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A satyrical view of life by Giacomo Leopardi, probably the greatest Italian writer in the 19th century. A bitter pessimism, a true love for human existence.... The Small Moral Works are placed in a particular period of Leopardi's life. They were written in the phase of “poetic silence” in which Leopardi did not compose poems (1824-1828).
The work collects 24 prose (in the form of narration, discourse, or dialogue) of short dimensions, very different in style and structure. This great variety of styles, however, corresponds to a great consistency in the themes:
Mankind is on the periphery (dialogue between a goblin and a gnome, Copernicus)
The centrality of man in the cosmos is a mere illusion: Humanity could even disappear at any moment, and nobody would notice it.
A mechanistic and materialistic vision (dialogue of Nature and an Icelander)
There is no spiritual reality or any divine intervention: The world is born, exists, and will cease, for pure material and mechanical causes. Man is not at the center of the projects of a saving God, therefore his destiny and his present reality is unhappiness.