Camerini, Eugenio Salomone

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CAMERINI, EUGENIO SALOMONE (1811–1875), Italian literary critic. He studied at the universities of Pisa and Naples. He then became active in the establishment of schools for Jewish youth, who would otherwise have been denied a secular education. He remained devoted to the cause of Jewish emancipation. A pupil of the philologist Basilio Puoti, he was compelled to leave Naples because of his liberal ideas and his patriotic activities from 1848. He became a literary journalist in Turin and contributed to the periodical Il Crepuscolo. He also took part in the Piedmontese political and cultural movement advocating the unification of Italy. Camerini's critical writings were directed against the use of dialect – very common among the playwrights of his day – and toward the development of a written language resembling colloquial Italian. In 1859 he moved to Milan, where he lived until his death. There he supervised the Biblioteca rara and I Fiori della letteratura, and the Sonzogno series, Biblioteca classica economica. This, with Camerini's informative introductions to first-class translations, was instrumental in introducing Italian and foreign classics to the reading public. Camerini's works, which stand witness to the breadth and eclecticism of his culture, include a study of Petrarch (1837); Profili lettarari (1870), the first essays of their kind in Italian; I precursori del Goldoni (1872); and Nuovi profili lettarari (1875–76). Camerini's edition of Dante's Divina Commedia was very popular for many years. His correspondence with writers was partly published by C. Rosa (1882).


Del Vecchio, in: Giornale storico della letteratura italiana, 104 (1934), 84–94; G. Laini, I secoli della letteratura italiana nelle ricerche e nei giudizi di E. Camerini (1933).

[Giorgio Romano]