Leopardi, poet and philosopher, explores in humorous but savage dialogue the power of fashion and its strange irrationality. He also imagines conversations between Hercules and Atlas, Nature and an Icelander, and the Earth and the Moon, as well as producing a simple essay praising the humble bird. GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
Giacomo Leopardi was born in the Papal States in 1798 and died of cholera in Naples in 1837. One of the greatest Italian poets, he was also a prose writer of genius, his strange, nihilistic work being drawn together in the Zibaldoni, from which this selection is taken.