[Podcast] Casanova, with Clare Bucknell

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The thoughtful prick: the man, the myth, and the mythmaking

Clare Bucknell talks to Violet Lucca about Giacomo Casanova, the man whose surname is synonymous with romance. Bucknell discusses the difficulty of separating fact from self-invention in his memoir, Histoire de ma vie. She identifies the novelistic tropes that eighteenth-century readers would have recognized in Casanova’s writing and discusses whether the way the Histoire blurs genres prefigures autofiction. Bucknell does not avoid the “challenge of Casanova” and disentangles the ways that Casanova’s readers have tried to apply ethical judgment to the simultaneously entertaining and alienating narration of his life. Bucknell’s review of Adventurer: The Life and Times of Giacomo Casanova by Leo Damrosch appears in the November issue.

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