Montale, the Modernist

Montale, the Modernist


Published by Leo S. Olschki Editore (Florence)​​​​​​​


Montale, the Modernist identifies the Nobel-winning poet as a preeminent modernist practitioner in the first half of his career (1925–54). Tracing Montale’s literary evolution from symbolism to modernism, and describing the predominantly modernist aims of his poetics, seven chapters position the quintessential voice of 20th-century Italian poetry in a European context, arguing for a new understanding of Montale as a powerful modernist force.


Montale, the Modernist explores the historical contingencies and the scientific and philosophical ideas that influenced the composition of Montale’s poetry, offering new readings of, among others, ‘Non chiederci la parola’, ‘Arsenio’, ‘L’alluvione’ and ‘Dialogo’. Framing Montale alongside such figures as Eliot, Pound, Svevo, Larbaud and Joyce, the book explores the celebrated peculiarities of his poems as modernist innovations, allowing a comprehensive understanding of Montale’s role in the lyrical canon of the twentieth century. To recognize Montale’s role as a preeminent modernist author also challenges our understanding of modernism itself, not just because it underscores the relationship and the philosophical proximity between Catholic and literary modernism, but because it reorients literary modernism as a truly pan-European movement, originating and distancing itself from the modes of Symbolism after the historic shock of World War I. Considering the arc of Montale’s long poetic trajectory, this book traces his evolution from Symbolist to modernist (in ‘Ossi di seppia’), high modernist (Le occasioni, La bufera e altro), and finally to a postmodern thinker in the late works (Satura, Diario del ’71 e del ’72).

  • Giuseppe Gazzola

    Montale, the Modernist

    March 2018 (first published 2016, Italy)
    Published by Leo S. Olschki
    Distributed by Ad Ilissum 
    ISBN: 978 88 222 6482 4

    Paperback, 240 x 170 mm

    242 pages, 60 colour illus.

  • About the author

    Giuseppe Gazzola (BA, Università di Genova; MA, University of Notre Dame; PhD, Yale University) is Associate Professor in the Department of European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Stony Brook University (SUNY). He is the author of Le armi della ragione: contributo allo studio dell’opera teatrale di Vico Faggi (1997) and Essays über Petrarca (2006, with Olaf Müller), and has edited two essay collections, Futurismo: Impact and Legacy (2011) and Italy from Without (2013).

  • About Leo S. Olschki Editore

    Leo S. Olschki Editore (Florence) is one of Italy's oldest and most respected publishers of critical works in the humanities.

© 2017 by Paul Holberton publishing