Italian romanticism

Italian romanticism in literature is a peculiar phenomenon in comparison with the literature of other European countries. The reason for this is that Italian romanticism developed in other ways in other ways than in the “Zapalpian Europe”. The role played also by the socio-political state of the country, its close connection with Risorgimento – the period of the national liberation movement of the Italian people against foreign domination, for the unification of fragmented Italy.

The beginning of Italian romanticism is considered 1816 p., When the first articles appeared, which raised the question of romanticism and the need for its introduction into Italian literature. After the political defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, throughout Europe, life took place under the sign of monarchical restoration – the return to the pre-revolutionary system and borders, authorities and beliefs, conservative ideas and full of reactionary values. For Italy, the day of Restoration meant a renewal of Austrian domination in the northern part of the country, the restoration of obscurantistPapal States in the central, Neapolitan branch of the Bourbon dynasty in the southern part. At the same time, Italy was at that time and an exception among the countries of Europe, in the sense that the reaction here was not able to end the revolutionary liberation process. In the restoration effort of reaction, Italy responded to the movement of carbariums, which was already in 1815-1816 pp. gained a large scale and poured into a large uprising of 1820 – 1821 pp., which covered Naples, Sicily and Piedmont. Another Carbonari uprising in 1830 – 1831 pp. held in central Italy.

At this stage in the Italian literature, important changes are taking place; romanticism becomes its leading direction. But this did not mean “overcoming” or ousting neoclassicism; it continued to develop in Italian literature until the end of Risorgimento, either synthesizing with romanticism, or laying a separate course.

Against the background of the visual-revolutionary process, there is a special connection and a correlation of romanticism with neoclassicism in Italy, a country with particularly deep classical traditions in fine art. In all European literature at the early, pre-romantic stage, romanticism was in a “peaceful” relationship with neoclassicism, the relationship of interconnection and interaction. But later in French, German, and other literature, this artistic complex collapses, between romanticism and classicism unfolds a fierce struggle, known as “romantic battles”, culminating in the elimination of late classicism as an “outdated” artistic system. When viewed by Italian romantics, they were not so much denied national classicism as they sought to assimilate and transform it. A specific feature of Italian romanticism is that he put in the first place not aesthetic-artistic, but socio-political problems.

Since 1816, in the circles of writers began lively discussions about romanticism and whether it is expedient to abandon established traditions and start new ones. The writers crashed into two camps. The former believed that the consciousness of the Italian people could be better prepared for a new struggle by returning to the traditions of the glorified past: these were classicalists. Others, romantics, dreamed of a newer and more modern poetry, closer to the soul of the people, more adequate to modern content, more diverse, flexible and free in form. In the same year a brochure appearedL. di Breme “On the injustice of some literary judgments of the Italians,” in which the author called for the rejection of the cult of national classics and to turn to the experience of romantic literature of other European countries. At the end of the same year, J. Bercher’s poet published the translations of “Wild Hunter” and “Lenori”, two ballads of Burger, accompanied by their “Semi-Serious Letter Crisis to his Son”, which is considered the first literary manifestoItalian romanticism, where his theoretical principles were formulated. Bercher clearly distinguishes classical and romantic literature, and the main difference between them sees that the first went by the imitation of antiquity, while the second considers his mentor nature and addresses not to the past, but to modern life. This follows the well-known categorical assertion of Bersheh: “Classical poetry – poetry of the dead, romantic poetry – poetry of the living.” But it is interesting to note that the poetry of Bershee himself is far from free from the classical elements.

Similar processes took place in the Italian fine arts. A number of Italian artists and sculptors diligently reproduced the style of late classicism (artists Vincenzo Camuccini (1771-1844) and Andrea Appiani (1754-1817), sculptors Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850) and Antonio Canova). Even the work in Italy by some representatives of romanticism in other countries (Russian artists Karl Bryullov and Orest Kiprensky, Englishman William Turner) had a fairly limited influence on artistic practice in Italy itself. Visited Italy and French romanticist Theodore Gericco (1816-1817 biennium), but the country was at the initial stage of the introduction of romanticism and was not yet ready to accept the latest ideas.

