Sonia Gentili

Deserts and Waste Lands: Leopardi towards the XXth century

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In the Bible, the earth just created (Gn 1, 2) has the same face of the earth punished by God (Is 34, Ger 4): at the beginning as well as at the end the world is "tōhû wābōhû", empty and unshaped, unlivable and devoid of human beings. The article retraces two steps of the xixth century interpretation of this theme in an anti-providential sense: Leopardi's elaboration of these biblical sources in the "Storia del Genere umano" and in the "Ginestra", and the desertic landascape in Melville's "Encantadas". This cultural elaboration is presupposed by important xxth century's literary issues, such as Eliot's "Waste Land".

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