Il funambolo sul precipizio. Leopardi verso Montaigne
The present essay takes as a starting point a quotation from Montaigne copied by Leopardi in his Zibaldone on the 23 October 1828, the same year in which he plans to write some “Essays after Montaigne”. This is the only quotation from Montaigne documented in Leopardi’s work, and, therefore, particularly important. Following this trace, the essay studies the affinities between Leopardi’s thought and Montaigne’s skepticism, particularly focussing on the Apologie de Raimond Sebond, a crucial texts of the Essays (II, 12), from where the quotation is taken. On the one hand Leopardi agrees with Montaigne on the critique of knowledge and imagination, on the other hand his skepticisn is tragic, not joyful as Montaigne’s. This different intellectual and moral stance is illustrated through an historical intepretation of the image of the funambulist, used by Leopardi in his comment on Montaigne’s text.