Berchet, Giovanni

Berchet, Giovanni

Berchet, Giovanni (jōvänˈnē bĕrkĕtˈ), 1783–1851, Italian patriot and poet. He conspired to free Lombardy from Austria and was exiled. He wrote stirring patriotic ballads of a romantic type and rhymed romances, such as Giulia and Matilde.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Berchet, Giovanni


Born Dec. 23, 1783, in Milan; died Dec. 23, 1851, in Turin. Italian poet.

Berchet was one of the founders of Italian romanticism. In his “Half-serious Letter From Golden Mouth to His Son” (1816), Berchet asserted that poetry should be national, reflect nature, and not depend on the rules of aesthetics of French classicism. Berchet’s poems are pervaded by motifs of the national liberation struggle; hatred for the Austrians, scorn for traitors, and pain for his enslaved homeland resound in them (in the narrative poem Refugees From Parga, published in 1823, and Romances, 1822–24). In his narrative poem Fantastic Dreams (1829), the inaction of Berchet’s contemporaries is contrasted to the glorious struggle waged by their forefathers. These lyric-epic works sometimes had a sentimental tone. There is a more courageous sound in the ode “To Arms” (1831). Berchet also wrote critical articles and translations.


Opere, vols. 1–2. Bari, 1911–12.


Storia della letteratura italiana, vol. 7. In L’Ottocento. Milan, [1969].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Poeti di grande rilevanza, come Ugo Foscolo--che puo considerarsi un precursore del Risorgimento Italiano--Giovanni Berchet, Giovanni Visconti Venosta e altri, vissero buona parte della loro vita in esilio, sia perche banditi politicamente dall'Italia sia per l'espatrio da loro stessi voluto.