Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy


You are viewing an older version of the Yalebooks website. Please visit out new website with more updated information and a better user experience:

Joseph Luzzi

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $64.00
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

Also Available in:

In this groundbreaking study, unique in English, Joseph Luzzi considers Italian Romanticism and the modern myth of Italy. Ranging across European and international borders, he examines the metaphors, facts, and fictions about Italy that were born in the Romantic age and continue to haunt the global literary imagination.


The themes of the book include the emergence of Italy as the “world’s university” (Goethe) and “mother of arts” (Byron), the influence of Dante’s Commedia on Romantic autobiography, and the representation of the Italian body politic as a woman at home and abroad. Luzzi also provides a critical reevaluation of the three crowns of Italian Romantic letters—Ugo Foscolo, Giacomo Leopardi, and Alessandro Manzoni—profoundly influential writers largely undiscovered in Anglo-American criticism. Reaching out to academic and general readers alike, the book offers fresh insights into the influence of Italian literary, cultural, and intellectual traditions on the foreign imagination from the Romantic age to the present.

Joseph Luzzi is associate professor of Italian and director of the Italian Studies program, Bard College. His articles have appeared in Comparative Literature, Dante Studies, Italica, Modern Language Notes, Modern Language Quarterly, and Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century. He lives in Tivoli, NY.

“Luzzi has accomplished the first wide-ranging analysis in English of Italian Romanticism and the myths associated with it.”—Bruce Redford, Boston University

“An important and much needed study of Italian Romanticism in a comparative perspective.”—Roberto M. Dainotto, Duke University

"Unlike those many studies that focus on Italian Romantic texts without adequately locating them in their European context. . .this book both examines works by Italian authors and relates them to the writings of contemporary non-Italians. . . .The broad sweep of Luzzi's historicism, the lucid strength of his theorizing, and the unfailing analytical power of his reading combine to make this book indispensable to Italianists and comparatists alike. Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice

Winner of the 2009 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies sponsored by the Modern Language Association.

Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009 by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300123555
Publication Date: November 18, 2008
304 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
9 b/w illus.