American Dream in Ital Lit
The American Dream in Italian Literature
The course aims to analyze diachronically the American dream in Italian literature. We will start from Leopardi's "wild, happy California" expressed in some passages of Zibaldone and the well-known Hymn to the Patriarchs where he addresses the myth of innocence. The works of Leonetto Cipriani, an emblematic figure of the Italian Risorgimento, who was also fascinated by the myth of California will be examined before focusing on the twentieth century when the Italian socio-political context, starting in the thirties, transformed the American dream into the metaphor of a happy elsewhere. The need to escape the rise of fascism animates the conscience of intellectuals such as Elio Vittorini, Cesare Pavese and Italo Calvino for which America will symbolize redemption, freedom and creative autonomy. From Americana by Vittorini and Essays on American literature by Pavese; to Calvino’s American Lessons, the American dream for Italians is not only a "land of utopia" but a point of reference.