Mezey, Caroline Frances (1986)
The life and work of Dino Campana (1885-1932).
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Campana's Life and Work form the two main sections of my thesis.
In the first part, I reconstruct the chronology of Campana's life against the background of his times. There were, hitherto, considerable periods in the poet's life which were either unknown, or reconstructed through hearsay in the absence of original documentation. In the course of my research both in Italy (Marradi, Florence, Bologna, Rome), and Switzerland (Lugano), I was able to discover many unpublished documents, some of which fill in gaps, others which challenge the previously accepted chronology. Some of these documents I have published in two articles (The Modern Language Review, October 1983, and Italian Studies,1985) which I am attaching to this thesis; others I have transcribed in an Appendix.
In the study of Campana's work, I examine successive publications of his poems and compare them with some original manuscripts, now in the hands of relatives or in archives and libraries in Italy. I discuss the phenomenon of Variants and other aspects of Campana's method of work which contributed to the many disparities found in successive publications. A comparative table of Il Piu Lungo Giorno and the Canti Orfici is a major part of this thesis. Il Piu Lungo Giorno, lost in 1913 and not found until 1971 has hitherto been surprisingly neglected, although it enables us to trace Campana's poetic development over a crucial phase of his career.
I have limited my study of the Canti Orfici to two poems which help to distinguish the various phases of Campana's development and show the emergence of ideas which appear characteristic of his mature art.
In conclusion I look at changing attitudes to Campana, from 1914 to the present day.
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Institution: University of London, Bedford College (United Kingdom).