(Università degli Studi di Milano)
Published in June, 2020
The essay moves from the different versions of the fragment known as De vera laetitia. It translates a fundamental aspect of the experience of Francis of Assisi and contains in itself many of the elements of the successive transformations of the image of the man of Assisi. The Fioretti di san Francesco translate and transform De vera laetitia; Paul Sabatier’s Vie de saint François (1893) is a translation of a series of translations.
In the second part of the essay, the differences and links between the first edition of the Vie, the so-called édition de guerre (1918), the first Italian translation of the work (1896) and the posthumous edition (1931; Sabatier died in 1928) will be analysed. The early fluctuations between saint Francis and the virile hero and the translation of his virtues into heroism will be highlighted. The édition de guerre transformed these oscillations into a sequence of translated biblical quotations, placed at the beginning of each chapter. Sabatier’s religious interpretation of the war fed on these free translations, in the conviction that the prescription always emerged from the quotation (and its translation).
Francis of Assisi, Paul Sabatier, De vera laetita, Vie de saint François d’Assise, First World War.