The infinite in Leopardi


‘The exhibition narrates in detailed chronological order, the stages of the poetic and speculative formation of Giacomo Leopardi, through the places, the persons and events which distinguished his daily life. Recanati, its inhabitants and the environment in which the poet lived are the main sources to have inspired a poetry-philosophical outlook which tur-ned reality into symbols and gave universal meaning to details. The hedge is not simply the hedge, the limit which permits imagining and evoking the unlimited. Silvia is not only Silvia, but the symbol of youth which, full of hope and confidence, is projected towards the future. The poetry and thought of Leopardi escape the narrow historical plane on which the poet lived; they fear no historical courses and recourses, fashions or ideologies. They have the power to provoke and question the hearts of readers of all ages. To those of us who live on the threshold of the third millennium, the Recanati poet presents a para-digmatic and urgent alternative: or GOD or NOTHING. Starting with material premises, taking reason as the only way of measuring things, Leopardi reaches the most drama-tic nihilistic consequences. However, that nothing, that “horrible nothing” towards which he feels the existence of all creatures inexorably moves, never becomes a certainty or a philosophic founda-tion. The truth in this great poet and thinker does not con-sist in fact of denial, but in the lucid awareness of the “eter-nal mystery of our being”. If intellect is rash enough to try and reduce everything we can know to something material, the heart, in its clash with reality, rekindles our thirst for the Absolute and is not con-tent with easily-found evidence of reason. His false materia-listic faith is placed in doubt by the anthropological declara-tion of the “sublimeness of feeling”: NATURA UMANA, OR COME SE FRALE IN TUTTO VILE, SE POLVE ED OMBRA SEI, TANTALTRO SENTI» (Above the portrait of a beautiful woman sculpted on her funerary monument). Before this significant experience of the limits or mystery of human nature, Leopardi prefers shade to light. Closed to the theistic option, life appears to him as a “bright night”, a bright world, mysteriously bright of his obscurity (G. Amelotti, La filosofia del Leopardi, page 328). You either accept it, or worry about it; that is the crucial choice from the religious point of view common to all human beings of all ages (Luigi Giussani, Il senso di Dio e l’uomo moderno, page 316)’


20 Agosto 1995 - 26 Agosto 1995


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions