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Memory, the past and the use of quotations in Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone

Camilletti, Fabio (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The work examines the interweavement of individual memory and historical past in Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone, arguing that the genre of this ‘non-book’ can be identified with the ancient Greek notion of hypomnēmaton. The first section reads the Zibaldone as an answer to the so called ‘second printing revolution’, examining the text as the outcome of tension between the ‘library’ and Leopardi’s own writing. The second section analyses Leopardi’s use of quotations through the case study of Montesquieu’s presence in the Zibaldone, highlighting how quotations from Montesquieu shape Leopardi’s reflection on the fracture between antiquity and modernity and on the aesthetic problem of grace. The third section moves from the poem ‘Le Ricordanze’ (1829), showing how the questions challenged in the Zibaldone from a theoretical point of view (such as the relationship between individual memory and historical past, the notion of grace and the problem of making culture after the Enlightenment) are finally embodied in Leopardi’s return to poetry of 1828-29, which makes the Zibaldone-hypomnēmaton unnecessary. ‘Le Ricordanze’ stages an unmediated return of memory (mnēme) through which the hypomnēmaton is ultimately emptied of significance.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):D'Intino, Franco and Caesar, Michael
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Italian
Subjects:PQ Romance literatures
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3204
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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