The guiding idea of this book and its relationship to the Philosophy of Art or Esthetics is clearly explained on the last page. The second part of the volume, which contains the postscripts, may be considered as a relaxed conversation after the tension of the theoretical exposition. It dwells on some particular points in an effort to document, specify, and exemplify them. I felt that this part may be useful to scholars and, therefore, decided to add it.
In writing this book I have constantly kept in mind the teaching I received, since my earliest years, from the works of both Francesco De Sanctis and Giosuè Carducci -- two masters who, in various ways, have contributed to the development of a purer and deeper consciousness of poetry in the Italians. Therefore, my dedication of this book to their memory was a spontaneous act. In the course of my work I felt that I was addressing myself to them, asking questions of them and waiting for their approval of the ideas I was expounding. I kept imagining that I would also have such approval whenever dealing with problems they had never considered or whenever departing from their own conceptions.
Meana di Susa, September 1935.
In the third edition additions were made to the postscripts which constitute the second part of the volume.