Keywords: Leopardi; L’Infinito; Milton; Paradise Lost; Sublime; Reception; European Literature.
In the manuscript known as ‘Autografo Napoletano’, one of the interventions made by Giacomo Leopardi in the text of the idyll “L’Infinitoµ reads ‘ultimo orizzonte’ as an interlinear correction of ‘celeste confine’. The first Italian translation of John Milton’s “Paradise Lostµ, by Paolo Rolli, reads ‘Celeste | confin’ for the original ‘heavenly ground’ in a passage from Book Seven. As the possible original source of Leopardi’s first choice has never been detected, this essay argues that ‘celeste confine’, taken from the Italian version of Milton, stands as a textual trace of the authorial process towards the definitive text. The analysis explores the plausibility of Leopardi as a reader of Milton as well as the fortunate reception in literature and the arts of this discarded variante.