Giovanni Kreglianovich’s Orazio: An Exemplum of the Process of Rewriting

Joanne Granata


Rewriting and reinvention of previously told stories and recognizable themes build upon an established literary canon, creating new connections amongst texts, while creating increasingly hypertextual works. This article explores the nature of rewriting, the reinvention of previously existing themes within literature, and the dialectic between past, present, and future embodied within this process. The specific focus of this study is the Dalmatian author Giovanni Kreglianovich, who, with his tragedy Orazio (1797) rewrites and adapts the ancient Roman legend of the battle between the Curiatii and the Horatii to reflect the political, social, and literary changes of the late 1800s in Europe. Primary sources such as Livy’s Ab urbe condita, Aretino’s Orazia (1546), and Pierre Corneille’s Horace (1640) are compared to and contrasted with Kreglianovich’s Orazio in order to highlight the differences between these works and to bring to the fore how and why the source material was rewritten. Utilized as a vehicle to espouse contemporary concerns, Kreglianovich employed aspects of antiquity and transformed them into a means through which social and political issues pertinent to the time could be revealed. In reusing one of the most famous identity myths of ancient Rome, Kreglianovich was able to create a unique tragedy that partakes in the literary phenomenon of rewriting, while promoting patriotism, as well as a sense of identity and belonging in his fellow Dalmatian compatriots.

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