Adriano Prosperi

Leone Ginzburg in the Work of Marisa Mangoni

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Luisa Mangoni was a true historian: she could bring the dead back to life, with their ideas, their inspiration, their work. Through sheer empathy with the individuals that were the subject of her research, she could shed new light on their lives and motivations. This was the case with her studies on Leone Ginzburg: an encounter determined by an ideal intellectual affinity, both intellectual and human. Better than anyone else, Luisa Mangoni has investigated Ginzburg's multi-faceted personality: as founder and very soul of the Einaudi publishing house; as anti-fascist militant; and as scholar of the historical tradition of the two countries he could call his own: Italy and Russia. Mangoni has pieced together with painstaking care Ginzburg's letters from internal exile and has looked more than once into his biography and oeuvre. Her essays on Ginzburg all shine with her unparalleled ability of combining extreme competence and acuity with a special gift of hers: "Einfühlung", deep empathy, tinged by the sense of the unbridgeable gap that lies between historians and the human beings who are object of their research.

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