Giacomo Leopardi: preludes to an essential Romanticism Open Classroom ROMANTICISM

Giacomo Leopardi: preludes to an essential Romanticism

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Antonio Colinas

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  1. Antonio ColinasAntonio Colinas

    Nacido en La Bañeza (León) en 1946, ha dedicado su vida a las letras: es poeta, narrador, ensayista y traductor, especialmente de autores italianos. También ha sido importante su labor como crítico literario en prensa a lo largo de 40 años. Siempre ha huido de etiquetas, pero los críticos han insistido en incluirle en el grupo de los Novísimos. Entre sus libros de poemas destacan Sepulcro en Tarquinia, Noche más allá de la noche, Libro de la mansedumbre o Desiertos de la luz. En 2001 publicó su Obra poética completa, que incluye hasta el momento 16 libros. Esta misma edición apareció para América. Su poemario más reciente se ha publicado este año, Canciones para una música silente.

    Obtuvo en 1978 una beca de creación literaria de la Fundación Juan March para componer su libro de poemas Astrolabio; beca que fue decisiva para reafirmarse como escritor de vocación y de profesión. Es autor de varias novelas, de recopilaciones de cuentos y de ensayos de poética, así como de libros de viaje y biográficos sobre las figuras de Vicente Aleixandre, Giacomo Leopardi y Rafael Alberti. Sobre éste escribiría Rafael Alberti en Ibiza. Seis semanas del verano de 1936.

    Ha traducido a numerosos autores clásicos y contemporáneos. Su traducción de la Poesía Completa de Salvatore Quasimodo recibió en Italia el Premio Nacional de Traducción. Ha obtenido además el Premio de la Crítica de poesía (1976), el Premio Nacional de Poesía (1982) y, también en Italia, el Premio Internacional Carlo Betocchi por su labor como estudioso de la cultura italiana.

    (Última actualización: 20/11/2014)

Giacomo Leopardi (Recanati, 1798-Naples, 1837) is the most genuine representative of the Italian Romanticism, and one of the most outstanding of all of Europe. His work nurtures on the vigorous influence of the classics, but at the same time the literary modernity of his country sprouts from it, producing an aesthetic change, specially in the poems of his Canti (Chants), but at the same time with a revulsive thinking. He precociously began to learn from the Greek-Latin authors –his beloved antichi–, but soon, other readings from his father's rich library, his facility for languages, and his enclosed and complex life in the family palace, produced in him a mixture from where a new literary time would emerge, and precisely in a period when the history of his country is struck by foreign influences, like the French Revolution (also decisive in the life of another poet, Hölderlin), and especially the Napoleonic occupation of Italy.

Thus, beyond the value and results of his huge work in different genres (poetry, theatre, narrative, essay, journals, letters), the rich personality of Leopardi, his late travels, and his friendship with liberals of his time, express a great anxiety for freedom that filled his short life with great finds and with the frustrating and negative paths of his philosophy, with a nihilism that would explode in his essays, dialogues, and thoughts, as well as his life experiences along his last days in Naples.

A literary personality the size of Giacomo Leopardi can only be compared within the Italian Literature with the great masters that influenced him (Dante, Petrarca), as well as with other of his contemporary European poets (Novalis, Hölderlin, Keats, Shelley), who accompanied him in the huge task of bringing a new time to literature by using new words, a new light for knowledge, and through his verses, a more clear and emotional feeling.