Publisher: Alia Editrice
Il carteggio Aspern
The Aspern Papers
In a Venetian dilapidated palace, an old woman, Juliana Bordereau, hides a precious treasure. She keeps the love letter written her in the past by Jeffrey Aspern, a great American poet, departed from life for many years. But the editor of his works – an American young man of great tenacity – is on the papers’ trail so jealously kept.
Under an assumed name, the man succeeds in moving to the palace where Juliana, very old now, lives with her kind, foolish niece, Miss Tita. Against the backdrop of a sunny and lazy Venice, where the gondola is still the main transport, the friendship between the elderly spinster and the young man marks narrative time, taking back the reader to a vanished age.
After months of idle questions, useless floral gifts, and long walks to Piazza San Marco, Juliana falls ill. For fear that the dying woman might destroy the letters, the narrator slips in her rooms in search of the precious papers, but he gets caught by Juliana, and he flees the palace. On his return, Miss Tita tells him the death of her aunt, and she proposes him a deal: the longed-for letters in exchange for the marriage…