Tra nostalgia preindustriale, ghildismo e rinascita nazionale
Il pensiero sociale di Ruskin nel dibattito culturale italiano
Ruskin’s social criticism, which in Unto This Last (1862) harshly condemned the effects of industrialism by mythologizing medieval age and craftmanship, had a wide influence on social reformers of various political orientations. While his work as an art critic was promptly received in the Italian cultural debate, his social criticism found little audience, at least until the turn of the century, and anyway not in the sphere of economic and sociological culture. In this contribution I examine how the circulation of Ruskin’s social thought in the Italian cultural debate between the 19th and 20th centuries was inscribed in the renewed interest in the social function of art, advocated in the Florentine literary journal Il Marzocco with particular reference to the work of L. Tolstoj by young intellectuals such as U. Ojetti, A. Orvieto, and E. Corradini, as well as established critics as A. Conti.
Keywords: Transcultural history • Il Marzocco • Unto this Last • Lev Tolstoj’s reception in Italy • Nationalism • John Ruskin • National heritage