Vittorini, Elio

born July 23, 1908, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
died Feb. 13, 1966, Milan

Italian novelist, translator, and critic.

He left school at age 17 and later learned English while working as a proofreader. He became, with Cesare Pavese, a pioneer in translating the works of U.S. and English writers into Italian. His novels of Neorealism mirror Italy's experience of fascism and the social, political, and spiritual agonies of the 20th century. Conversation in Sicily (1941), which clearly expresses his antifascist feelings, is his most important novel.

* * *

▪ Italian author
born July 23, 1908, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
died Feb. 13, 1966, Milan

      novelist, translator, and literary critic, the author of outstanding novels of Italian Neorealism mirroring his country's experience of fascism and the social, political, and spiritual agonies of 20th-century man. With Cesare Pavese he was also a pioneer in the translation into Italian of English and American writers.

      The son of a railroad employee, Vittorini left school when he was 17, and six months later he became a road-construction worker in northern Italy. He then moved to Florence, learned English while working as a proofreader, and began to publish short stories in the journal Solaria. He made his living until 1941 by translating the works of such American and English writers as William Saroyan, D.H. Lawrence, Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, Daniel Defoe, and Ernest Hemingway, in addition to the British poets T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, and Louis MacNeice.

      Vittorini's first major novel, Il garofano rosso (written 1933–35, published 1948; The Red Carnation), while overtly portraying the personal, scholastic, and sexual problems of an adolescent boy, also conveys the poisonous political atmosphere of fascism. In 1936 Vittorini began writing his most important novel, Conversazione in Sicilia (1941, rev. ed. 1965; Eng. trans., Conversation in Sicily; U.S. title In Sicily), the clearest expression of his anti-fascist feelings. The action of the book is less important than the emotional agony of its hero, brought on by his constant consciousness of fascism, war, and the plight of his brothers.

      Recognizing the novel's power, the fascist government censored its serialization in Letteratura in 1936–38 and even withdrew an entire issue of that periodical from circulation. In 1942, after publication of the book, Vittorini was called in for questioning and finally was imprisoned in 1943. Released after the German occupation, he continued to fight fascism through the Resistance movement.

      After the war Vittorini published the influential politico-cultural periodical Il Politecnico (1945–47) and later edited the Milan literary quarterly Il Menabò with Italo Calvino. He then became head of the foreign-literature section of a major Italian publishing house.

      Among Vittorini's other important works are Uomini e no (1945; “Men and Non-Men”), an account of his Resistance experiences; the allegorical Marxist novel Il sempione strizza l'occhio al frejus (1947; The Twilight of the Elephant); and another allegory, Le donne di Messina (1949; Women on the Road). Vittorini's critical writings are collected in Diario in pubblico (1957; “Public Diary”) and the posthumously published Le due tensione: appunti per una ideologia della letteratura (1967; “The Two Tensions: Notes for an Ideology of Literature”).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vittorini, Elio — (1908–1966)    Born in 1908 in Syracuse (Sicily), Vittorini was one of the most influential editors and writers of postwar Italy. His first steps into the literary world came during the late 1920s, when he began to collaborate with Solaria, the… …   Historical Dictionary of modern Italy

  • Vittorini, Elio — ► (1908 66) Novelista italiano. Obras: Pequeña burguesía (1931) y Las mujeres de Messina (1949), entre otras. * * * (23 jul. 1908, Siracusa, Sicilia, Italia–13 feb. 1966, Milán). Novelista, traductor y crítico italiano. Dejó la escuela al los 17… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Vittorini, Elio — (Siracusa 1908 Milano 1966) scrittore e traduttore ; fondatore de “Il Politecnico”, fondatore e direttore con Italo Calvino de “Il Menabò”. collab./opere: “Solaria”, “L’Italia letteraria”, “Il Bargello”, “Campo di Marte”, “Letteratura”, “Pegaso” …   Dizionario biografico elementare del Novecento letterario italiano

  • Vittorini — Vittorini, Elio …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Vittorini — Elio Vittorini (* 23. Juli 1908 in Syrakus; † 12. Februar 1966 in Mailand) war ein italienischer Schriftsteller, Publizist und Übersetzer, einer der wichtigsten Vertreter des literarischen Neorealismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elio Vittorini — est un romancier italien, né le 23 juillet 1908 à Syracuse (Sicile), mort le 12 février 1966 à Milan. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Bibliographie 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elio Vittorini — (* 23. Juli 1908 in Syrakus; † 12. Februar 1966 in Mailand) war ein italienischer Schriftsteller, Publizist und Übersetzer, einer der wichtigsten Vertreter des literarischen Neorealismus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elio Vittorini — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Elio Vittorini (23 de julio de 1908, Siracusa, Sicilia 13 de febrero de 1966, Milán), novelista, traductor y crítico italiano. Biografía Hijo de un ferroviario, Sebastiano Vittorini, y de Lucia Sgandurra, Elio… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Elio Vittorini — (July 23, 1908 February 12, 1966) was an Italian writer and novelist. He was a contemporary of Cesare Pavese and an influential voice in the modernist school of novel writing. His best known work is the anti fascist novel Conversations in Sicily …   Wikipedia

  • VITTORINI (E.) — Vittorini publia ses premiers récits dans la page littéraire des journaux en 1927, deux ans après la promulgation des lois fascistes sur la presse. En 1941 1942, à quelques mois d’intervalle, la censure arrêta son anthologie intitulée Americana …   Encyclopédie Universelle

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.