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The Mobile Spectacle

Variable Perspective in Manzoni's "I Promessi Sposi</I>

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Clareece Godt

The Mobile Spectacle treats Manzoni's use of variable perspective in I Promessi Sposi, the relationship between his technique and that of other European Romantic writers and his contribution to the Italian literary language. This study shows how Manzoni consistently represents what the eye sees (landscape, cityscape) and the mind conceives (characters' plans, history) under different and often paradoxical aspects. Its thesis is that the technique of variable perspective has a cognitive function, allowing the novel to «speak» in a timeless manner of reason and folly, goodness and wickedness, human reason and divine grace.