Pavese — the attentive reader of New Science. On myth in the works of Cesare Pavese and Giambattista Vico
The two recently found copies of different editions of New Science, that were in Cesare Paves’s possession, prove that this Italian writer was deeply and lively interested in Vico’s masterpiece. They bear traces of his meticulous reading. They are full of underscores, notes at the margin, commentaries written by his hand. These books had a great impact on his writing. It is clearly visible that many themes, motifs he made his own and which later even became a sort of trademarks of his, he had borrowed from Vico. That was the name that recurred with quite a great frequency in many of his works, especially in his diaries The Burning Brand. The thought of the eighteenth-century philosopher was essential for formation of Pavese’s understanding of myth — the concept that was very fundamental to a vast majority of his works, poetic as well as prosaic. First edition of New Science is also the book in which one should look for the source of Pave’s gesture of preferring Vico’s “laborious contemplation” (aspra meditazione) to cool rationality — the one that remained foreign to his refl ection and work. Thanks to the availability of the copies of Scienza Nuova Prima and Scienza Nuova Seconda annotated by Pavese, one has an opportunity to study relationship, yet widely recorded by numerous scholars, between these two Italian authors in a much more comprehensive way. In the light of new sources, previously obscure, details yet unkonwn of this intellectual fascination have been revealed.