Nietzsche e Leopardi. «Il filosofo della conoscenza tragica»

The subtitle of my essay – Nietzsche e Leopardi. «Il filosofo della conoscenza tragica» – resumes a phrase that appears at the incipit of fragment 35 of the 19th Group of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Posthumous Fragments, dating from summer 1872 – early 1873. This is a fragment that, in my opinion, can be an effective start point to establish a line of Nietzsche’s confrontation with Giacomo Leopardi, without requiring a full discussion of the widely studied relationship. The phrase defines the philosopher, in his Greek excellence, but also in his timelessness. I will try to demonstrate how this fragment can be read together as a self-definition of the philosopher in Nietzsche and as an indicator of the philosophical specificity of Leopardi’s work. Nietzsche’s tension over the passage of the human being and his figuration of the last philosopher finds a possible similarity to what leads Leopardi to deal with the ‘ultra-philosophy’. But Leopardi, more and differently than Nietzsche, remains a «philosopher of tragic knowledge»: he survives with the poetic word to the «arido vero», that, «conoscendo l’intiero intimo delle cose», never permanently breaks the bonds with the «misterio grande» of the nature.