Alexandre Deleyre, Agostino Paradisi il Giovane and the 1765 literary controversy over the (presumed) Italian decadence

Piero Venturelli


The present article takes into exam the French-Italian literary controversy that took place in 1765 and which, despite its brief duration, revived the national sentiment in a wide portion of the Italian cultured world. The dispute began in response to an anonymous "Lettre", although sent by the French Alexandre Deleyre (1726-1797), published on march 1765 in the Parisian journal "Gazette littéraire de l’Europe": according to the controversial Encyclopedist, eighteenth century Italy was in full moral, cultural, political and economic decadence. The Italian poet Agostino Paradisi il Giovane (1736-1783) sent to the Venetian journal «La Minerva» a very well informed anonymous "Epistola". It was printed on october 1765, and is to be considered the clearest and most thoughtful response from the Italian side to Deleyre’s denounces and accusations.


Alexandre Deleyre; Agostino Paradisi il Giovane; French-Italian literary controversy of 1765; 18th century journals; Illuminism

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2421-4124/8989


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