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Come un fulgore azzurro: Umberto Saba and the Verdian Sound of Italy


This article probes the political contours of the fascination that the Italian poet Umberto Saba (1883-1957) had for the composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901).  Born in Trieste in the late 19th century, when the city was still a province of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Saba aspired to participate in the Italian literary tradition. Saba profoundly identified with Verdi, whom he saw as a symbol of Italy itself. Through a close analysis of the textual and intellectual influence of the composer on Saba's poetry, I argue that Verdi is decisive in Saba's struggle to shape his Italian national identity.

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