Leopardi and translation

  • second annual seminar
  • March 2001

All great poetry feeds on translation and on the encounter with other languages and traditions.  The seminar will focus on the figure of Leopardi, as poet and translator from Greek and Latin, but also on the theoretical questions which every translator of poetry has to confront.

All of the three speakers are experienced translators and/or have reflected at length on the issues involved; two of them have published verse or prose collections of their own.  Their intention is to illustrate the problems they have faced in their own work as translators or their reflection on translation, and to stimulate a free and open discussion on the topic, always with Leopardi as the main point of reference.

  • Antonio Prete La riflessione di Leopardi sul tradurre
  • Jean-Charles Vegliante Tradurre (a) L’infinito (PDF)
  • Franco D’Intino Le traduzioni poetiche di Leopardi


Antonio Prete is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Siena.He is the author of fundamental studies on Leopardi, from Il pensiero poetante (1980) to Finitudine e Infinito (1998). He has translated Baudelaire, Valéry, Jabès, Char and others (L’ospitalità della lingua, 1997) and is founding editor of the literary magazine Il gallo silvestre.He has recently published a collection of short stories, L’imperfezione della luna (2000).

Jean-Charles Vegliante lectures at the Sorbonne and runs the Centre Interdisciplinaire sur la Culture des Echanges (CIRCE) as well as the book series ‘Gli italiani all’estero’.He is a poet and translator as well as a critic; his recent publications include D’écrire la traduction (essays, 1996), La traduction-migration (2000) and a translation into French of Dante’s Purgatorio (1999). A volume of his poems has been translated into English as Will there be promises… (2000).

Franco D’Intino is Director of the Leopardi Centre at Birmingham, and has paid particular attention in his numerous essays to the interface between Leopardi and his European contemporaries. His edition of Leopardi’s translations from Greek and Latin poetry (G. Leopardi, Poeti greci e latini) was published in 1999.