This panel seeks to explore new ideas about the relationship between, on the one hand, the literary and, on the other, the more strictly scientific or philosophical works of Giacomo Leopardi. Papers will demonstrate an awareness of scholarly work completed in Italian in recent decades on questions of science in the satirical and poetic works, but will move beyond the question of science versus literature, or the ‘two cultures’ problematic. Ideally, papers will explore the real possibility that scientific ideas not only underpin the aesthetics of the poetry in the Canti and Leopardi’s other poetry, but that the various genres of his writing work together to explore different facets of the same problem: that of the relationship between humanity and non-human nature. Of particular interest are papers that address this relationship in innovative ways in the Canti and the Operette Morali, with reference to but not exclusive focus upon the Zibaldone. Very little work has been done in English on the issue of Leopardi’s natural philosophy and pessimism in relation to his strictly literary works, especially the poetry, and thus the purpose of this panel is to move forward with a new line of investigation in Leopardi studies in the English-speaking world.
200-300 word abstract BY SEPT 30 to Gabrielle Sims
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