Ariosto in the Machine Age (Toronto Italian Studies) (Hardcover)
Ariosto in the Machine Age reveals how the most influential poet of the Renaissance was conjured or appropriated to shape Magical Realism, avant-garde painting, Fascist cultural propaganda, and cinema in modern Italy between the birth of Futurism and the end of the Second World War.
Based on substantial archival findings, bold iconographic hypotheses, and novel interpretations of literary texts, the book proposes a new account of Italy's twentieth-century culture through a unique take on Ludovico Ariosto's early modern poetics and legacy. Starting from the unexpected pass ism of Futurists visiting Ferrara on the eve of the First World War, it rereads the development of Giorgio de Chirico's Metaphysical art and Massimo Bontempelli's Realismo Magico. The book reconstructs the multimedia archive of the Fascist initiatives for the 1933 centennial anniversary of Ariosto's death, and then focuses on the passage between Fascist cinema and the birth of neorealism, unearthing unfinished adaptations of the Orlando Furioso by Luchino Visconti and Alessandro Blasetti. Questioning the very concept of reception, this radically interdisciplinary book warns twenty-first-century readers about the risks of monumentalizing the "great authors" of the past.