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Un romanzo per gli occhi. Manzoni, Caravaggio e la fabbrica del realismo

Presentation of the book by Daniela Brogi 
The author will be in conversation with Ann Caesar 

Fermo (Merisi) and Lucia (Aratori) were the parents’ names of Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio. 
Fermo e Lucia is also the title of the first draft of Alessandro Manzoni’s novel, which will later become I promessi sposi (The Betrothed).
From this curious coincidence, Daniela Brogi’s book compares Manzoni and Caravaggio by analysing their two “realisms” and their common interest for the obscure lives of “humble” people, who experience history before being overwhelmed by it. Manzoni’s writing, Brogi argues, has the ability to make the reader “see” the narrated world and “live” in that world, which described itself mostly through images.
The 1840 edition of The Betrothed – the last curated by the author – is in fact illustrated by 504 woodcut drawings, mostly by the Turinese painter Francesco Gonin but carefully conceived by Manzoni himself: an actual “novel for the eyes”.

This event will be held in Italian and English (in simultaneous translation).


Daniela Brogi is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University for Foreigners of Siena. Her main research interests include theories and forms of narrative in modern and contemporary literature, film studies and visual studies. She is the author of several studies about the Promessi sposi and collaborates with magazines and websites such as Alias, Doppiozero, L’indice dei libri del mese, Internazionale, Nazione Indiana.

Ann Caesar is Professor at the University of Warwick. She teaches and researches in the areas of nineteenth- and twentieth-century narrative, Literary Modernism, the History of Women’s Reading and the Nobel Prize winning Italian writer Luigi Pirandello. She taught in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Language at the University of Cambridge from 1984 to 1999. From 1985 to 1999 she was also a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. She joined the Department of Italian Studies at Warwick as a Professor in 1999.


  • Organizzato da: ICI London