A lazy cultural mediation?When the news used to be “copied&pasted” across the countries – 2

We saw here how Italian journals used to copy the information about English novels they found in topical part of the sources, like the beginning and the ending. In other occasions, they just took a direct ‘copy and paste’ from the French reviews. The first case concerns the novel Memoirs of the Manstein family. Pathetic, sentimental, humorous and satirical, published anonymously in 1783. A review appeared in July 1784, p. 122:


Memoires ec. Memorie sopra la famiglia di Manstein, Storia patetica, sentimentosa, piacevole e satirica. 2. vol. in 12. Londra, presso Lowndes. 1783. – La lettura di questo Romanzo e’ interessante, e lo sarebbe ancora piu’ se contenesse un minor numero di digressioni.


[Memoires etc. Memoirs of the Manstein Family. Pathetic, sentimental, humorous and satirical story. 2. vol. in 12. London, Lowndes. 1783. –This book is an interesting read, and it would be even better if it contained fewer digressions.]


This article is taken in its entirety from Journal Encyclopédique (December 1783, p. 549):


Memoirs on the Manstein family &c. C’est-à-dire, Memoires sur la famille de Manstein, histoire pathétique, sentimentale, plaisante & satyrique, 2 vol. in  12. A Londres, chez Lowndes. 1783. La lecture de ce roman est intéressante, & se seroit encore plus s’il y avoit moins de digressions.


Another example concerns Lucy Peacock’s The rambles of Fancy, or, moral and interesting tales and friendly labours, published in 1786. The review appeared in Nuovo Giornale Enciclopedico in May 1787 (pp. 124–125):


The rambles, ec. Le escursioni dell’immaginazione, ovvero Novelle morali ed interessanti. 2 Vol. in 12. Londra presso Buckland 1786. In questi diversi squarci, dovuti alla giovane Miss Pencock, le descrizioni sono ripiene di fantasia, e le situazioni sovente inverisimili. L’Autrice abbandona per le grazie del romanzo l’impero della natura; eppure la cognizione ch’ell’ha del cuore umano le permetteva di penetrar negli ultimi ripostigli di esso, e trarne situazioni superiori di molto alle pitture triviali d’un padre moribondo asperso delle lagrime d’un amato figliuolo, il quale resta privo nel medesimo tempo d’ogni sua facoltà.


[The rambles], etc. The Rambles of Fancy, or, Moral and Interesting Tales and Friendly Labours. 2 Vols, in 12. London, Buckland 1786. In these various passages, which we owe to young Miss Pencock [sic], descriptions are full of creativity, and circumstances often implausible. The author abandons the realm of naturalness in favour of the beauties of the novel; and yet, the knowledge of the human heart she possesses allowed her to enter its most secluded corners, and draw out of them some far superior situations than the trivial images of a dying father perfused with the tears of his beloved son, who is at once deprived of all his possessions.]


The French review at the base of this one was published in Journal Encyclopédique in March 1787 (pp. 367–368):


The Rambles Of Fancy, &C, C’est-à-dire, Les Excursions De L’imagination, ou Contre moraux & intéressans. 2 volumes in-12. A Londres, chez Buckland. 1786. Dans ces divers morceaux, que l’on doit à la jeune Miss Peacock, les descriptions sont pleines d’imagination, & les situations souvent invraisemblables. L’auteur quitte en faveur des scènes brillantes du roman, l’empire de la nature. Nous le voyons avec d’autant plus de regret, que sa connoissance du cœur humain lui permettroit d’en pénétrer les derniers replis, & d’y puiser des situations bien supérieures aux tableaux triviaux d’un père mourant, arrosé des pleurs d’un enfant chéri qui est en même tems privé de tout ce qu’il possédoit.


In both of these cases the attitude of the Italian journalist was rather passive: the source review is imported without any modification or omission.

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