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Monday, February 27, 2017

Milton? Che roba è, se magna?

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On November 3, 1929, an old, famous cultural weekly printed in Florence, Il Marzocco, published this article about "Milton in an Italian book." Prof. Giuseppe Saverio Gargano, while reviewing a book by G. N. Giordano Orsini, Milton e il suo poema [M. and His Poem], set the topic in a larger context. The first paragraphs significantly read:
Milton studies are not as much honored in Italy as they would deserve both because they concern one of the few universal poets who belong to the heritage of any cultured nation and because in the greatest works of this colossal personality there circulates, so to speak, the air of our own Renaissance. Our critics, I think, have always been conditioned by an immediate, superficial impression provoked at first sight---to limit ourselves to his main work---by the pages of Paradise Lost: the apparently theological and Puritan nature of the poem. Theology in general, and Puritanism in particular, are not very attractive to our ordinary consideration. . .

Sorry to observe that things have not improved much since then. The same reason, even more so, explains why The Pilgrim's Progress (see) is basically unknown in Italy.
The newspaper is a gift from a dear friend, an antique book dealer (website).