Talk:Giacomo Leopardi

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Inno a Nettuno and Odae Adespotae[edit]

It is not true that the "Inno a Nettuno" was written in ancient Greek. Leopardi published only a purported translation of the hymn and promised that publication of the original would ensue (see [1] ). On the other hand Leopardi provides both the Greek "original" (written by himself) and the Latin translation of the Odes Adespotae (scroll down in the reference above). (talk) 09:58, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

As Melzi writes in his Dizionario di opere anonime e pseudonime di scrittori italiani: "Tanto l' Inno a Nettuno, di cui promettevasi la pubblicazione nel greco originale, quanto le due Odi greco-latine, sono invenzione del Leopardi. " (talk) 10:13, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

La Ginestra[edit]

Hello, i think i haven't got enough experience to write this. I ask for your help. In the chapter "La Ginestra" there is an important thing which would be added: La ginestra (botaniccally a plant) is the rappresentation of the ideal man, the man which considers the nature an enemy, who isn't superior, exc... (talk) 20:43, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I have just added something about this. Any opinion?--Broletto (talk) 17:36, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Perfect, thank you (grazie!) :) (talk) 15:59, 26 January 2009 (UTC)


Marj, Deep thanks for your help with my bad text. I realise I used a very confused "italianish" language - ooops! :-)

About Leopardi and Coleridge, I don't think they were able to meet, as I have read (on the timeline in your site at that Coleridge was not in Italy in the years in which Leopardi was travelling. There are some differences among the sources about Leopardi's travels, indeed, but approximately the periods should however be around 1822 (Rome) and 1825-1837. A google search made me find references to many works that compare them, and at a first sight it seems there is something to investigate. Unfortunately, on my side I am not so fond of Coleridge, but now I have found an interesting site :-)

Talking about his passage from erudition to beauty, I intended saying that Leopardi left the style of Arcadia for the newer one (which effectively was beginning to sound as an archaism at the time). Arcadia was the name of a movement (named after the region, supposed a bucolic symbol) that was born in Rome as a reaction to baroque in literature, with Metastasio as its major writer. At the time Leopardi started writing, it was quite influential to him, but he later realised the false (formal, somehow mannerist) taste of Arcadia and abandoned it for a more linear composing style (also, the passage was from a study-focused activity, to a prevalence of composition). I don't know if Arcadia is known abroad, whether it eventually is called in some other way, and I wonder if it's worth an article on Wikipedia, being a minor movement of italian literature and I haven't found many others here yet. --Gianfranco

I checked the indices of some of my Coleridge books, and he doesn't seem to have known of Leopardi. It would be interesting if they had met - they seem to have had a lot in common. Sorry about the archaic/Arcadia mixup - using archaic language in poetry was popular around the turn of the 18th-19th century in the UK, at least. -- Marj Tiefert, Tuesday, April 9, 2002

I dolci di Giacomo[edit]

This article would lead one to believe that Leopardi only developed a taste for ice-cream after arriving in Naples. While it's true that he celebrates a particular ice-cream maker in a satirical poem from the Neapolitan period (I nuovi credenti-- "The born-agains"), Iris Origo's biography of the poet puts forward the case that Leopardi had an insatiable sweet-tooth from very early on. His father complains about the boy's habit of using sugar less as a sweetener than as a thickening agent in his coffee. Evidently, it was a lifelong addiction. --Spatz

Huge Topic[edit]

Giacomo Leopardi is ENORMOUS: brilliant poet, innovative philologist, master of prose, historian of science, master of languages, philopopher who anticipated and deeply influenced both Shopenhauer (mildly acknowledged) and Nietzche (arrogantly unacknowelged).

This entry should be just as ENORMOUS. I have almost infinite resources on Leopardi and will work on this when I get the chance.

--Lacatosias 09:54, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Ahhh, I told you I'd get around to expanding it didn't I. Of course, I'm not even half-way through yet. Italians don't seem to care so much about excessive length as you english-speaking folks. The biography of Zanzotti is about 90 KB and was a featrured artcile. HAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAA!!!--Lacatosias 14:06, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

MASTERS OF PROSE There’s a lot of information here of a sort. For instance, it’s good to know Leopardi was an “innovative philologist, master of prose, master of languages…”, but then it’s a pity the entry is such an ill-written sprawl. The fastidious master of prose must be spinning in his grave.Uncle Bunyip (talk) 20:07, 20 December 2009 (UTC) I thought I’d better do my bit, so I rewrote the sentence where it said L’s body risked being “tossed into a common ditch, as the strict hygienic regulations of the time required.” Even in dear, disease-ridden Naples (here called “Napoli”) they would never have thrown bodies in a “ditch” for better hygiene. Hope I improved this tiny corner. I wish some expert on Leopardi capable of writing a decent sentence would take the article in hand and rewrite it from top to bottom.

