The article deals with the problem of Alexander Pushkin’s reception in the 19 th century Italy. In the first half of the century, during the years of national liberation movement, Italian intellectuals were concerned with the question of national identity and with the search for common cultural grounds of the Italian nation. In Italy, a country that for various reasons felt a certain affinity with Russian culture, patriotic intellectuals considered Pushkin as a model national poet. “Italian” Pushkin was perceived through a set of stereotypes failing to form a coherent image. At the same time, his reception was not free from mythologization that made his image fit into the context of European and Italian Romanticism. In the second half of the 19 th century, Pushkin’s myth inspired two plays, “Alessandro Puschin” by V. Carrera and “Puschin” by P. Cossa. The plays combining biographical facts with concepts and images drawn from Pushkin’s own, works model the image of the Russian poet in accordance with the Romantic myth albeit including contradictory, even incompatible elements. Pushkin is represented as a Romantic poet of Byronic type, an integral part of European literary tradition; nevertheless, both playwrights emphasize Pushkin’s national identity, his close ties with Russian language and folk poetry and above all, point out his exotic African origin. Not only Carrera’s and Cossa’s plays retranslate Italian myths related to Alexander Pushkin, they also show which Pushkin’s works were better known in Italy at the beginning of the 1870s (mostly his Romantic poems such as The Gypsies).
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