Steen, Thorvald: Giovanni

Giovanni and Don Carlos have been published in one volume.

In the months of September and October 1833 a young Englishman known as Don Carlos finds himself in Buenos Aires. There he meets a casual labourer, Giovanni Graciani, from Genova, Italy. These two short penetrating novels recount Giovanni’s abandonment of faith, the political upheavals and the bloody events of Argentine history, and his encounter with the man he calls Don Carlos – who in reality is Charles Robert Darwin, on a voyage that will change forever the way man perceives his world. The Italian struggles with the contrary elements of his friend’s behaviour – Darwin is both highly religious and is on the verge of establishing a whole new world of scientificism. Together, these works reveal a philosophical and almost metaphysical battle between scientific logic and blind faith.

Praise for Don Carlos / Giovanni:

”This is remarkable and intense literature”
(Le Monde)

"The feverish and painful broodings he lets his hero go through are in themselves an unusually talented exploration of the enormous insecurity and contradictory aspirations which are the essence of human life"
(La Corix, l'Évènement, France)

“Concise, ironical and ... brilliant”
(Le Progres, France)

“One is quite astonished by the tightness of this text, it is at the same time concise and baroque, and a flood of reflections stream forth in apparent disorder; it provokes us and creates a fruitful state of uneasiness within us”
(Le Soir, Belgium)

"There is an interdependence between Don Carlos (Charles Darwin) and Giovanni that gives the work it’s own extraordinary depth”
(Publishers Weekly)

"A rich intellectual adventure"
(Kirkus Review, USA)

“Thorvald Steen constructs like a new Cees Nooteboom, he expresses himself with a harshness as if he were Hemingway himself on a lazy Sunday – and on top of that he spices his tale with a bittersweet humour which often makes the reader smile knowingly to himself”
(Politiken, Denmark)

" Don Carlos and Giovanni is a historical novel of a different kind. As opposed to many other historical novels, it is the idea that is paramount here, and careful research has not produced a festive panorama and a conrnucopia of colorful details, but rather an exceedingly precise pinprick operation"
(Det Fri Aktuelt, Denmark)

”A concentrated and strong novel, a knock-out”
(La Época, Chile)

”This is dense and aggressive literature, this is great literature, which intensely addresses mankind’s most painful question – how are we meant to manage on our own in this world”
(Al-Ahran/Al-Ayyan, Egypt/Jordan)

”Thorvald Steen has marked himself out as one of the greatest Norwegian writers, post-war”
(Dag og Tid)

First published: 1995, Tiden Publishing House
Thorvald Steen: Biography and bibliography

Rights sold to

Language Foreign publisher
American English Green Integer
Danish Per Kofod Forlag
Finnish Like
German Suhrkamp
Kurdish Avesta
Romanian Pandora
Swedish Rabön och Sjögren