Franco Moretti

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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 is currently Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professor and Professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of English (and, by courtesy, of German Studies) at Stanford University in California, where he also founded the Center for the Study of the Novel and the Literary Lab. Moretti 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,[1] 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.[2] He is also a scientific adviser to the French Ministry of Research.

He is the brother of Italian filmmaker and Palme d'Or-winner Nanni Moretti.[3][4] He played roles in three films directed by his brother: The Defeat (La sconfitta, 1973, short), Pâté de bourgeois (1973, short), and I Am Self Sufficient (Io sono un autarchico, 1976).

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Prendergast, Christopher (July–August 2005). "Evolution and Literary History: A Response to Franco Moretti". New Left Review (New Left Review) II (34). 
  2. ^ Participants, Biennial of Contemporary Art, Seville
  3. ^ Giampiero Mughini, «Moretti, il poeta organizzatore», Corriere della Sera, 21 November 2007
  4. ^ Valerie Sanders, The Bourgeois: Between History and Literature by Franco Moretti, Times Higher Education, 27 Jube 2013
  5. ^ Kirsten Reach (January 14, 2014). "NBCC finalists announced". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  7. ^ "National Book Critics Circle Announces Award Winners for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 

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