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By R. Casillo

This ebook locations Germaine de Stael's influential novel, Corrine, or Italy (1807) relating to previous and next stereotypes of Italy as visible within the works of Northern eu and American trip writers because the Renaissance.

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Additional resources for The Empire of Stereotypes: Germaine de Staël and the Idea of Italy

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116 Toward the end of the century R. 117 Among nineteenth-century British writers, John Chetwode Eustace, a visitor to Italy in the first decade, is probably one of the few British commentators to challenge the cliché of Italian indolence. The extensively cultivated fields of Northern Italy convince Eustace that the Italians are a “very laborious people” who, though they sleep in the afternoon because of the heat, continue their work in the evening. If they fail to benefit from their industry, it is because of their mistreatment by landlords and rulers.

The first encompasses the experience of death, terror, boundlessness, indefinition, and the moral struggle of the “masculine” ego and super-ego in the face of a chaotic, threatening nature. ” If the first points toward the “sublimation” and mastery of nature and the natural instincts for the sake of morality and duty, the second suggests a happy, though illusory, reconciliation between man and the external world. 71 On Literature combines its analysis of Italian national character and literature with a survey of Italian history from the Renaissance onward.

Their minds arrested by princes and priests, “save for a certain class of enlightened men,” the Italians have long lost their intellectual impetus 22 THE EMPIRE OF STEREOTYPES and even rejected the “mobile” power of philosophy from the North. Although they had “cleared the first passage in the road along which the human mind has since made such great progress . . ”73 On Literature adumbrates a key thematic that would come to stand at the center of Corinne—the opposition not simply between North and South but more specifically between England and Italy.

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