Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy | National Humanities Center

Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy

By Joseph Luzzi (NHC Fellow, 2004–05)

Romanticism; Italian Literature

New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008

From the publisher’s description:

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.

Awards and Prizes
Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies (2008); Choice Outstanding Academic Title (2009)
Literature / Literary Criticism / Romanticism / Italian Literature /

Luzzi, Joseph (NHC Fellow, 2004–05). Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.