The article looks at the use of anonymous authorship in one of the most successful publishing genres in 18th-century Italy: travel literature. The expedient of anonymous authorship was not only used for those works which provoked ecclesiastical criticism on the grounds of immorality or irreligion – philosophy, novels, treatises defending secular authority – but also in travel writing. A notable part of 18th-century travel writing resorts to anonymous authorship, especially the less academic works which provide general political and cultural information. Yet the issue of anonymity has not attracted the attention of scholars who have worked on 18th-century Italian travel literature or who have produced editions of travel journals from the period, especially when the authorship of the work is in any case known. The texts have been studied for their contents, particularly for their ideological and anthropological aspects, not for the material circumstances of their publication. Only very rarely has attention been paid to the fact that in many cases 18th-century readers of these texts did not know who their authors were, as is the case with many modern travel guides used today. Perhaps knowing who had written the book was not important for avid contemporary readers of travel literature but the absence of an author’s name from the title-page can provide significant information on how the author or the printer perceived the work and on the ways in which authors constructed or suppressed their own identities. The present essay, while not exhaustive, offers some reflections on why some authors and publishers of travel literature chose to publish them anonymously by looking at four significant examples: the Saggio di lettere sopra la Russia by Francesco Algarotti (1760), the Lettere al marchese Filippo Hercolani sopra alcune particolarità della Baviera ed altri paesi della Germania by Gian Lodovico Bianconi (1763), the Lettere d’un vago italiano attributed to Norberto Caimo (4 vols., 1759-1767) and the Lettere sopra l’Inghilterra, Scozia e Olanda by Luigi Angiolini (2 vols., 1790).
|Titolo:||Il ricorso all'anonimato nel Settecento: il caso dei libri di viaggio|
|Parole Chiave:||Editoria; anonimato; letteratura di viaggio; funzione autore; Algarotti F.; Bianconi G. L.; Caimo N., Angiolini L.;|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore M-STO/02 - Storia Moderna|
Settore M-STO/08 - Archivistica, Bibliografia e Biblioteconomia
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|