Byron and the Rhetoric of Italian Nationalism by Arnold Anthony Schmidt (auth.)

By Arnold Anthony Schmidt (auth.)

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Generally, Edoardo Zuccatto sees Byron’s influence on Giacomo Leopardi in “L’appressamento della morte” (the By ron a nd Ita ly 29 approach of death), “Amore e morte” (love and death), and especially in “Consalvo” (87). Although Byron impacted these authors in terms of themes and style, they did not share his views about the place of literature in society. According to a September 20, 1818 article by pseudonymous GBDC in Il Conciliatore, “the art of verse is not a puerile plaything, but indispensably contributes to the scope of all liberal institutions, inspires those governing for the general good with respect for religion, love of country, or admiration for all that is truly grand and illustrious” (22).

In Rossi 159). In that sense, Il Conciliatore continued work begun earlier by Il Caffè, which also modeled effective Italian prose and, in helping to standardize the language, played a role in forming a national identity (Vallone 17). The authors of Il Conciliatore connected the aesthetic with the political in another way, though. They believed that literature, even when exploring psychological, rather than explicitly social themes, could shape public life. Grazia Avitabile calls Italian romanticism “a poetry of action, which incites the Italians towards the independence and unity of their fatherland” (89).

To Metternich’s statement that Italy existed solely as a “geographical expression,” Giosue Carducci responded by characterizing Italy not as a geographical, but as a literary expression (qtd. in Rossi 159). In that sense, Il Conciliatore continued work begun earlier by Il Caffè, which also modeled effective Italian prose and, in helping to standardize the language, played a role in forming a national identity (Vallone 17). The authors of Il Conciliatore connected the aesthetic with the political in another way, though.

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