Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter revisits the heated controversies over Italian Romanticism to show that they actually represent a vital literary mode. In short, the debates led to the creation of literary masterpieces that carry within themselves the signs of the age’s literary polemics. The public debate about the relation between literary and national identity made authors aware of their political responsibilities toward the yet-to-be-born Italian nation. Foscolo, Leopardi, and Manzoni avoided direct alignment with mainstream Romantic thought, but enjoyed a greater literary and artistic freedom than their more doctrinaire (and less talented) contemporaries. Italy’s isolation from much of European intellectual life gave the nation’s controversies over Romanticism a dramatic, almost desperate air, as the subtext over whether Italy would become ‘Romantic’ was equal to asking whether it could become ‘modern’.

Keywords: Italian Romanticism, polemic, literary form, national identity, anti-romanticism, Foscolo, Leopardi, Manzoni, Mme de Staël, Europe.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.