Essays and Dialogues cover

Essays and Dialogues

Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837)

1. Biographical Sketch, part 1
2. Biographical Sketch, part 2
3. History of the Human Race
4. Dialogue between Hercules and Atlas
5. Dialogue between Fashion and Death
6. Price Competition Announced by the Academy of Sillographs
7. Dialogue between a Goblin and a Gnome
8. Dialogue between Malambruno and Farfarello
9. Dialogue between Nature and a Soul
10. Dialogue between the Earth and the Moon
11. The Wager of Prometheus
12. Dialogue between a Natural Philosopher and a Metaphysician
13. Dialogue between Tasso and his Familiar Spirit
14. Dialogue between Nature and an Icelander
15. Parini on Glory, Chapters I-III
16. Parini on Glory, Chapters IV-VI
17. Parini on Glory, Chapters VII-IX
18. Parini on Glory, Chapters X-XII
19. Dialogue between Frederic Ruysch and his Mummies
20. Remarkable Sayings of Philip Ottonieri, Chapters I-III
21. Remarkable Sayings of Philip Ottonieri, Chapters IV-VII
22. Dialogue between Christopher Columbus and Pietro Gutierrez
23. Panegyric of Birds
24. The Song of the Wild Cock
25. Dialogue between Timandro and Eleandro
26. Copernicus, Scene I
27. Copernicus, Scene II
28. Copernicus, Scene III
29. Copernicus, Scene IV
30. Dialogue between an Almanac Seller and a Passer-by
31. Dialogue between Plotinus and Porphyrius
32. Comparison of the Last Words of Marcus Brutus and Theophrastus
33. Dialogue between Tristano and a Friend

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Summary

"We would no more choose to feed the minds of our countrymen and women with the despairing utterances of the pessimist poet, than we would their bodies with hasheesh. Such melancholy as his clothed in such eloquent words may be the luxury of the idle; it is poison to those who have work to do in the world. It shuts out hope, the very spring of energy; it makes the cheerful steady pursuit of duty a thing utterly beyond human powers. For we can none of us stand alone. Either in human or divine love we must find the mainspring of all life worth living. There must be something outside of ourselves which we regard not with despair, but with hope." -- Handwritten dedication in the book, dated Feb. 19th, 1883