Corrado Bologna and literature during an epidemic

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Institutional Communication Service

23 March 2020

During the Coronavirus outbreak - in which the main concern is to preserve one's own health and that of others - how can one still talk about Literature and Art or say that "Beauty will save the world", as Dostoevsky claimed?

In a five-minute video message, Corrado Bologna offers the USI community a reflection on Literature as a therapy. Literature and Art pull the heavy weight from our lives, even in the most extreme situations. The professor of the Institute of Italian Studies at USI also reminds us how the most critical situations have given rise to profound reflections on our society, on civil and community values. Other examples include the writing of Boccaccio's Decameron, a true 'human comedy' of society following the Black Plague epidemic that struck Europe in 1348. But from that horrible outbreak, which sowed death and dissolved social, civil and political ties, one of the great books of humanity was born.

In addition to inviting everyone to respect the measures that the authorities have implemented to protect the health of citizens, Professor Bologna ends his video with a suggestion. "Let us gift ourselves and others new words: of community, of solidarity, of creation and creativity. Let us also make evil pass through Literature and Art. They are therapeutic, they are stories that cure."

The video message is available (in Italian) in the gallery at the bottom of this page and on USI Youtube channel.

Corrado Bologna and literature during an epidemic

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