Posted by: vikingsinspace | May 30, 2011

VI.01.48. Read The Fortunes of Casanova & Other Stories

Date Accomplished: 16 October 2010

The Fortunes of Casanova & Other Stories: Oxford University Press

My Sabatini Journal

“There was no timidity about him now.  He was safe and brave behind his pistol.” (24)

“To make opportunity your slave is the whole philosophy of life.” (30)

“Truth is a very healing draught, and you have need of it.” (60)

“…the world loves wealth and it loves good losers.” (177-8)

“A man may be too much concerned with worldly considerations.” (203)

“One cannot expect the habits of a beast to differ from those of the herd.” (243)

“I account anyone a coward … who abandons his ground at the first threat of danger.” (257)

“…of all lies none is so difficult to refute as a truth untruly told.” (266)

“…whereas the scientist works to reproduce the real, the poet … labours to create the ideal.” (269)

The Fortunes of Casanova

The Fortunes of Casanova is the first book of Sabatini’s that I have read that was printed posthumously.  It is a collection of his short stories printed primarily in The Story Teller and Premier Magazine mostly between 1900 and 1920.  It is laid in two parts, beginning with stories of roguish characters ad highwaymen, all using their wits to gain the upper hand over their opponents.  The second part contains stories based off the life of Giacomo di Casanova which was no doubt based off his memoirs.  These stories about Casanova were very entertaining, so much so that I didn’t mind re-reading ‘The Alibi’ which I had already read recently in Turbulent Tales (as Casanova’s Alibi’).

I am beginning to have a greater appreciation for Sabatini as a short story writer.  I was always aware that he had printed a few volumes of short stories, but never knew that there were so many uncollected in his lifetime.  His short stories have so far been just as good as his novels, just much more succinct.

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