Dead Nuccio Ordine, cultural historian –

Dead Nuccio Ordine, cultural historian -



A great scholar of the Renaissance and of Giordano Bruno capable of intersecting various disciplines, he was a professor of Italian literature at the University of Calabria and collaborator of the cultural pages of Corriere and Nave di Teseo. He was 65 years old

Nuccio Ordine, who passed away on Saturday 10 June at the age of 65, he embodied the figure of the essayist, i.e. that of a connoisseur who is not arid and closed in university specialization as an end in itself, but of a French stamp, capable of dealing with a vast field of knowledge and of knowing how to communicate it. He was born in Diamante, one of the most beautiful towns on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria, known for its cedars and Turkish raids, in 1958. Despite being a sincere pro-European, indeed, a scholar who favored research on themes and personalities from European interest, he remained to teach Italian Literature and Theory of Literature at the University of Arcavacata in Calabria and was very attached to his land. He was also a fellow of the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies and of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung and lectured at the Sorbonne. Milan had almost become a second city due to the close ties with Corriere della Sera as a collaborator on the cultural pages and with the publishing houses directed by Elisabetta Sgarbi, and had relations with Rome as a member of the scientific committee of the Treccani Encyclopaedia.

His figure is not only that of a literary historian but of cultural historian, an extended area that post-modernity has made very fascinating and that Ordine visited with ability and relationships. Her studies can be defined within at least two areas: that of post-Warburg scholars on the Renaissance as regards the topics and that which followed the historiographic revolution of Les Annales as regards the methods of investigation of the past. His models or travel companions are all French: from Attali (but Ordine never took on political or executive positions) to Fumaroli and Morin, while in Italy we can include him among the followers of Umberto Eco, also for the relationship he established with Bompiani, first, and La nave di Teseo, then, as editor of cultural history series. He directed others in France, with Yves Hersant, at Les Belles Lettres and in several other countries with generosity and even bulimia. A commitment, connected to a communication and communication skills which earned him academic recognition, an infinite number of prizes, a vast medal collection of honors, an inexhaustible list of doctorates and degrees honoris causa and the membership in various academies.

Order known to scholars for his works on the Renaissance and on Giordano Bruno, which by biography and obscurity has been a fascination for many scholars since at least 1964, when Frances A. Yates published an illuminating book: Giordano Bruno and the hermetic tradition. A book like The Threshold of the Shadow. Literature, philosophy and painting in Giordano Bruno (Marsilio, 2003) gave evidence of ability of the Order to intersect various disciplines, skills that were recognized with his appointment as President of the International Center for Telesian, Brunian and Campanellian Studies. In studies on the Renaissance, his works – also on dialogue and the sixteenth-century novella – constituted an alternative to those of the Florentine school of Vasoli, Fubini, Grayson (more related to studies on Leona Battista Alberti) and, in general, to those of the pupils of Eugenio Garin as well as Michele Ciliberto, Paolo Rossi, Rita Sturlese and others. A preface by Garin however present in The cabala of the donkey. Asinit and knowledge in Giordano Bruno, a book that brought him attention in 1987. Order of studies also Pierre de Ronsard, Gabriel Garca Mrquez and Steiner (George Steiner. The inconvenient guestLa nave di Teseo, 2022): precisely in Ordine, Steiner gave his last interview to be published posthumously.

That of order was an extraordinary free and solitary ride of an outsider, not tied to schools or coming from particular pedigrees and who has not, in turn, founded a school. In the recent The utility of the useless published by Bompiani (23 languages, translated into 33 countries with paragraphs ranging from Rousseau to Shakespeare, from Ovid to Montaigne), Ordine reaffirmed the necessity of that knowledge whose essential value is totally free from utilitarian purposes. The last articles about him were devoted to The wall and the books by Borges against the construction of walls, juvenile justice and Galileo just a few days ago (in the column Classically for Reading #601 of June 4).

June 11, 2023 (change June 11, 2023 | 00:36)


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