Un “libro terribile”, L’Imperio di De Roberto tra disincanto politico e nichilismo

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Gianfranco Ferraro

Abstrakt

In the correspondence with his mother, Federico De Roberto defined its own novel L’Imperio as a “a terrible book”. Published in 1929, when the Sicilian writer was not longer alive, this incomplete novel concluded the project of literary triptych including the novels L’Illusione and I Viceré. What could arouse dismay and abhorrence in its readers was the nihilistic outcome of the plot. In order to explain it, the authors of the present paper show how the political disillusionment, embodied in the novel by the figure of the young journalist Federico Ranaldi, discloses for De Roberto the horizon of European nihilism. Being symbolic of the Italian generation born after the Unification, Ranaldi loses his political ideals when he understands that the politicians have no faith and are no longer right. Disgusted by the conduct of Consalvo Uzeda di Francalanza, the last heir of the ancient “viceroys” of Sicily, now the minister of the Kingdom, Ranaldi is overwhelmed by a radical, pessimistic vision of the world. Thus it is evident that De Roberto was extremely influenced by such philosophers as Giacomo Leopardi, Arthur Schopenhauer and Eduard von Hartmann.

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Bibliografia

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