  • I am not sure of my English, anyway I tried to improve a little the incipit.--Broletto (talk) 13:35, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Schopenhauer & Nietzsche[edit]

I had to remove the sentence that claimed that Leopardi influenced Schopenhauer & Nietzsche. However, in its stead, I added a quotation from Schopenhauer that showed his appreciation and understanding of Leopardi's writings. I don't think Nietzsche ever mentioned Leopardi, but I will research.Lestrade 00:27, 11 June 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Influence is certainly a difficult thing to demonstrate among philosophers and/or poets who were each ferociously individualistic and, at least in the cases of Leopardi and Nietszhce, almost anti-systematic in their writings. But 1) Neitzche did indeed mention Leopardi quite extensively. There is a entire collection of writings/letters/etc. on the topic of Leopardi by Neitzche published in Italian as Freidrich Nietzche: Intorno a Leopardi (About Leopardi), edited by Cesare Galimberti, postscript by Gianni Scalia, Genova, Il Melangolo, 1992. I don't know if there is an English translation, but you Americans would do exceedingly well to learn some foreign langauges and break out of your Anglo-centric bubbles in any case. The secondary literature on the relationship between the three authors (in Italian) is vast. Here are only a very few examples:

Mario Andrea Rigoni, Il Pensiero di Leopardi, Milano, Bompiani, 1997.
Carlo Ferrucci, Leopardi filosofo, Venice, Marsilio, 1987.
Antonio Negri, "Lenta ginestra. Saggio sull'ontologia di G.L, Milano, Sugarco, 1987.
AA.VV., Leopardi e il pensiero moderno, edited by Carlo Ferrucci.
Emanuele Severino, Il Nulla e la poesia. Alla fine del età della tecnica: Leopardi. Milano, Rizzoli, 1990.
Francesco Iengo, Momenti di crtitica alla modernità da Leopardi a Neitzsche, Rome, Bulzoni, 1992.
Massimo Cacciari, Ermeneutiche Leopardiane..
Antimo Negri, Interminati Spazi ed eterno ritorno. Neitzsche e Leopardi., Florence. Le Lettere, 1994.
Giuseppe Gabetti, Neitzche e Leopardi in "Il Convegno" IV, 1923,
Alberto Caracciolo, Leopardi e Nichilismo. Milan. Bompiani, 1994,.
Marco Fortunato, Il Sogetto e la necessità Akronos, Leopardi, Neitszche e il problema del dolore.

etc. etc, etc....--Lacatosias 16:29, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Let's look at the writings themselves. The only references that I can find on Leopardi in Nietzsche's writings are as follows:

  • "Not including Goethe, who may fairly be claimed by the century that produced him, I regard only Giacomo Leopardi, Prosper Mérimée, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walter Savage Landor, the author of Imaginary Conversations, as worthy of being called masters of prose." (Die Fröhliche Wissenschaft §92)
  • "While Sébastien Chamfort, a man who was rich in depths and backgrounds of the soul - gloomy, suffering, ardent – a thinker who needed laughter as a remedy against life and who almost considered himself lost on every day on which he had not laughed – seems much more like an Italian, related to Dante and Leopardi, than like a Frenchman!" (Die Fröhliche Wissenschaft, §95)
  • "Those great poets, for example – men like Byron, Musset, Poe, Leopardi, Kleist, Gogol (I do not dare mention greater names, but I mean them) – are and perhaps must be men of fleeting moments, enthusiastic, sensual, childish, frivolous, and sudden in trust and mistrust,...." (Jenseits von Gute und Böse, §269)
  • "...I bewared in time, with some sort of regret, of the German and Christian narrowness and inconsequence of pessimism à la Schopenhauer or, worse, Leopardi, and sought out the most quintessential forms (Asia)" (Der Wille zur Macht, §91)

Nietzsche never mentions Leopardi without including him generally in a series with other writers. This is unlike the Schopenhauer quote, in which we are given a specific comment on Leopardi alone, and even individualized praise.Lestrade 19:10, 16 June 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

