The early reception of Byron in Italy can be described according to chronology and geography. A Catholic, sentimental Byronism prevailed in Lombardy; an anti-clerical Byronism emerged in Tuscany; and a wildly romantic Byronism was invented in the South. Byron’s popularity became so great that he came to be regarded as a native Italian poet. The discussion on the first translations of Byron’s works in Il Conciliatore in 1818-19 became part of a battle in which a group of liberal writers fought against a dominant Classicism, putting forward Romanticism as a new model. The standard image of Byron was constructed primarily on the basis of the Italian translations and only in part of the French versions and the English texts. Most translators worked with an English text before them and some availed themselves of a French version. The relationship between Byron and Foscolo is a story of mutual suspicion and cautious admiration. Leopardi was puzzled by Byron’s theatricality, which moved and repelled him simultaneously. Mazzini was a fanatic admirer of Byron and believed that Byron was the Napoleon of poetry, Napoleon the Byron of politics. However, the main problem was how to justify those parts of Byron’s works that did not fit into the Risorgimento ideology. The most common solution was to argue that, however admirable as a man, Byron was not truly universal as a writer. The so-called second phase of Romanticism (1840-70) could admire and celebrate Byron as a martyr. The commemoration of Byron’s heroic death took place above all in the South from 1840 onwards. The most intriguing southern Byronists were Domenico Mauro, Vincenzo Padula and Pasquale De Virgilii, all of whom had strong political interests. The affectation of Byron’s translators and imitators caused reactions among Roman Catholics, such as Vincenzo Gioberti. Another strategy was that of extolling Byron’s Catholic sympathies, as did Cesare Cantù. Scholarly and scientific readings of Byron, like Cesare Lombroso’s, proved another response, typical of the mid-century, to the ‘decadent’ side of Byronism. Byron’s immense fame was further fomented by several plays on his life and a dozen Italian operas. The most significant are those by Donizetti and Verdi, which epitomize the dominant image of Byron in Italy before the unity of the country, that is, a melodramatic fighter for national liberty.

The Fortunes of Byron in Italy, 1810-70, 2004.

The Fortunes of Byron in Italy, 1810-70

Zuccato, Edoardo;
2004

Abstract

The early reception of Byron in Italy can be described according to chronology and geography. A Catholic, sentimental Byronism prevailed in Lombardy; an anti-clerical Byronism emerged in Tuscany; and a wildly romantic Byronism was invented in the South. Byron’s popularity became so great that he came to be regarded as a native Italian poet. The discussion on the first translations of Byron’s works in Il Conciliatore in 1818-19 became part of a battle in which a group of liberal writers fought against a dominant Classicism, putting forward Romanticism as a new model. The standard image of Byron was constructed primarily on the basis of the Italian translations and only in part of the French versions and the English texts. Most translators worked with an English text before them and some availed themselves of a French version. The relationship between Byron and Foscolo is a story of mutual suspicion and cautious admiration. Leopardi was puzzled by Byron’s theatricality, which moved and repelled him simultaneously. Mazzini was a fanatic admirer of Byron and believed that Byron was the Napoleon of poetry, Napoleon the Byron of politics. However, the main problem was how to justify those parts of Byron’s works that did not fit into the Risorgimento ideology. The most common solution was to argue that, however admirable as a man, Byron was not truly universal as a writer. The so-called second phase of Romanticism (1840-70) could admire and celebrate Byron as a martyr. The commemoration of Byron’s heroic death took place above all in the South from 1840 onwards. The most intriguing southern Byronists were Domenico Mauro, Vincenzo Padula and Pasquale De Virgilii, all of whom had strong political interests. The affectation of Byron’s translators and imitators caused reactions among Roman Catholics, such as Vincenzo Gioberti. Another strategy was that of extolling Byron’s Catholic sympathies, as did Cesare Cantù. Scholarly and scientific readings of Byron, like Cesare Lombroso’s, proved another response, typical of the mid-century, to the ‘decadent’ side of Byronism. Byron’s immense fame was further fomented by several plays on his life and a dozen Italian operas. The most significant are those by Donizetti and Verdi, which epitomize the dominant image of Byron in Italy before the unity of the country, that is, a melodramatic fighter for national liberty.
Inglese
Cardwell, Richard A.
The Reception of Byron in Europe
80
97
18
9780826468444
United Kingdom
London and New York
esperti non anonimi
internazionale
A stampa
Settore L-LIN/10 - Letteratura Inglese
RBAE is a research project sponsored by the British Academy and AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK)
25
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10808/107
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