I don’t have time to post on my research or findings today but I wanted to share this image of a wonderful book I was able to track down yesterday at the New York Public Library: Dizionario Etimologico del Dialetto Piemontese, by Attilio Levi, printed in 1927 by G.B. Paravia in Turin.
Note the classic fascist-era design of the cover and the motto inscribed in the center: in labore fructus, labor brings fruit, clearly a nod to Piedmont agriculture at the time (I’ll have more to say on this later).
One of the most fascinating things about the book is that it was compiled by a Piedmontese Jew, Attilio Levi, born 1863 according to bibliographic records. (Think of the many famous Jewish Piedmontese writers, intellectuals, and scientists from that period, like Carlo Levi and Primo Levi, to name a few.)
The book was printed in 1927, the fifth year of the fascist regime following Mussolini’s March on Rome in 1922, 11 years before Mussolini adopted Hitler’s racial laws in 1938, when Jewish intellectuals were forced to abandon their posts as university professors, publishers, etc. From what I can gather using WorldCat.org, Levi was a linguist and philologist, probably based in Turin, and he had even been published in English as early as 1920.
A wonderful find of a forgotten tome yesterday at the New York Public Library.
Thanks for reading! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!