You wrote these exact words above: I don't think Nietzsche ever mentioned Leopardi, but I will research. I don't think I need to point out the contradiction. From the first quote alone, one gathers that Nietzche conidered Leopardi to be one of the four greatest living [b]prose[/b] stylists of that century. Not bad, considering that he was fundamntally a poet. As I suggested though, if you want to really understand the question of influence, you need to consult the secondary literature on the topic. Personally, I don't consider either of them to have been philosophers---certainly they were not trained philosophers---but precisely poets and prose stylists. The difference is that Leopardi, while being far, far greater in both respects, is very little known outside of Italy while Neitzche's writings were made famous by various circumstances (such as being manipulated as propaganda by the Nazis and being extensively cited by the existentialists, etc..). A certain amount of trans-Nordic racism may not have hurt either. But I'll leave it to English readers to learn (this would however require reading all 4,500 pages of the Zibaldone in a good translation---which doesn't exist) and judge for themselves. --Lacatosias 08:34, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
At first, I hadn't recalled any mention of Leopardi in Nietzsche's writings. Later, after my research, I found a few references. My inability to recall any references may have been due to the absence of particular information that Nietzsche's references supplied. This is in contrast to the specific, clear ideas that Schopenhauer provided. Also, whether any deep thinking writer can be labelled "philosopher" or "prose stylist" should not be of any importance. These men were far beyond the limits of conventional labels.Lestrade 17:10, 17 June 2006 (UTC)Lestrade
Agreed. All three were visionaries who were able to express truly profound and tragic insights about the human condition and the universe in clear and powerful language and (in the cases of Leopardi and Neitzche anyway) images and examples. Very, very few people are able to combine the two elements: talent for verbal expression and deep widson or insight. Best thing that we can do, I suspect, is to just urge people to read for themselves.--Lacatosias 07:55, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Schopenhauer's writings are filled with images and examples, as any reader would know. Many of Nietzsche's images and examples were taken from Schopenhauer.Lestrade 12:13, 23 June 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Of course they are. All I can tell you, though, is that I don't quite literally cry when I read the writings of Shopenhauer as I am often moved to do when I read some of the poetry of Leopardi. --Lacatosias 13:11, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Schopenhauer's works were meant to make you think, not cry. Philosophy is not poetry. Each has its own effect and should be judged accordingly. If they were the same, they would have the same name.Lestrade 17:56, 10 July 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

You are a hopelessly confrontational bastard, aren't you? Do you actually DO anything else on Wikipedia. My point is simple: poets are generally the absolute masters of imagery, metaphor and langauge (that IS what we was being discussed above , after all), their are few poets in the histiry of the world as great as Leopardi. Shopenhauer is certianly not one of them (notwithstanding all of his other qualities). This is the reason I stated that they were all masters of language and imagery, but especially Leopardi and Neitzche (another poet) in my opinion. My intent was not to diminish Shopenhauer in any way. I think that should have been obvious from the context. Period.--Lacatosias 07:50, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
And, of course, I don't it's difficult to cite examples of poets who can and do indeed make one think. Shakespeare and Dante are the most obvious examples. Some of the greatest poets can often make one think and move one's emotions at the same time. --Lacatosias 08:16, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Santayana's Three Philosophical Poets described the philosophical poetry of Lucretius, Dante, and Goethe. It's possible that your definition of greatness in a poet may be true, although some people might say that poetic greatness can exist within the realm of feeling and emotion alone. Schopenhauer wrote some poetry, as can be seen from the following example:

The Lydian Stone, a Fable
On a black stone the gold was rubbed,
Yet no yellow streak was left.
" ' Tis not fine gold!" they all exclaimed.
And as base metal it was cast aside.
' Twas later found that this black stone
Despite its color no touchstone was.
The gold was unearthed was now to honor restored.
Genuine stone alone can genuine gold assay.

Although this poem may make a reader think, it isn't included among the great poems. Lestrade 14:07, 11 July 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Here is an additional Nietzsche quotation, from "Wir Philologen", concerning Leopardi: "Leopardi ist das moderne Ideal eines Philologen, die deutschen Philologen können nichts machen. (Voß ist zu studieren dazu!)" Roughly translated: "Leopardi is the modern ideal of a philologist, the German philolologists can't do anything. (One should study Voß in this regard!)". (talk) 12:15, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Canti or Cantos?[edit]

The Italian title is "Canti" (as written in Leopardi's biography); but several "Cantos" can be found thereafter. Is this a choice or a mere error? --Broletto (talk) 12:55, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Two years have passed by; I feel entitled to change Cantos in Canti.--Broletto (talk) 12:06, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

I challenge the term "quasi-Buddhist thesis"[edit]

