Franco Moretti (born 1950 in Sondrio) is an Italian literary scholar, trained as a Marxist critic, whose work focuses on the history of the novel as a "planetary form". He has written six books, Signs Taken for Wonders (1983), The Way of the World (1987), Modern Epic (1995), Atlas of the European Novel, 1800–1900 (1998), Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History (2005), Distant Reading (2013). His recent work is notable for importing, not without controversy, quantitative methods from the social sciences into domains that have traditionally belonged to the humanities. To date, his books have been translated into fifteen languages.
Moretti has edited a five-volume encyclopedia of the novel, entitled Il Romanzo (2001 - 2003), featuring articles by a wide range of experts on the genre from around the world. It is available in a two-volume English language edition (Princeton UP, 2006).
Moretti earned his doctorate in modern literature from the University of Rome in 1972, graduating summa cum laude. He was professor of comparative literature at Columbia University before being appointed to the Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professorship at Stanford University. There, he founded the Stanford Center for the Study of the Novel. He has given the Carpenter Lectures at the University of Chicago, the Gauss Seminars in Criticism at Princeton, and the Beckman Lectures at the University of California-Berkeley. In 2006, he was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also has been a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is a frequent contributor to the New Left Review and a member of Retort, a Bay Area-based group of radical intellectuals. He is also a scientific adviser to the French Ministry of Research.
- Christopher Prendergast, "Evolution and Literary History: A Response to Franco Moretti," New Left Review 34, July–August 2005"
- Participants, Biennial of Contemporary Art, Seville
- Franco Moretti at Stanford University Department of English
- Appointment to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Distant reading on Amazon
- Graphs, Maps, Trees on Amazon
- Princeton UP website for Moretti, ed., The Novel