Professor Luciano Parisi

Research interests


I am an expert in 19th- and 20th-century Italian literature, with an additional interest in contemporary culture. My first book, Borgese (2000) analyzes the work written by the novelist, literary scholar, travel writer and anti-Fascist political author Giuseppe Antonio Borgese (1882-1952), and shows how interconnected the different aspects of his literary prodution are.

My second and third books are devoted to the poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1872). Manzoni e Bossuet (2003) analyzes the ways in which Bossuet and other Catholic authors of seventeenth-century France inspired Manzoni. It is the main reference work on the influence of French Catholicism on Manzoni and a significant case study on the relationship between cultural tradition and individual creativity.

Come abbiamo letto Manzoni (2008) studies the ways in which Manzoni’s work has been interpreted in the 20th century. It highlights the connections between the questions more often asked about Manzoni’s work and the major concerns that have captured the attention of Italians in different periods of that century.

In Uno specchio infranto. Adolescenti e abuso sessuale nell’opera di Alberto Moravia (2013) I suggest that an unacknowledged story dominates the copious and still widely read literary production by Alberto Moravia (1907-1990). That story hints at the disastrous psychological effects of sexual abuse on children and adolescents. The lack of such an interpretation among previous scholars is in itself an interesting object of research: I analyze the social, political and religious assumptions that have prevented Moravia’s readers from noticing the narration of facts that were too shocking or ideologically disruptive to be accepted, even at a fictional level.  

I am now studying other narratives of child sexual abuse in recent Italian literature, and planning to write a monograph on Ippolito Nievo's Le confessioni di un italiano, a key text for the understanding of Italian identities in the nineteenth century.



Research collaborations

Schedario manzoniano internazionale, Catholic University in Milan

The Literary Encyclopedia