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Ten Steps

Critical Inquiries on Leopardi


Fabio Camilletti and Paola Cori

This book is a ten-step journey around the thought and poetry of the most sensitive Italian visionary of modernity, Giacomo Leopardi, whose contribution to Western thought has been acclaimed by admirers from Schopenhauer to Nietzsche to Benjamin. A variety of readings, moving between different disciplines and approaches – including film studies, psychoanalysis, and queer theory – shed new light on Leopardi’s fascinating and at the same time epistemologically radical compound of poetic imagination and philosophical complexity. An advocate of an ultra-philosophy, which aims to negotiate the fracture opened in Western imagination by the irrecoverable loss of ancient «illusions», Leopardi’s thought seems more relevant than ever in the post-human era, offering an (un)timely meditation on desire, suffering, and imagination as the foundational features of humanity.
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10. Giacomo Leopardi’s ‘Zibaldone’ of (Queer) Thoughts


← 276 | 277 → LUCA MALICI

10 Giacomo Leopardi’s ‘Zibaldone’ of (Queer) Thoughts1

Leopardi non è Michael Foucault. Ma temi nascosti nel discorso leopardiano sul nascondimento, la minaccia, la punizione, soprattutto la proibizione, non stanno lontano. Quando ci si pone il problema dell’attrazione sessuale in un contesto interculturale (l’antico e il moderno, per esempio, o l’occidentale e l’orientale) si entra in un terreno minato, dove il desiderio e il bisogno di controllo non possono mancare.


Giacomo Leopardi, but less so his oeuvre, have been intermittently scrutinised and appropriated by prominent Italian gay male commentators as well as online communities.3 The very possibility of a latent homosexuality of the ← 277 | 278 → author, however, has been persistently disallowed by the official criticism.4 Undeniably, it is anachronistic to impose contemporary implications of the term ‘homosexual’ on Leopardi because such terminology was yet to be invented at his time.5 However, despite the limited and silenced discourses about sexuality in the first half of the nineteenth century, Leopardi’s writing reverberates with examples and reflections over the body that tell us he might have been acquainted even with the idea and problematisation of sexual dissidence.

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