Carlo Dossi


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(1849–1910). The most famous and inventive of the Scapigliatura novelists. Born into the Lombard aristocracy and educated in Milan and Pavia, Carlo Alberto Pisani Dossi began his literary career at 16, when he and his friend Gigi Perelli co-authored two stories published together as Giannetto pregò un dì la mamma che il lasciasse andare alla scuola. In 1867 they founded the ambitious journal Palestra letteraria artistica e scientifica, whose contributors were to include Rovani, Carducci, Francesco Guerrazzi, and Settembrini. Perelli brought Dossi into contact with the Milanese Scapigliatura, and in particular with Giovanni Rovani. Dossi admired him as the equal of Manzoni and wrote an unfinished study published posthumously as Rovaniana. But thanks to his wealth, and his character, he was able to maintain a personal and aesthetic distance from the movement. In 1872 he began a diplomatic career in Rome, which he abandoned almost immediately, only to resume it in 1877. He married in 1892 and became consul general first in Bogotà and three years later in Athens. Both postings allowed him to pursue a passion for archaeology. He retired upon Crispi's death in 1901.


From The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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