Critical Inquiries on Leopardi
10. Giacomo Leopardi’s ‘Zibaldone’ of (Queer) Thoughts
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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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