Romeo and Juliet: A New Engish Translation by Michael Curtotti
Shakespeare Begins Book 2
by Matteo Bandello
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Pub Date 27 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 21 Feb 2024
This is Romeo and Juliet as you’ve never experienced it before…
By the time William Shakespeare penned the first words of the most famous romantic tragedy of our time, another storyteller had already written Romeo and Juliet. In fact, Matteo Bandello’s stories had been translated into multiple languages across Europe before the doomed lovers inspired Shakespeare to create his world-famous play.
In this edition, Bandello’s original tale has been translated and formatted for the modern reader. In contrast to Shakespearean English, Bandello's beautiful writing has a clarity and directness through which we hear, as never before, the words a real Romeo and Juliet might have said to each other. The star-crossed lovers we know are there, just as in the play, but their troubles are set in a real Verona, that Bandello knew personally.
As the tragedy unfolds to its bitter end, Bandello's heartrending story offers readers a more intimate experience of the anguish and joys that captured Shakespeare and an entire continent. Hidden for years in the ivory towers of scholarly study, Bandello’s influential tale finds new life in Michael Curtotti’s translation for students and lovers of literature alike.
“ … the most celebrated novelist of the Italian Renaissance period …” John Payne
“Matteo Bandello … deserves to rank as the most important of the Italian novellieri … [but none] … of his contemporaries has the sheer craft of storytelling been shown more convincingly than by [Bandello] …” Percy Pinkerton
“… a true writer, prolific, polished, refined, and precise …” Leandro Alberti
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
Before Shakespeare, Matteo Bandello penned the original inspiration behind Romeo and Juliet. Now, Bandello’s authentic 16th century story is translated and presented in modern format, unveiling the clear beauty of his writing.
This gorgeous translation of Bandello's novella is a jewel for Shakespeare enthusiasts. It's unfortunate that the afterword questions whether Shakespeare can be said to have authored the play "Romeo and Juliet," since he didn't invent the plot. But literature isn't plot—it's expression. I can plot a novel in 20 minutes, but a hundred different authors would create a hundred unique novels from that plot. Shakespeare's play is beloved because of the text, the beautiful poetry, the expression of the idea, not the idea itself.
Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy for an honest review
I like it, I would highly recommend it to all Shakespeare fans, a great translation.
Rating 4 Stars
Okay so I don’t know what I was expecting when I requested this, but definitely was not expecting what I got. That being said, I really like the idea behind this. It’s basically just a novelization of Romeo and Juliet that takes it out of the play format. There’s of course no replacing the original work, but that being said, I think this would be an excellent study guide or companion to have while reading the play to make it more accessible,
Phenomenal story. This is the version we should have been taught in school instead of Shakespeare's version. Don't get me wrong, Shakespeare's plays have their pros, but they are not meant to be read as a book. They're meant to be watched in play format. This version reads beautifully as a novella. There are some significant differences and I thought they made the story much better. The story is darker, more poignant, and delves deeper into their emotions and mental states. The speeches by both characters are also lovely and powerful. I will most definitely read this again whenever I'm looking for a Romeo and Juliet fix.