In defence of Italian language and theatre: Francesco Salfi e Mademoiselle Raucourt

Author/s Vittorio Criscuolo
Publishing Year 2023 Issue 2023/1 Language Italian
Pages 35 P. 7-41 File size 360 KB
DOI 10.3280/RISO2023-001001
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In November 1798 the famous French actress Mademoiselle Raucourt, known for her legitimist beliefs, performed for a few evenings at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The performance of Voltaire’s Merope was cancelled due to public objections to a work deemed non-republican. The episode, never examined by scholars until now, is especially interesting for the article published in the "Termometro politico" by Francesco Salfi, who, in line with the programs of Italian jacobinism, reaffirmed the value of the national theatrical tradition and supported the need to defend the Italian language, as the main foundation of national consciousness, from the hegemony of French, in view of an extension of its use in the popular classes instead of dialects.

Keywords: Italian theatre and French theatre, national characters, Italian language, purism, gallicisms, Italian jacobinism

Vittorio Criscuolo, In difesa della lingua e del teatro italiani: Francesco Salfi e Mademoiselle Raucourt in "IL RISORGIMENTO" 1/2023, pp 7-41, DOI: 10.3280/RISO2023-001001