Reading Matters

Casanova by any other name...

Do you know who said, “Love is three-quarters curiosity”?

Here’s a clue: His name is synonymous with seduction.

It was none other than Giacomo Casanova, born in Venice, April 2, 1725, to a young actress Zanetta Farussi and, likely, Gaetano Cassanova, a young actor.

“Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius,” a 519-page biography by Harvard-educated Laurence Bergreen, is plump with rich detail.

Writes Bergreen: “The story of how this disadvantaged ugly duckling metamorphosed into the sleek Venetian swan known as Casanova is remarkable. As a child, he never spoke, and was considered something of an imbecile, destined for anonymity. Giacomo, who eventually wrote twelve volumes of memoirs recalling people and events of his life in exquisite and engaging dtail, maintained he had no memories of his first eight years of his life.”

Dannye: dpowell@charlotteobserver.com

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