Other Literary Forms
Giosuè Carducci had a long career as a scholarly critic as well as a poet and combined the two activities well. He wrote many volumes of literary history and criticism and edited several editions of Italian authors, including Petrarch and Politian. His two volumes on Giuseppe Parini have been called “the most impressive monument of his indefatigable industry.” His best-known essays include “Di alcune condizioni della presente letteratura,” “Dello svolgimento della letteratura nazionale,” “Del rinnovamento letterario in Italia,” and “Confessioni e battaglie.” The major fault in his prose, as in his poetry, is a tendency toward bombast, though at his best he was the finest essayist of his time. Often asked to speak on public occasions, he displayed disciplined classical eloquence, speaking on Vergil, Dante, Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Alessandro Manzoni, and Giacomo Leopardi. His greatest speech, delivered in Bologna on June 4, 1882, was his extemporaneous eulogy for Giuseppe Garibaldi, who had died two days previously: “Per la morte di Giuseppe Garibaldi” (on the death of Giuseppe Garibaldi). All his nonfiction, as well as his poetry, is collected in his complete works, Opere complete (1940).