Padovani Francesco

Anna Maria Ortese and the Concept of Antiquity

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Anna Maria Ortese, Giacomo Leopardi, Antiquity, L’Iguana, Il cardillo addolorato.

The article aims to explore the hitherto neglected problem of Anna Maria Ortese’s conceptualization of antiquity, intended as a privileged tool for criticizing the contemporary world. Ortese starts from Leopardi’s reflection about the split between classical antiquity and modern age to move towards the paradoxical definition of antiquity as the persistent testimony of the oblivion to which human deeds are destined. On the one hand, antiquity is banned from the modern world and is therefore marginalized. On the other hand, what is antique can come back to question the certainties about the present. It is not by chance that Ortese brings into play the Romantic theme of the ancient ruins. Indeed, they represent the tool for relativizing the arrogant expectations of the modern capitalistic (and colonialist) Western societies. The interpretive category of antiquity is thus aimed at unmasking the illusions of modernity. The research explores both published material (novels, essays, letters) and unpublished documents held in the Fondo Ortese (Naples).

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