Exploring new album’s concept /2

(for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, the first part is here)

Giacomo Leopardi was indeed a real genius but he also possessed an incredible culture. Personally, I think that there cannot be creativity without culture. Every artist should know what the others made before him, how they made it and why. This sets the starting point for creating new art. No one can really come out of the blue claiming he invented something new. It just doesn’t work like this. Read about all the biggest musicians, writers, painters and so on, and you’ll discover how much they studied before creating something able to cross the time and to be valuable even after centuries.

Ok, let’s head back to the main topic. :)

Leopardi made a deep analysis of the “Batrachomyomachia” and he translated it from ancient greek to italian three times during his life. This happened for various reasons: first of all there’s no way to know who is the author of the poem. For centuries many eggheads thought it was Homer, because the style is the same as the one of his better known epics, the Iliad and the Odissey.

Homer British Museum

But Giacomo Leopardi disagreed with this attribution for various stylistic and historical reasons. For exemple there are words in the “Batrachomyomachia” that Homer never used in both the Iliad and the Odissey, and no one seems to talk about this epic-comic poem before the III century B.C..

However, it’s still impossible to determine who the author is, and Leopardi thought that this is a shame because he really wanted to tribute all the honors to the genius who wrote that poem!

Then there are the reasons why someone would ever write about a war between frogs and mice. Various critics of the past found out quite a bunch of them:

- to teach the kids about the danger of riots;

- to teach the kids about the virtues of a frugal life;

- as a stylistic introduction to the Iliad and the Odissey.

But above all, the “Batrachomyomachia” is a big parody of the Iliad.The story, the characters, the gods, the weapons, the art of war, Homer’s writing style. Everything. And this makes it beautiful.

Jean Leclerc said that the reason for this parody to be written was that the war between frogs and mice was worth the gods’ intervention just like the Trojan War described by Homer. Giacomo Leopardi fully agreed with this vision of things.

But why three italian translations? Because Leopardi read the existing ones and found out they all sucked. Indeed. He was a perfectionist! :)

Uhm… this post is turning to be quite long and boring, so you’ll have to wait until the next one to know the story described in the “Batrachomyomachia”. Believe me, it’s really cool! :)

Stay tuned for more…


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