Alessandro Manzoni's "The Betrothed" - the third series of readings begins

Gaetano Previati, The Monatti. Credits: Princeton University Art Museum
Gaetano Previati, The Monatti. Credits: Princeton University Art Museum

Institutional Communication Service

27 September 2019

Italy has not had, for various reasons, a tradition of fictional literature comparable to the European one: The Betrothed will be the only Italian novel of the early nineteenth century to fully live up to the narrative of Goethe, Rousseau, Sterne, Fielding and others. Manzoni's approach will, however, be very particular, based first of all on the rejection of the eros and the fantastic invention of the eighteenth-century novel and, secondly, a reflection on the relationship between history and literature which is less concerned with the allegiance to external events than with the secrets that dwell in the heart of man, who is responsible for investigating the mystery with the instruments of reason. For this, The Betrothed can be defined as the "novel of disquiet": a work that sums up the personality of its author, not at all inclined to be satisfied with easy consolation, but on the contrary determined to assign to literature a high cognitive and moral mission.

The third and final series of readings of Manzoni's work, organized by the USI Institute of Italian Studies (ISI), will begin on October 2 and will take place, as in previous years, every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Lugano campus Auditorium (in Via Buffi 13), until December 11. The readings will see the participation of invited lecturers, chosen amongst the most authoritative Manzonian interpreters, as well as a number of ISI lecturers, who will alternate the analysis of specific chapters with approaches of a transversal nature, taking inspiration from particular characters or subjects.


The full programme (in Italian) is available at: