Manzonian or Deamicisian?
The novelist Edmondo de Amicis (1846–1908) was an important figure in the discussions of standard literary Italian at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. In his influential book L’idioma gentile (1905), he advocated a compromise between two extreme positions, pro- and anti-Tuscan, towards the Questione della lingua or language-problem, which had been a subject of debate for over four hundred years. While supporting the claims of Tuscan usage to be regarded as a model, de Amicis rejected the doctrine favored by his fellow-novelist Alessandro Manzoni (the ‘soluzione manzoniana’) that the spoken language of the Florentine upper classes should be the only standard. Especially with regard to the value of dialects, de Amicis took a more liberal position than the extreme pro-Florentine purists of the 19th century. De Amicis exerted a strong influence, especially through the schools (where his works were widely read), and the actual solution to the problem of standard Italian after 1870 deserves to be called ‘deAmicisian’ rather than ‘Manzonian’.
Published online: 01 January 1982
Cited by 3 other publications
Hall, Robert A.
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de Amicis, Edmondo
Hall, Robert A., Jr.
Migliorini, Bruno, and T. Gwynfor Griffith