Forms of Thinking in Leopardi’s Zibaldone
Religion, Science and Everyday Life in an Age of Disenchantment

Paola Cori

Italian Perspectives 43

Legenda

23 September 2019  •  280pp

ISBN: 978-1-781888-63-6 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-781888-64-3 (paperback, 2020)  •  RRP £9.99, $12.50, €12.50

ISBN: 978-1-781888-65-0 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR

EnlightenmentItalianPhilosophyPoetry


For fifteen years between 1817 and 1832 Giacomo Leopardi’s notebook the Zibaldone grew like an expanding universe, recording the emergence and development of his thought until, on 4 December 1832, on page 4526, it fell silent. Philosophical reflections, private memories, poetry, observations on politics and society are only some of the creative expressions of Leopardi’s quest, which both enriched his everyday life and at the same time sheltered him from the tyranny of rationality and the death of illusions which he perceived as intrinsic to modernity. There is no other work in world literature quite like it, and yet, strictly speaking, the Zibaldone is not even a work. Private in character but constantly opening up to virtual interlocutors, it gained readers only on publication sixty years after Leopardi's death. Its importance in Western thought, however, is yet to be fully appreciated, not only in terms of its content but also in terms of its form.

In this major new study, Cori follows Leopardi’s philosophical journey and traces the origin of a sensibility towards the ephemeral, the hyper-real and the simulacrum, which would only truly be understood during modernity and post-modernity, and which Leopardi is the first Italian thinker to perceive.

Winner of the American Association for Italian Studies's Book Prize for the best book of 2019 in the Renaissance-through-to-19th-century category

Contents:

i-vi
Forms of Thinking in Leopardi’s Zibaldone: Forms of Thinking in Leopardi’s Zibaldone
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vii-viii
Table of Contents
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ix-ix
Abbreviations
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x-xii
Acknowledgements
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1-36
Introduction
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39-48
Chapter 1 the Conscious and the Unconscious
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49-52
Chapter 2 the Continuum and the Discrete
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53-62
Chapter 3 the Psychology of Clarity
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63-76
Chapter 4 ‘Ec. Ec. Ec.’: the Determinate and the Indeterminate
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77-86
Chapter 5 Clarity and Confession
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87-93
Chapter 6 Naturalness and Natural Law
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94-100
Chapter 7 Naturalization of Religion
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101-104
Chapter 8 Messianic Inclinations
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105-114
Chapter 9 Naturalness As the Style of Grace
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117-120
Chapter 10 Towards A Philosophy of Life and Technique
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121-133
Chapter 11 the Heading ‘Vitalità, Sensibilità’ (i): Leopardi’s Elastic Writing
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134-149
Chapter 12 Swarms of Birds: the Heading ‘Vitalità, Sensibilità’ (ii) and Leopardi’s Self-Adjusting Thought
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150-163
Chapter 13 Electric Thought
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164-171
Chapter 14 Disenchanted Mnemotechnics
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172-186
Chapter 15 the Hypnotic Image: A Preliminary Contextualization
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187-204
Chapter 16 Leopardi’s Philosophy of Exposure and Attenuation
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207-213
Chapter 17 the Practice of Everyday Life
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214-226
Chapter 18 Leopardi As Master and Student in the Zibaldone
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227-244
Chapter 19 Metropolitan Encounters: Quotations and the Zibaldone ‘Index’
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245-247
Chapter 20 the End of the Zibaldone: Conclusions
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248-261
Bibliography
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262-268
Index
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Bibliography entry:

Cori, Paola, Forms of Thinking in Leopardi’s Zibaldone: Religion, Science and Everyday Life in an Age of Disenchantment, Italian Perspectives, 43 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2019)

First footnote reference: 35 Paola Cori, Forms of Thinking in Leopardi’s Zibaldone: Religion, Science and Everyday Life in an Age of Disenchantment, Italian Perspectives, 43 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2019), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Cori, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Cori, Paola. 2019. Forms of Thinking in Leopardi’s Zibaldone: Religion, Science and Everyday Life in an Age of Disenchantment, Italian Perspectives, 43 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Cori 2019: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Cori 2019: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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