Matteo Sarni

Imagination and historical novel: Coleridge, Scott, Manzoni

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Keywords: Coleridge, Scott, Manzoni, imagination, historical novel.

Coleridge distinguishes between fancy (the aggregative ability which works superficially) and imagination, the real core of Romanticism. Imagination is a force that enables man to penetrate the phenomenal surface (insignificant in itself) and probe the depth of the universe, weaving an organic and coherent semantic texture. In order to grasp - through imagination - a part of the truth held by God, we should not indulge in abstract flannel, but always consider the concreteness of reality. Coleridge's poetics of imagination affects Scott's and Manzoni's conceptions of the historical novel: they state that history is a starting point which cannot be ignored by an artistic creation based on imagination.

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