le storie ricominciano….The Journal of the Plague Year di Daniel Defoe


In 1722, Daniel Defoe, wrote another diary, A Journal of the Plague Year (= Gli anni delle peste).  It is a diary which reports one man’s experiences in 1665, the year in which the Great Plague spread in London.
The work is not properly a novel and some critics thinks that Defoe was only the editor and tnot the author of it.
The book is a description of London and its inhabitants during those days of great pains. In order to achieve an effect of reality, Defoe supplies tables of casualty figures (= tabelle con dati) and describes the pains (sufferings= dolori) suffered by the people.
As when this epidemic exploded, Defoe was only five years old,  probably his memories are based  his uncle’s journal, Henry Foe (the signature at the end of the book is H. D.). Another possible source could be Samuel Pepys’s Diary (1660 until 1669).

Besides, the description s have often been compared with the descriptions of the Italian Alessandro Manzoni‘s The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi, 1827): Defoe’s work is detailed and the point of view is quite detached; Manzoni’s work is a reconstruction of the general atmosphere of Milan which shows a poetic involvement of the writer in the situations he describes.