The main Italian romantic writer is Alessandro Manzoni. Born in 1785, he is the grandson of the philosopher Cesare Beccaria and grew up in an environment imbued with the ideas of the Enlightenment, liberal and anticlerical in Paris. Converted to Catholicism by priests of Jansenist sensitivity, he began his literary life by returning to Italy at the end of the Empire. He celebrated Catholicism in his sacred Hymns (1815) but also the revolutionaries of 1821 by composing a militant work for the freedom of Italy, March 1821. His greatest success is Les Fiancés, who know three different versions between 1822 and 1842. This novel, a true emblem of Italian romance, tells the misfortunes in the Lombard kingdom of the xvii th century, two young peasants whose love is thwarted by the Spanish occupier, amid war, injustice, but plague also of deep faith. This novel is exemplary in Italian literary life because it tells the story of Italy through the history of the humble and not the powerful. He paints an extremely detailed and historically precise picture and brushes characters who have become “types” in the Italian imagination.

Manzoni’s novel is a great success in all sectors of society. The intellectuals welcome him very favorably and the people know by heart whole passages of the book. The Betrothed is an essential work of the intellectual awakening of Italy of the xix th century and remains an outstanding editorial success. Its role in defining the Italian language is so important that it is considered the archetype of Italian national prose.

Manzoni, in the tradition of other European romantic writers like Lamartine or Byron, took part in Italian politics, but rather late. He rallied to Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy and became a senator for life. In 1862 he was appointed president of the commission for the unification of the Italian language. His death in 1873 was the occasion of a national funeral and it is in his memory that Giuseppe Verdi composed his Requiem.

The notion in pictorial art
These principles are reflected in the Italian pictorial art of the same period: Francesco Hayez, who takes his subjects in the Middle Ages, is closer to the troubadour style than to the romanticism of his North European contemporaries.

Specificity of Italian romanticism in literature
The specificity of Italian romanticism is clearly revealed in the peculiarity of its genre system. Almost entirely, it does not contain such purely romantic genres as a fairy tale and fantastic story or story. In poetry did not acquire a significant development of the ballad. There was a rapprochement of lyric poetry with a song, but this trend did not lead to folk-folklore. According to the educational classicist tradition, the highest genre of Italian romance was seen in the dramaand believed that it was she who was able to express fully the meaning and character of the present. They paid great attention to the development of the theory of romantic drama and the artistic realization of these theoretical drawings. In the process of further development of Italian romantic literature, its main genres are the historical novel and memoirs, historical drama and socio-patriotic lyrics.

Many of its aspects and features of Italian romanticism are distinguished in the circle of contemporary Western European literatures. At the same time, these aspects and features typologically bring it closer to the romanticism of the Slavic and other literatures of Eastern and Southeastern Europe – Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, Hungarian. Between the Italian and the literary names of this era, there are many parallels, analogies, typological coincidences and communities that arose on the ground of similar socio-historical conditions in which they developed, the similarity of the national-liberation tasks that faced them. Their main feature is the inclusion in the national liberation movements and the emphasis on the development of the issues associated with these movements. This is the common dominance that unites Italian writers from Foscolo to Leopard with Polish romantics led byMickiewicz, with the Czech bosomers, with Pethof and “Young Hungary”, with Shevchenko. Characteristic of the romantic literature of Italy and the named countries is the type of writer who took an active part in the revolutionary liberation struggle. In this regard, the typological proximity between the Italian romantics-carbarias and Shevchenko clearly manifests itself. The named struggle is, after all, the main content and pathos of their work.

Romanticism spread in Europe, North and South America, Transcaucasia. From the socio-historical point of view, the typology of romanticism is based on comparing the level of development of bourgeois relations in society and the historical situation of national culture. One type of romanticism is characteristic of countries with a pronounced bourgeois society, with an appropriate ideology and perspective, and the other – for countries where it has not been so clearly expressed.

Main features
The main features of Italian romanticism that distinguished him from the romanticism of other countries are:

return to local dialects
the nature of the works:
patriotic settings
freedom and morality
high contrasts
verse novel
That first place in the thematic orientation of Italian romanticism was occupied by civil-patriotic problems.

For the most part, the heroes of the literature of Italian romanticism were men. It was a smart, smart person. The description of such heroes meant that the literature of romanticism returned to the image of the people’s life. The works clearly reflected the contrast between positive and negative characters.

Although Italian literature of the 19th century did not give significant personalities to the Frenchman Victor Hugo or fellow Alexandre Dumas or the Englishman George Gordon Byron, others (Rafael Giovignoli Spartak, Etel Lilian Voinich “Ovid”) turned to Italy for the glorious events of the ancient or recent past.

Source from Wikipedia