The Idea of Beauty in Italian Literature and Language

"Il buono amore è di bellezza disio"

Beauty is a central concept in the Italian cultural imagination throughout its history and in virtually all its manifestations. It particularly permeates the domains that have governed the construction of Italian identity: literature and language. The Idea of Beauty in Italian Literature and Language assesses this long tradition in a series of essays covering a wide chronological and thematic range, while crossing from historical linguistics to literary and cultural studies. It offers elements for reflection on cross-disciplinary approaches in the humanities, and demonstrates the power of beauty as a fundamental category beyond aesthetics.

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Claudio Di Felice is Assistant Professor of Italian Linguistics at Leiden University. He has published on the history of literary Italian, on Abruzzese dialect and Italian minority languages, as well as on textual bibliography. Recently he published an edition of Silvestro di Tano Pantaleoni’s will, a close family acquaintance of Dante Alighieri (Italian Studies 2017, n. 72,1). Harald Hendrix is Director of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome and full Professor of Italian Studies at Utrecht University. He has published on the European reception of early modern Italian literature, on the baroque aesthetics of the non-beautiful, and on the intersections of Italian literature, memorial practices and travel cultures. Philiep Bossier is full Professor of Italian Studies at Utrecht University, and the University of Groningen. He has published on early modern Romance literature in Europe, the history of Italian professional theatre and the rhetoric of emerging female authorship in the Italian renaissance.
List of Figures
Harald Hendrix, Claudio Di Felice, and Philiep Bossier 

1 Forms and Variations of Lemmata Indicating “Beauty” in Literary Italian and the Common Language
Rosario Coluccia 

2 “Bellezze ed adornezze e piacimento”: The Concept of Beauty in the Sicilian School
Francesca De Blasi

3 Beauty as a Forma Mentis: Francis of Assisi
Brigitte Poitrenaud-Lamesi

4 From Earthly Venus to Heavenly Venus: On the Evolution of the Concept of Beauty in Girolamo Benivieni
Sergio Di Benedetto

5 The “True Form” of Beauty: Poetry and Portraits from Petrarch to the Sixteenth Century
Veronica Pesce

6 “Love is Naught but a Certain Desire to Enjoy Beauty”: Castiglione and Raffaello*
Pasquale Sabbatino

7 The Principle of Beauty in the Literary Criticism of the 16th Century
Antonio Sorella

8 Beauty at the Limit
Silvia Fabrizio-Costa

9 Words for Beauty: Giuseppe Parini between Ideal Cities and the Decadence of the World
Marcello Ciccuto

10 Amorose e di galanteria: Considerations about the Language of Love, Beauty and Desire in some Unpublished Poems by Giulio Bajamonti
Monica De Rosa

11 “The Profound Beauty is Greatness”: Itinerary in Giovanni Boine’s Aesthetics
Enrico Riccardo Orlando

12 The Origins of Beauty in Leopardi’s Zibaldone
Stefano Bragato

13 History of a Modest Beauty: Models of Woman’s Aesthetics from Fermo e Lucia to I promessi sposi
Gavino Piga

14 The “Second Beauty”: Ideas of Politeness and Beauty in Italian Books of Manners
Giovanna Alfonzetti

15 Fosca and her Sisters: Origins and Hypostases of the “Medusean Beauty” in the Narrative of the Scapigliatura
Francesco Bonelli

16 Reconsidering Fin de Siècle Aestheticism: the Case of Gabriele D’Annunzio
Filippo Fonio

17 Paradise Saved and Lost of Fin de Siècle Aesthetics: Matelda and Mariana in the Works of Giovanni Pascoli
Francesca Irene Sensini

18 Eugenio Montale: for the “Incredible, Wonderful Face” of Clizia, between Photographs, Letters, the Palio and other Verses
Epifanio Ajello

19 P.V. Tondelli and the Cannibals’ Generation in Search of the Lost Beauty
Agata Pryciak

All interested in the history of Italian culture, literature and language, and the formation of national identity.
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