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Franco Fido, 88 – Harvard Gazette

At a gathering of the College of Arts and Sciences on Nov. 7, 2023, the next tribute to the life and repair of the late Franco Fido was unfold upon the everlasting information of the College.

Born in Venice, Franco Fido spent his early youth beneath the Fascist regime earlier than starting superior research upon conclusion of the Second World Struggle.  Working beneath Luigi Russo (who was mentored by the legendary Benedetto Croce) and impressed by Antonio Gramsci, with “Bourgeois Spirit and Venetian Actuality within the Theater of Carlo Goldoni,” he obtained his Laurea in Lettere from the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa in 1953.  From 1954 to 1958 he taught on the Université de Dijon, the place he met and married Marie-Josephe (Josie) Rolin.  The couple later parented daughters Silvia and Anne-Claire (who bears the feline nickname “Minou”).  From 1958 to 1961 Fido taught his first lessons on the College of California, Berkeley.  In his final 12 months as an teacher, he started a two-year appointment within the Faculté des Lettres on the Université de Grenoble.  In 1963, shifting along with his household to North America, he crammed an assistant professorship on the College of California, Los Angeles.  Rapidly tenured, Fido arose to grow to be departmental chair within the years 1966 to 1969.  Excluding an appointment because the Rosina Pierotti Chair of Italian Literature at Stanford College in 1978–79, Fido spent nearly all of his profession at Brown College (1969–1990), the place, growing an immensely profitable program in Italian tradition, he turned College Professor.  He crammed professorships at McGill College (1971 and 1976), the College of Venice (1973), Middlebury School (1973 and 1974), Queens School, the Graduate Heart of the Metropolis College of New York (1975), and Yale College (additionally 1975).  A visiting professor at Harvard in 1989–90 after which Professor of Romance Languages and Literature from 1990, Fido was appointed the Carl A. Pescosolido Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures in 1993 and formed two generations of students in Italian literature till he retired in 2005.

Bearing a commanding information of Italian research that included medieval poetry, Renaissance prose, and literature of the seventeenth and 18th centuries, Fido additionally ventured into French and Iberian research.  An inveterate e-book collector, he took particular pleasure in evaluation and efficiency of theater, for which his monographs on Goldoni are an everlasting benchmark.  “Guida a Goldoni: Teatro e società nel Settecento” (A Information to Goldoni: Theater and Society within the 1700s, 1977), a e-book that gained the Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Fashionable Language Affiliation in 1976–1978, bore the promise of others to come back: “Da Venezia all’Europa: prospettive sull’ ultimo Goldoni” (1984); “Il paradiso dei buoni compagni: Capitoli di storia letteraria veneta: Ruzante, Calmo, Giancarli, Parabosco, Baretti, Chiari, Casanova, Goldoni, Noventa, Marin, Giotti, Pasolini” (1988), on literature, crucial principle, and movie, included a chapter on Goldoni; “Le inquietudini di Goldoni: Saggi e letture” (1995); “Viaggi in Italia di don Chisciotte e Sancio e altri studi sul Settecento” (2006); the “Nuova Guida a Goldoni: Teatro e società nel Settecento” (2000), capped by “L’avvocato di buon gusto: Nuovi studi goldoniani” (2008); and a crucial version of Goldoni’s “La Guerra e Il Quartiere Fortunato” (1988), that was succeeded by a crucial version of the identical creator’s “Trilogia della villeggiatura” (2005).  Different editions beneath his path included the “Opere” of Giuseppe Baretti (1719–1789) (1967) and the identical creator’s “Scritti teatrali” (1977).  Fittingly, from 1993 to 1994, Fido provided college students and colleagues an exhibition, “Carlo Goldoni on a European Stage,” that displayed treasures within the Harvard Houghton Library.  Anglophone readers recall his pellucid introduction to Goldoni’s “The Espresso Home” (1998).

Possessed by a love of literature, its social relations, and its artwork of contradiction, past Goldoni, Fido revealed a well timed “Machiavelli” (1965) and, later, “Machiavelli, Guicciardini e storici minori del primo Cinquecento” (1994).  Consistent with the early “Le metamorfosi del centauro: Studi e letture da Boccaccio a Pirandello” (1977), the broad attain of his “I desideri e la morte: Studi di letteratura italiana da Dante ai moderni” (2007) attested to a rare vary of  information.  Impassioned by the give-and-take of construction and diversion, his “Il regime delle simmetrie imperfette: Studi sul ‘Decameron’” (1988) examined Boccaccio’s assortment of 100 tales and its 10 tellers from the angle of distinction and repetition, an modern — even “deconstructive” — strategy that additionally knowledgeable “La serietà del gioco: Svaghi letterari e teatrali nel Settecento” (1998).  Synchronously, with Rena A. Syska-Lamparska and Pamela D. Stewart, he co-edited a 500-page Festschrift, “Research for Dante: Essays in honor of Dante Della Terza” (1998).  After retirement, wanting back and forth, he revealed “Nell’alveare della memoria: Ultimi incontri letterari” (2012).  In 2006, beneath editors and authors Syska-Lamparska, Anthony Oldcorn, and Lino Pertile, 23 college students and colleagues provided him a copious Festschrift, “La Scena del mondo: Studi sul teatro per Franco Fido” (2006).

Fido’s scholarly awards included a Gladys Krieble Delmas Basis fellowship in 1977, the Luigi Russo prize from Italy in 1978, and an ACLS Fellowship in 1979.  Fido was twice recipient of awards from the Nationwide Endowment for the Humanities (1979 and 1986).

Nephew of his maternal uncle, Francesco (Cesco) Baseggio, a well-known Venetian actor, Fido turned the classroom into an atelier and a stage.  Held in admiration by all of his college students, he’s particularly remembered for a thespian type of studying and educating.  In lessons on “The Decameron,” he took cautious observe of the body, construction, and particularly the staging of the tales, whereas in educating Goldoni, by vivacious efficiency of the theater and prose, he appealed to wit and “sprezzatura” whereas additionally requiring of himself and college students scholarly rigor in shut, cautious, and protracted readings of various idioms and kinds.  Above all, because the expertise of the authors of this Minute can affirm, Fido introduced an extremely beneficiant and welcoming presence to Harvard’s Division of Romance Languages and Literatures.  Giving inordinate time and vitality to every body, he generated heat and collegiality throughout the division till his departure in 2005.

Respectfully submitted,

Francesco Erspamer
Lino Pertile
Tom Conley, Chair



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