The World in Time

Leo Damrosch

Friday, June 10, 2022

Casanova and the Condom, 1872. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

“There have been a number of biographies of Casanova, but the time is overdue for a biography of a different kind,” writes Leo Damrosch at the start of Adventurer: The Life and Times of Giacomo Casanova. “He was the first to tell his own story, in a massive autobiography entitled Histoire de Ma Vie…The word histoire can mean ‘story’ as well as ‘history,’ and a story it certainly is. Previous biographers have tended to retell it as he told it, adopting his own point of view with only occasional queries. Some have betrayed a vicarious investment in his tales of seduction, just as many readers clearly have; it’s interesting that men with great political power, such as Winston Churchill and François Mitterrand, have been especially warm admirers of Casanova. In fiction such a character might be a charming rogue, but in real life Casanova’s behavior was often far from charming, and this is evident even when all we have to go on is his own narrative.”

 

This week on the podcast, Lewis H. Lapham speaks with Leo Damrosch, author of Adventurer: The Life and Times of Giacomo Casanova.

 

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Discussed in this episode

Cover of Adventurer by Leo Damrosch

More Podcasts

October 15, 2021

The World in Time:

Charles Foster

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Being a Human: Adventures in Forty Thousand Years of Consciousness. More

December 07, 2018

The World in Time:

Joseph J. Ellis

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Joseph J. Ellis, author of American Dialogue: The Founders and Us. More

February 26, 2021

The World in Time:

Lance Morrow

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of God and Mammon: Chronicles of American Money. More

June 10, 2022

The World in Time:

Leo Damrosch

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Adventurer: The Life and Times of Giacomo Casanova. More

June 01, 2011

The World in Time:

What a Prince

Lewis Lapham talks with historian Miles Unger about the Florentine father of modern political science. More

July 24, 2020

The World in Time:

Tracy Campbell

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of The Year of Peril: America in 1942. More