Giovanni Berchet

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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Giovanni Berchet, esiliati italiani, Ugo Foscolo, Risorgimento
He had already become one of the circle of Romantic revolutionary writers that included Vincenzo Monti, Ugo Foscolo, Giovanni Berchet, and Alessandro Manzoni, and in 1818 he collaborated in founding a liberal and patriotic newspaper, Il Conciliatore, of which he became editor.