New PDF release: Il Barone Rampante

By Italo Calvino

Un ragazzo sale su di un albero, si arrampica tra i rami, passa da una pianta all'altra, make a decision che non scenderà più. L'autore del libro non ha fatto che sviluppare questa immagine e portarla alle estreme conseguenze: il protagonista trascorre l'intera vita sugli alberi...

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Sample text

Counterrevolution Because France’s overly powerful position disrupted the balance of power, the European war resumed in 1799. The allies of the “Second Coalition” aimed to reduce French dominance in Italy. At the same time, French exactions, the plundering of wealth and artworks, the identification of Italian Jacobins as pro-French traitors, and revolutionary anticlericalism inflamed the common people. In addition, the reception accorded to French reforms was not uniform; in many circles they provoked cultural conflict, resentment, and resistance.

Discussion centered on several elements that emphasized pride and national character. In their quest to understand the relationship between language and nationality, intellectuals debated the ideas of Neapolitan philosopher Giambattista Vico, a philosophical giant of the age. Vico’s student, Genovesi, challenged his colleagues by lecturing at the University of Naples in Italian. Genovesi’s reasoning was double-edged: as long as Latin, incomprehensible to most Italians, dominated education, there could be no mass education and no national solidarity, and no nation could develop an independent culture so long as its most important works were written in a foreign language.

The Directory pursued conservative domestic policies and exploited French revolutionary ideals to extend French influence abroad. This course created the premise for a fight with the Italians because they remained committed to Jacobinism after its defeat in France and resented French expansionism. In addition, France and the conservative European powers continued fighting during the years the Directory remained in power. These conflicts had important effects on Italy because the French first became dominant on the peninsula, then met defeat, and then returned for several years until their definitive downfall.

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