According to answerresume, there is, however, the royal road of realism. That of C. Porta and, initially, of T. Grossi (Prineide) takes the traditional forms of satire and the comic, and overcomes the embarrassment of language by simply resorting to dialect. A few years later, GG Belli gives his realism the same linguistic solution. Through the comic-dialectal way, one suddenly reaches the contemporary and the everyday, towards which Romanticism also tends. From the satirical Prineide, Manzoni’s friend, Grossi (author of the last of the Italian heroic poems, I Lombardi alla prima crusade), moves on to the pathetic Fugitive, that is, he tackles the contemporary also from the ‘serious’ side, but he still tackles it in dialect, to then move on to the historical novel in the language. And it is precisely the historical tale that spreads in Italy, as in all of Europe, in the footsteps of W. Scott; a new genre arises, the novella in verse, mostly historical too, but which sometimes ventures into the contemporary world (in addition to Grossi, C. Cantù, G. Torti and S. Pellico with some of his Cantiche), and that more of the novel strikes the main emphasis on psychology. As for the historical novels (by GB Bazzoni, C. Varese, Grossi, Cantù, G. Rosini etc.), it will suffice to note that they, derived directly from Scott or from the very different Manzoni, force the colors of the pathetic and adventurous, or, like Fieramosca and Niccolò de ‘Lapi by M. d’Azeglio, explicitly tend towards the education of character for patriotic purposes. In many writers realistic intentions closely intersect with sentimental ones, which often overwhelm the former. Apart from the many historical novels by FD Guerrazzi, of Byronic virulence that does not exclude the pathetic, and the memories, of which the nineteenth century is so rich (Pellico, d’Azeglio). As for the lyric, it either turns towards the narrative in the ballad (Berchet, L. Carrer) or it spurs on freedom and independence (Berchet, G. Mameli, L. Mercantini etc.). The only operas of that generation that can still be remembered are A. Poerio and N. Tommaseo, the latter of the very first rank in the many fields of his activity (fiction, philology, history, literary criticism, etc.).
The reaction to the nuanced and sentimental. G. Carducci and G. Verga
The fifteen years 1840-1855 is the period of greatest success of the nuance of expression and feeling: G. Prati and A. Aleardi dominate. In the poetic field, G. Giusti’s ‘jokes’ take a stand against the exhibitionism of pain, also notable in the history of the Risorgimento. The paths that the reaction to vaporous lyric follow, from the moment it acquires self-awareness, around 1860, are different from each other and lead to very different artistic results: that of the Scapigliatura; that of realistic-familiar or realistic-bourgeois or ‘veristic’ poetry; the carduccian one.
To the most representative of the scapigliati, E. Praga and A. Boito, the usual canon adds other writers (G. Rovani, IU Tarchetti, C. Boito, G. Camerana, C. Dossi), but in reality not all aspects of Scapigliatura are recognizable in each of them. The scapigliati, who have even been considered the only authentic Italian romantics, proclaim themselves anti-romantic, because they oppose the sweetened images of Prato and Aleardia with their ‘true’, and it is they who initiate the struggle against the ‘bourgeois’ spirit, even if there remains in them, and especially in Prague, a desire for serene affections. This explains how from their own spiritual environment the poetry, so different, of V. Betteloni is born, which, always in search of the concrete, focuses precisely on the values of bourgeois life. At the same time, the Postuma by L. Stecchetti (pseudonym of O. Guerrini) arouse vast but not lasting waves of admiration, fomenting a bitter controversy between ‘idealists’ and followers of ‘realism’ advocated by Stecchetti. Secluded, G. Zanella passes from ambitious syntheses, from the attempt at a poetic reconciliation of science and faith, to the clear-cut squares of the Astichello. ● In his own way, G. Carducci also obeys the realistic requirement; he fought the ideal, the mystical, the vapor, the nuances. In short, he hopes for a concrete poem, adhering to life, but without detaching itself from the Greek-Latin-Italian tradition, indeed reinvigorating it. Leaving from Giusti, after the classical novitiate he first enters the Giambi and epodi, the usual way of satire and invective, to reach, after the crisis around 1870, the new Rime and the Barbarian Odes, poems of maximum fantastic concreteness and at the same time extremely elaborate. The models are the eighteenth-nineteenth century neoclassicals. But Carducci’s neoclassicism, except for a few moments, is not Parnassianism: this nostalgically contemplates the past as a time of dream, while for Carducci the past can and must return; hence his patriotic and political faith, his epic inspiration, at times so robust, his function as educator that makes him the last, and greatest, poet of the Risorgimento. But Carducci is not exempt from the anxieties and imbalances of his time, even if these traits often escaped his refined successors, who condemn him as a rhetorician.
In the theater the picture is even more mediocre. From the first-romantic historical tragedies to Pellico we move on to the historical dramas of P. Cossa, to the comedies of P. Ferrari, to those of costume such as I mariti by A. Torelli. While G. Gallina will increasingly feel the need to introduce veristic ferments into his Goldonian good-naturedness, G. Giacosa alternates the sentimental idyll of a historical environment (The chess game), the medieval drama in verse, the Ibsenian one and the bourgeois psychological one (Sad loves, Like leaves etc.).
In fiction, the notable personality of the time is that of Tommaseo, who with Faith and Beauty (1840) gives life to a novel in which the psychological analysis is subtle and, being autobiographical reasons, ruthless, a character in singular contrast with the literature of the time it appeared. Fundamental to the history of the novel in Italy is the famous Confessioni d’un italiano by Italy Nievo. Rovani also composes a large fresco in his Hundred Years, but, while in his novel the historiographical intent prevails over the psychological one, in Nievo’s novel the writer’s interest essentially focuses precisely on psychology, delineating a posteriori the ideal biography capable of being the background to the great romantic poetry. More than from Rovani, who also passes for the leader of that tendency, the spirit of the Scapigliatura is testified in the narrative by other writers of that group, and above all by Tarchetti and Boito.
Among them also works the young Verga, destined to lead the Italian novel, in the most consistent way with its premises and at the same time more European, on the path of realism, in an evolutionary process that France has already faced passing from the realism of G. Flaubert to the naturalism of É. Zola. In the theory of impersonality the mature Verga finds a foundation when, after the sentimentalism of the Story of a Blackcap and other conventional novels, he discovers the human and literary essentials in his Sicily, with short stories and the two major novels, I Malavoglia and Mastro don Gesualdo. His friend L. Capuana encouraged him to narrate a Sicilian topic, who also found in Sicily the source of inspiration for his most significant work, The Marquis of Roccaverdina.