"the quasi-Buddhist thesis according to which, since life has no other aim but happiness and since happiness is unattainable, all of life is nothing but an interminable struggle" I challenge these statements that Buddhism teaches that life has no other aim but happiness, nor that it claims that happiness is unattainable and the consequence. On the same hand, what does "quasi-Buddhist" mean. Is it a Buddhist teaching or not ? If not, please remove the term Buddhist or explain. If someone who had this thesis was influenced by Buddhism then as far I would allow is "so and so was influenced by Buddhism" Please provide sources; otherwise I would consider this OR. Netrapt (talk) 15:35, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

I changed that strange expression for "(reminiscent of Buddhism)", hoping it would sound better and be to most's liking.
• H☼ωdΘesI†fl∉∈ {KLAT} • 08:11, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Alla sua donna[edit]

I'm moving here the previous translation of the last stanza of the canto Alla sua donna. I've replaced it with Kline's translation because this one is unsourced and therefore unreliable. There it is:

"If you, my love, are one
Of those undying forms the eternal mind
Will not transform to mortal flesh, to try funereal sorrows of ephemeral beings
Or if you dwell in one
of those innumerable worlds far off
In the celestial swirl,
Lit by a sun more stunning than our own,
And if you breathe a kinder air than ours,
Then from this meager earth,
Where years are brief and dark,
This hymn your unknown lover sings, accept.
• H☼ωdΘesI†fl∉∈ {KLAT} • 06:39, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Separate article for the poetry[edit]

After going through the whole article, I noticed that the bulk of it concerns Leopardi's poetry and offers the reader information that seems way too detailed and specific for an author's page, which is already around 54kb long (that is, too much!). I therefore formally propose that a separate article titled "Poetry of Leopardi", "Poetry of Giacomo Leopardi" or "Leopardi's poetry" (to match the proposed "Leopardi's letters" for his correspondence) be created in order to place this very precious information in a more appropriate location. It could look along the same lines as Poetry of Mao Zedong, for example. Please, speak (write) up about this! I won't go through with it before a few months have gone by and without having heard from the community.
• H☼ωdΘesI†fl∉∈ {KLAT} • 07:36, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Article for Operette morali[edit]

The article for Leopardi's Operette morali desperately needs to be created! The Italian article is huge and has even spawned numerous attached articles... Could someone maybe translate it (or them) if you feel good enough in Italian and generally overzealous?
• H☼ωdΘesI†fl∉∈ {KLAT} • 07:43, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

This article does NOT do Leopardi justice.[edit]

Giacomo Leopardi was one of the greatest Italian men that ever walked this earth. I am honored to be able to breathe the same air that he did. This article in no way does him justice.I have scoured the article looking for something, anything, even one statement, even remotely reflecting this. I have found NOTHING. This is absolutely unacceptable. If this is not changed in the near future I am afraid I will not be able to stand idly by. I will be forced to make changes. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to read my input. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:09, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, amico mio, you should start by setting up a proper account, very closely followed by a careful reading of the various rules and maybe by going through the short and sweet editing tutorial if you want to learn the ropes, and then, if you still feel like changing the world collaborating on Leopardi's article, please make sure you know the acceptable boundaries and remain objective even though Leopardi was a God-sent. I'm not trying to bite or bully you or anything: I only want you to participate in a proper manner, since Wikipedia is plagued by vandalism and disruptive editing, as you may or not know. I therefore urge you to channel that outrage of yours by contributing responsibly and constructively.
Hey, wait a minute: does your "breathing the same air Leopardi breathed" mean you're a fluent Italian speaker? Great! There could some pertinent content from the Italian article that you could translate for the benefit of this article. Not only this article, but others as well could certainly use translated and verifiable material—if not creation: Opere di Giacomo Leopardi, Operette morali, Poetica di Giacomo Leopardi, Giacomo Leopardi (epistolario), Pessimismo (Leopardi), etc.
If you need any help or have any questions, check out the Help contents as they are very exhaustive, or you can always write to individual users (such as myself, for example) if you want a second opinion. Welcome aboard, pal!
• H☼ωdΘesI†fl∉∈ {KLAT} • 08:06, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Responding to TWO among the many (secondary-source-dependent) problems with this wiki-entry: (1) Leopardi OPPOSED ALL (incl. Lockean) mechanistic visions of the universe (cf. e.g. Operette Morali, Accademia dei Sillografi)! (2) The claim that Leopardi was an (unqualified) "atheist" is NOWHERE supported by Leopardi's own texts! I share my thought that at present the wiki-entry is overall a caricature of the philosopher. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:10, 26 April 2015 (UTC)