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xix O Capitano! proved a uniquely challenging translation. Vecoli left Durante—and by extension, me—drafts of the first five chapters and a few pages of the sixth. However, I could not simply translate Durante’s work and add it to Vecoli’s original text. Vecoli left early, rough drafts. They included typographical errors, notes about material to add in the future, and multiple possibilities for translating Italian-language citations into English. Durante made nuanced and painstaking contributions to the first five chapters. He clearly tried to preserve as much of Vecoli’s writing as possible and translated it directly into Italian. But he also made corrections and additions to many quotations and to the manuscript. In some cases, he added a sentence or two at the end of a paragraph. In others, he inserted several paragraphs of new material into the existing chapter. I decided to translate Durante’s final manuscript in order to reflect its polish, flow, and accuracy. The lone exception is Vecoli’s preface, which I have included here with a few minor edits for spelling and punctuation. Yet Vecoli’s drafts were central to my English translation. I frequently referred to them for a sense of his voice and, more important, the type of book he intended to write. I carried this sensibility throughout my entire translation. I took my cues from Vecoli in smaller ways too, such as leaving certain non-English phrases untranslated and occasionally including one of Vecoli’s particularly vivid turns of phrase. Therefore, this entire text is a translation, but one in which I carefully tried to convey Vecoli’s voice as well as both authors’ fascination with, and perhaps admiration for, an audacious and irrepressible man and his largerthan -life biography. Translator’s Note Elizabeth O. Venditto Oh Capitano! ...


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