

bookshelves: russian, a-my-italian-library
Read in January, 2007

For a short while I tried to find and define my own literary style. Wow, how ambitious it sounds!

And yet at the moment I give up with that idea. Therefore my short stories are still derivative and boyish. If I will ever write something good in my fourties or fifties there's a little chance those early stories receive posthumous honours and bad reviews. Be prepared guys.

Anyway, a couple of years ago I was fascinated by the concept of "skaz", a kind of writing developed by two Russian novelists: Mikhail Lermontov and Nikolaj Leskov.

I have to confess that part of my interest for this literary style was related to its weird name which resembles the slang word "scazzo" in Italian. This word has no positive meaning and it's quite difficult to translate properly. Let's say that "scazzo" happens when you are sick and tired of doing something and you pay no attention to it, behaving in a passive way. It's the typical sensation someone felt during teenage years.

Well, Nikolaj Leskov's interpretation of skaz has convinced me just for a few pages. Then boredom has won. I won't explain why this novel has disappointed me. It would take too long. I just say that as for Lermontov, Doblin and Landolfi (who wrote the Italian translation of this book) Leskov is not my cup of tea.
Sip it and tell me if it could be yours.
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