At the beginning of the twentieth century, several influential Italian writers, critics, and translators turned their attention to American literature as a source of inspiration during a time of great turbulence that came with the rise of fascism and World War II. The new world as it was depicted in American literature seemed to be worth considering as an alternative to the model that was being proposed in Italy. Because of this growing interest, the publishing industry decided to translate works from both America and other foreign countries—despite growing resistance from the fascist state—and publish them in inexpensive series. The first editions of Thornton Wilder's novels and plays were published in the midst of that difficult period, and selected introductions to those works, translated here for the first time, can help us understand both the enthusiasm for Wilder's work and why his works were so often chosen to be a part of new literary collections created by the Italian publishing industry during that period.

You do not currently have access to this content.