NameRoney, William (author), Leake, Elizabeth (chair), White, Laura S (internal member), Marsh, David (internal member), Rennie, Nicholas (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Leopardi, Giacomo, 1798-1837. Zibaldone
DescriptionThe work of Giacomo Leopardi has typically been analyzed by contrasting the noble values of the classical past against his perception of the inferior cultural condition found in the contemporary world. Leopardi believed that modern society at large was in decay as evidenced by the constant use of the word odio, hate, in relation to it and its members. Odio, and other misanthropic terms, are found so frequently and in such varied contexts in Lo Zibaldone, that one quickly understands that his feelings are more raw and less theoretical than past literary criticism would indicate. Leopardi’s hatred is misanthropic, a strong dislike and rejection of humankind itself. It is not that Leopardi dislikes everything, but rather, everyone. His negativity is directed toward people and their selfishness and lack of vision. Previous interpretations of his work focus on Leopardi’s pessimism but do not acknowledge that it is not expressed toward life itself, but rather the disappointing and inadequate actions of individuals and groups. Depending on the variety of odio, the misanthropy that he is experiencing or exposing, there is a different motivation behind it. The concept of hate has been considered by some critics to be one-dimensional when in fact for Leopardi l’odio has many textures and layers. It is not simply that Leopardi dislikes humanity but instead has a complete methodology of misanthropic thought. The significance of misanthropy in Leopardi’s work can not be overstated and is the genesis of his creativity. The scope of this work is to clearly delineate the three types of Leopardi’s misanthropy which until now has been viewed as homogenous: dislike of strangers, dislike of peers, and dislike of self each serve a particular literary purpose. The functions of these variants will subsequently be defined in detail. An analysis of Leopardi’s misanthropy renders the conventional interpretation of poems such as La ginestra erroneous and superficial. Specifically the concept of Leopardi as a poet of the fraternity of man and promoter of solidarity in the battle against Nature will be proven incorrect.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby William Eugene Roney
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.