In my never-ending quest to read all of the Nobel Prize-winning novelists, I considered myself lucky to have come across "Andrea Delfin" by Paul Heyse; the winner in 1910. Heyse was 80 when he received the award which makes him more a 19th than 20th Century author. The style present in "Andrea Delfin" clearly reflects that point. This is a short novella of some 98 pages and it concerns political intrigue in 18th Century Venice. The title character is somewhat mysterious to the rest of the world but less so to the reader. The politics of the times were rather repressive and there was a struggle to overthrow those in power. Into the fray comes the mysterious Mr. Delfin who learns that even the best intentions can backfire.
Oh well, it's not a bad story but I didn't come to understand why the author was awarded the Nobel Prize. This is a recently translated book and seemed to be issued from a sort of "mom and pop" printing house. The translator, Gunther Olesch, gives a good literary background of the author as well as helpful list of the author's works previously translated into English (none of which I've ever come across). I looked in a web-site that was cited and found that Heyse, among other things, was considered the creator of the modern psychological novella. I guess I could detect some of that in "Andrea Delfin" but, again, it was not particularly noteworthy. Nonetheless, I would look forward to the opportunity to give a shot at another work by the author.