By Leopardi, Giacomo; Parks, Tim
The remarkable caliber of Giacomo Leopardi’s writing and the leading edge nature of his notion have been by no means totally famous in his lifetime. Zibaldone, his 4,500-page highbrow diary—a titanic number of suggestions on philosophy, civilization, literary feedback, linguistics, humankind and its vanities, and different various topics—remained unpublished until eventually greater than a half-century after his demise. yet almost immediately earlier than he died, Leopardi started to arrange a small, thematic number of his writings in an try to provide constitution and approach to his philosophical musings. Now freshly translated into English by means of grasp translator, novelist, and critic Tim Parks, Leopardi’s Passions presents 164 entries reflecting the complete breadth of human ardour. the quantity bargains a desirable advent to Leopardi’s arguments and insights, in addition to a glimpse of the troubles of thinkers to come back, between them Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Wittgenstein, Gadda, and Beckett.
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Extra info for Passions
The extraordinary complexity and contortedness of modern man’s feelings, then, their smoldering, chronic self-destructiveness, which is the real subject of this book, becomes an index of how far the civilizing process has altered man’s emotional life, made it at once subtler, more nuanced, and infinitely unhappier. For example, each of the entries in this book is headed with indications of the other themes under which the same passage is referenced. ” Entries under this heading will suggest how living in society has taught us to mask our feelings and proceed indirectly to our goals, something that then tends to dull the passions and make them more elusive, tortuous, and durable, because never openly expressed.
If you see a boy coming toward you with an uncertain step and a helpless look about him, you’re endeared and fall in love with the lad. If you see a pretty woman, looking faint and fragile, or if you happen to see any woman trying to do something but unable to because of the weakness of her sex, you feel moved and are perfectly capable of prostrating yourself before her weakness and accepting her as mistress of yourself and your strength, to the point of subjecting and sacrificing yourself entirely to the business of loving and protecting her.
Today, in a world where egoism is so widespread, this precept needs extending to all the advantages an individual may enjoy. If you are good-looking, for example, your only chance of not being hated is to cultivate an especially easygoing manner and a certain carelessness as to your person, so as to appease the vanity of those offended by this advantage of yours, or merely by your not being at a disadvantage. The same goes if you are rich, well educated, powerful, and so on. The greater the advantage you enjoy, the more friendly, self-deprecating, and almost forgetful of yourself you will have to be, since you need to massage away this cause for hatred you carry around in yourself and that others don’t have, a pure provocation that makes you hateful all by itself, without your actually doing anything arrogant or unfair or whatever.