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Canti | Study Guide

Giacomo Leopardi

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Course Hero. "Canti Study Guide." November 13, 2020. Accessed February 3, 2023.


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Giacomo Leopardi

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Autobiography, Philosophy, Tragedy

At a Glance

Italian writer Giacomo Leopardi was a prolific poet, essayist, and philosopher. He has been heralded as one of the greatest poets of his era as well as one of the greatest writers of the modern Italian era. His uniquely pessimistic interpretation of literary romanticism made him famous and earned him a reputation for gloomy, depressing poetry which is not wholly justified. Contemporary authors criticized Leopardi's pessimism, but his work has become revered as a brilliant representation of 19th century Italian poetry. His most famous work is Canti which means "songs" in Italian. The contents of Canti were written throughout Leopardi's life and were collected in many different editions. The collection touches on Leopardi's renowned pessimism, romanticism, Italian nationalism, reverence for the ancient world, and the terrible, dangerous nature of love. Canti includes 36 poems written between 1820 and 1837. This guide uses the English translations by Jonathan Galassi.


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