Alessandra Aloisi

A machine with a hellish name from a Romantic country

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Imitation; Romanticism; Aesthetics; Panorama; Visual Culture.

In the "Discourse of an Italian on Romantic Poetry" (1818), one of the most representative texts of the Italian Classicist/Romantic quarrel, Leopardi accuses Romantic poetry of operating like a machine that produces nothing but a passive imitation of reality. By proposing some hypotheses concerning the nature of that mysterious device, this article analyses the importance of such a negative analogy between Romantic poetry and a machine. This analogy sums up the very essence of the aesthetic revolution that took place between the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries: a revolution that, with Jacques Rancière, we can define as a shift from the regime of representation to the aesthetic regime of art.

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