The volume is composed of 5 essays. Three of these, previously unpublished, deal with topics related to Ruskin’s prose from a stylistic and rhetorical-contextual perspective. In ch.1 I deal with the reception of Ruskin’s art critical work Modern Painters in the last two centuries, through an analysis of 19th-century reviews and literary articles to 20th-century literary criticism, accounting for the debates concerning the codification that tended to canonize Ruskin’s literary qualities founding the definition on the dichotomy between communicative and artistic function in language. In ch.2 I introduce and discuss J. Lotman’s “semiosphere”, as a semiotic model to be applied to Ruskin’s multi-volume work, Modern Painters, a text which I presents itself as a “semiotic continuum full of formations of different kinds and arranged at various levels of organization”. In ch. 3 I consider Ruskin’s assumptions on rhetoric and his use of some figures in relation to some 19th century handbooks informed his rhetorical education. Ch. 4 provides an intertexual reading of some of Ruskin’s prose passages and R. Browning’s poetry. It was previously published as “‘L’infinito nel finito’: Riflessioni sull’arte nelle opere e nel carteggio di Browning e Ruskin”, in Annali di Ca’ Foscari, XXX, 1-2, 1991, pp. 297-316. Ch. 5 deals with translation issues and is divided into two parts. In part 1 I deal with the appropriation of Ruskin’s work through translation in Italy and France in the first decades of the 20th century, by analyzing the texts and of the paratexts in the Italian and French versions, and finally drawing a typology of the modes in which this cultural appropriation took place in the two countries. In part 2 I analyse S. Quasimodo’s version of La Bibbia d’Amiens, considering the cultural operation he made in his version of Ruskin’s Bible of Amiens, whose undertext is argue to be largely indebted to Marcel Proust’s earlier translation in French. In the appendix I provide an annotated bibliography of all the Italian translations of Ruskin’s works from 1860 to 2000. Ch. 5 has been republished in L’eredità di John Ruskin nella cultura italiana del Novecento, D. Lamberini (ed.), Firenze, Nardini, 2006, pp. 221-246 (v. ID 1391821).
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