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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is concerned with what is often taken for granted in the Romantic lyric and in Leopardi’s poetry in particular: that is, the act of speech in a poetic context, and its realization in the figure of voice. The focus is on the poet’s speaking, that speech which presents itself immediately, before any reference, and that, for the reader or listener, always re-presents itself, looping, so that even when we are absorbed in the reading of what the poem says, we never entirely succeed in forgetting its saying. This is one of the capital differences between lyric poetry—at least, in the affective, strongly personalized, version that it assumes in the eyes of Leopardi—and narrative forms; for while the reading of a novel allows us to enter into another, entirely imagined and imaginable reality, which leaves its sources and its departure points behind it, the poem continually reminds us that there is a someone or a something that is saying it.

Keywords: lyric, narrative, voice, enunciation, communication, reading, Italy, Leopardi.

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