Italy Literature – The Comedy

The comedy . – According to Itypeauto, the comic theater had essentially remained in the seventeenth century as the sixteenth century had shaped it, a theater of intrigue modeled on classical comedies, nor had it had the fortune of talents that gave it the marks of artistic nobility. The comedians of occasion had been replaced by professional comedians, the custom of improvised acting on the plot of a canvas had prevailed and certain comic types had become fixed, the masks; thus was born the commedia dell’arte (v.), which also took place around the old motifs treated by erudite playwrights and even the classics, clinging around them buffoonish scenes.

Alongside the comedy with arms, written comedy livened up, sensing its influence in the use of dialects, in the abundance of antics, in a certain ease of dialogue; qualities found in the theater of Giambattista Andreini, son of two famous art comedians, Francesco and Isabella. Giacinto Andrea Cicognini, on the other hand, had Spanish models present in writing his comedies, from which he encouraged formal changes: the division into three acts and the violation of the units. Probably hers is the  Stone Guest , which for the first time brings to the Italian scene, taking it from the  Burlador de Sevilla by Tirso de Molina, the figure of the libertine Don Giovanni. Florentine, as well as by birth, also in his literary production is Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger, a pedant of genius, an expression of local rather than Italian spirits, who while he proposed to prepare linguistic materials for the Vocabulary, succeeded in  the Fair , an enormous heap of scenes unrelated to a representation, not devoid of a certain realistic efficacy, albeit alien to any effort of artistic synthesis, of the Florentine reality of a fair, and  the tradition of popular country theater continued in the Tancia  .

The Florentine Giambattista Fagiuoli, whose lyrical and dramatic pleasures worthily accompanied the agony of the Medici grand duchy, barely belongs to “Italian” literature, like any burlesque or family or burchiellesco versifier. His farces and comedies with a simple and clear texture, realistic images of popular life, deserve a memory together with the comedies in dialect of the Milanese Carlo Maria Maggi and the Lodi Francesco di Lemene, as not unfortunate attempts at a comedy of character and character. of custom, which at the beginning of the century. XVIII was opposed, not always with a clear conscience of purpose, to the coarse and strangely enveloped sudden and Spanish comedies. With a broader view of the human consortium, Don Pilone  is a Tuscan transvester of the  Tartufe  del Molière. But the great renovator of the comic theater in the century. XVIII was Carlo Goldoni, who, son of the most characteristically eighteenth-century of the cities of Italy, Venice, brought to the stage the life of his time in all the variety of its multiform aspects with a representation that often is colored with indulgent satire.

The Goldoni . – The so-called Goldonian reform of comic theater arises spontaneously from that spirit, led by nature to the observation of social life and to a comic vision of everything that offends common sense and good taste; not from that awareness and from those critical intentions that Goldoni himself liked to narrate and reason in the prefaces to his comedies and in his most amiable  Memoirs of him, theorizing what has already been done.

Goldoni began writing for the public Venetian scenes tragicomedies, tragedies, comedies with a subject, dramas for music and comic interludes, in which the latter timidly manifested the specific qualities of his genius. Then he gradually ascended from  Momolo cortesan , the first experiment in a comedy of a character written only in the part of the main actor and left to improvisation in the rest, and from  Donna di garbo , the first comedy that Goldoni wrote in its entirety, where there is it is still much of the scenario but the witty, mischievous, dominatrix woman already bursts on the theater from the eighteenth-century life, to the miracle of the sixteen comedies (1750-51), among which is the  Bottega del caffè, tasty ambient painting, enlivened by a row of comic specks headed by Don Marzio, to  the Loc Bandiera , all luminous with the honest, lively, mischievous smile of Mirandolina, to the  Rusteghi , to the  Casa nova , to the  Curioso accidente , to the  Barufe chiozzotte , to the graceful and easy interweaving of the  Fan , to the agile and perfect structure of the  Bourru bienfaisant , admirable of temper between pathetic and comic.

From his own cases, from people seen, from anecdotes observed in reality, Goldoni with admirable fruitfulness of inventions, with true creative impetus, gives rise to simple and natural intertwining, characters full of life, countless comic situations. In his plays the action usually unfolds quickly and without hindrance or complications; the characters, drawn in their fundamental notes from the very first scenes, are determined and colored, true engines of the action, as the threads of the plot tangle and dissolve; a perennial vein of festivity gushes from the writer’s intimate gaiety. Not all, as we know, the hundred and many comedies that Goldoni wrote in prose and verse, in common language and in dialect, with or without masks, are models of the genre; indeed many there are poor and some are even bad, unsophisticated in the fable, faded in the dialogue, with barely sketched characters; yet also in these the essential notes of art emerge here and there, which means the soul of Goldoni. Bringing life onto the scene without altering or marring its aspects: such was his canon of art; but life becomes comedy, after that good peaceful soul has relived it, in love with the just and honest, incapable of deep indignation and profound exaltation, tempered in reproach, ready to transform praise into affectionate tenderness. Some trace of the old classical tradition is also in Goldoni’s comedy; but his true classicism is in the sharpness of the structure, in the clear light that illuminates the characters, in the artistic formation, in short, of that naturalness and that truth which were by now a need for art,

So it is that only late, in the second half of the century. XIX, new creators appeared in the wake of art marked by Goldoni. His immediate followers, Francesco Albergati, Giovan Gherardo De Rossi, Alberto Nota and, least dull of all, Giovanni Giraud, give only the historical confirmation of that need. Other trends in art, a new love of the fantastic narrative, the intention to create a new type of popular literature, the inclination to mix the serious with the humorous, the sentimental with the comic, transpired then in the works of those who opposed Venice to the theatrical renewal brought to maturity by the genius of Goldoni. There is not much reference to Pietro Chiari, a great troublemaker, according to that he wanted fashion, of letters, dialogues, short stories, novels, Fiabe  del Gozzi the ingenious conceptions fail to be forms of art that are compatible with the mediocre taste of the time.

Italy Literature - The Comedy