Vol. 10 (2021)

“Io, l’italiano bastardo malato di encefalite letargica”. Emanuel Carnevali: se la malattia invalida la vita ma ispira la poesia

Antonella Landi
Università di Firenze
Published December 9, 2021
  • American Poetry,
  • Disease and Literature,
  • Emanuel Carnevali,
  • “Lost Generation”


This study explores the relation between poetry and disease in Emanuel Carnevali, an Italian poet who emigrated to the United States when he was seventeen and wrote his autobiography, poems, essays and short stories in English. Virtually unknown in Italy, Carnevali became famous in America within the group of poets called the “Lost Generation”. His life was significantly affected by various diseases, above all lethargic encephalitis, which disabled him for twenty years and eventually led to his death. My short article attempts to a better understanding of how   his condition affected his poetry, analysing the new translation of a most representative poem, “Sick Men’s Hymn”.


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