Alessandro Manzoni's I promessi sposi: A Chaste Novel and an Erotic Palimpsest
University of Exeter
The Modern Language Review
Modern Humanities Research Association
In I promessi sposi, Manzoni avoids love scenes, fearing that some readers might relive them with excessive intensity. This article focuses on twentieth-century writers and critics who introduced erotic elements in their rewriting or rereading of the novel. Their eroticization of Manzoni was often prompted by satirical intentions or a taste for desecration. Yet writers such as Alberto Moravia and Mario Soldati and critics such as Vittorio Spinazzola and Paolo Valesio have glimpsed in the novel the erotic elements that Manzoni had tried to suppress, and used this perception to express the changed sensitivities of their own time.
This article is part of a larger project supported by an AHRC grant.