Il selvaggio di Taiti ai Francesi con una lettera diretta al filosofo amico dei selvaggi. TAHITI, Nicolas BRICAIRE DE LA DIXMERIE.

Il selvaggio di Taiti ai Francesi…
Il selvaggio di Taiti ai Francesi con una lettera diretta al filosofo amico dei selvaggi.

"A Londra" 1770.

Octavo, xvi, 104 pp.; a fine uncut copy in original soft boards, owner's inscription 'Girolamo Gherardini' on title.

Italian translation of the early Tahiti fiction

Very rare Italian translation of Bricaire de la Dixmerie's fictional account of Autourou, published in Paris in the same year; one of the earliest works on Tahiti.

Very rare Italian translation of Bricaire de la Dixmerie's fictional account of Autourou, published in Paris in the same year; one of the earliest works on Tahiti.
The book is not recorded by the National Union Catalog, nor by the standard bibliography of Tahiti (O'Reilly and Reitman's Bibliographie de Tahiti). Rolf Du Rietz comments in the Kroepelien catalogue that the printing is so rare that he has been able to locate only two copies of the work and no reference to it in any bibliography or catalogue.
This important work relating to Tahiti takes the form of a letter allegedly written by Aotourou, the Tahitian who returned to Paris with Bougainville. There was much criticism of Bougainville on this point - Diderot particularly upbraided him for having 'torn' the native from his environment - but Autourou was a sensation, and apparently fascinated by the French capital. Bougainville himself paid to kit out a ship when Autourou expressed a wish to return home, but the Tahitian was killed en voyage by an outbreak of small pox.
La Dixmerie was personally involved with Aotourou, and helped introduce him to Parisian high society. Despite this personal contact, la Dixmerie remained virulently opposed to the popular notion of the noble savage, just as he sided with Diderot in arguing that it was a violence to have brought Autourou back to France. In this fictional letter, Aotourou satirically compares the mores of Paris society with that of Nouvelle-Cythère.
The description of Tahiti is based on the Lettre de Monsieur de Commerson, the naturalist on the voyage, which was first published in 1769. Published the next year, la Dixmerie's imaginative work is, as du Rietz comments, 'one of the earliest books relating to Tahiti.' Not until the 1779 publication of Taitbout's Essai sur l'Isle d'Otahiti would there be any serious separate work on Tahiti.

Kroepelien, 127; not in NUC.

Price (AUD): $4,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4011320

Condition Report