Grazia Deledda

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Grazia Deledda
Grazia Deledda 1926.jpg
Born (1871-09-27)27 September 1871
Nuoro, Italy
Died 15 August 1936(1936-08-15) (aged 64)
Rome, Italy
Occupation Writer, novelist
Nationality Italian
Literary movement Realism, Decadence
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Literature
1926

Grazia Deledda (27 September 1871 – 15 August 1936) was an Italian writer who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926 "for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general".[1] She was the first Italian woman to receive this honor.[2]

Biography[edit]

Born in Nuoro, Sardinia into a middle-class family, she attended elementary school and then was educated by a private tutor (a guest of one of her relatives) and moved on to study literature on her own. Grazia started writing at a very young age. She was inspired by the Sardinian peasants and their struggles.

The first novel she wrote and published was Fiori di Sardegna" meaning Flower of Sardinia. This novel was published in 1892. Some of her very first works were inspired by her father who told her to pursue and publish her writing at the young age of thirteen. She first published some pieces in the fashion magazine L'ultima moda when it still published works in prose and poetry. Nell'azzurro, published by Trevisani in 1890, might be considered as her first work. Her family was unsupportive of her desire to write as it went against the social norms of the patriarchal system.[3] Possibly due to this, she published a novel, Stella d’Oriente, under the pseudonym Ilia di Saint-Ismael.[4] Here works seemed to focus on portraying the harsh realities and lifestyles combining imaginary and autobiographical moments. Her novels tend to criticize social values and moral norms rather than the people who are victims of the circumstances.

Still between prose and poetry are, among the first works, Paesaggi sardi, published by Speirani in 1896. In 1900, after having married Palmiro Madesani, functionary of the Ministry of War met in Cagliari in the October 1899, the writer moved to Rome and after the publishing of Anime oneste in 1895 and of Il vecchio della montagna in 1900, plus the collaboration with magazines La Sardegna, Piccola rivista and Nuova Antologia, her work began to gain critical interest. She had two sons and lived a quiet life occupied by her writing.[5] She was a very prolific writer publishing, on average, a novel a year.[6]

In 1903 she published her first real success, Elias Portolu that confirmed her as a writer and started her work as a successful writer of novels and theatrical works: Cenere (1904), L'edera (1908), Sino al confine (1911), Colombi e sparvieri (1912), Canne al vento (1913) -her most well known book in Italy-, L'incendio nell'oliveto (1918), Il Dio dei venti (1922).

Cenere was the inspiration for a movie with the famous Italian actress Eleonora Duse.

Grazia Deledda received the Nobel Prize in 1926 in Literature. Her response in winning the prize was Già! (Already!) As though she had been waiting for this for some time. Deledda is very protective of her daily writing and the routine that comes along with it. Her schedule was exactly the same seven days a week including: a late breakfast, a few hours of reading, lunch followed by a nap (la pausa) and of course ending the day with a few hours of writing. Grazia happened to receive the Nobel Prize almost exactly a year after Benito Mussolini dropped the charade of constitutional rule of the favor of Fascism. Mussolini himself wished to give Grazia a portrait of himself, and he signed it with “profound admiration.” With this string of fame, came a slew of journalists and notable photographers whom she allowed into her home to learn about her. Her beloved pet crow, Checcha was irritated by the commotion of people coming in and out. “If Checcha has had enough, so have I,” quotes Deledda.

Even though she was becoming old she continued to write. "La Case del Poeta" and "Sole L'Estate" are too of her collections of short stories she wrote during this time frame. She showcases her optimistic view of life regardless of the fact that was suffering from on the most painful illnesses. Grazia believes that life is beautiful and serene, unaltered by personal suffering; man and nature are reconciled in order to overcome physical and spiritual hardship. Grazia's later works evidently show how mankind and faith in God are a beautiful thing.

She died in Rome at the age of 64 of breast cancer. La chiesa della solitudine (1936), Deledda's last novel, is a semi-autobiographical depiction of a young Italian woman coming to terms with her breast cancer. A completed manuscript of the novel "Cosima" (1937) was discovered after her death and published posthumously.[7]

Her work has been highly regarded by Luigi Capuana and Giovanni Verga plus some younger writers such as Enrico Thovez, Pietro Pancrazi, Renato Serra, and later until today by Sardinian writers such as Sergio Atzeni, Giulio Angioni, Salvatore Mannuzzu, starters of the so-called Sardinian Literary Spring.

Work[edit]

A portrait of Grazia Deledda

The life, customs, and traditions of the Sardinian people are prominent in her writing.[8] She relies heavily on geographical description and details and her work is most often concerned with transgressions.[9] Many of her characters are social outcasts that struggle in silence and isolation.[10] Deledda's whole work is based on strong facts of love, pain and death upon which rests the feeling of sin and of an inevitable fatality.

In her works we can recognize the influence of the verism of Giovanni Verga and, sometimes, also that of the decadentism by Gabriele D'Annunzio.

In Deledda's novels there is always a strong connection between places and people, feelings and environment. The environment depicted is mostly that one harsh of native Sardinia, but it is not depicted according to regional veristic schemes neither according to the otherworldly vision by D'Annunzio, but relived through the myth.

Deledda has not gained much recognition as a feminist writer potentially due to her themes of women’s pain and suffering as opposed to women’s autonomy.[11]

Complete list of Works[edit]

With her husband and son, Rome circa 1905

[12]

More information[edit]

Ebooks[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grazia Deledda (Italian author). britannica.com
  2. ^ Hallengren, Anders. "Grazia Deledda: Voice of Sardinia". Nobel Media. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Amoia, Alba Della Fazia. 20th-century Italian Women Writers: The Feminine Experience. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1996. Print.
  4. ^ Amoia, Alba Della Fazia. 20th-century Italian Women Writers: The Feminine Experience. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1996. Print.
  5. ^ Migiel, Marilyn. "Grazia Deledda." Italian Women Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. By Rinaldina Russell. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994. 111-117. Print.
  6. ^ Migiel, Marilyn. "Grazia Deledda." Italian Women Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. By Rinaldina Russell. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994. 111-117. Print.
  7. ^ Hallengren, Anders. "Grazia Deledda: Voice of Sardinia". Nobel Media. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Migiel, Marilyn. "Grazia Deledda." Italian Women Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. By Rinaldina Russell. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994. 111-117. Print.
  9. ^ Migiel, Marilyn. "Grazia Deledda." Italian Women Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. By Rinaldina Russell. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994. 111-117. Print.
  10. ^ Migiel, Marilyn. "Grazia Deledda." Italian Women Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. By Rinaldina Russell. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994. 111-117. Print.
  11. ^ Migiel, Marilyn. "Grazia Deledda." Italian Women Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. By Rinaldina Russell. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1994. 111-117. Print.
  12. ^ http://artflsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/efts/textdbs/iww/editionidx.pl?edition_auth_codes=A0014
  • Attilio Momigliano, Intorno a Grazia Deledda, in Ultimi studi, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1954.
  • Emilio Cecchi, Grazia Deledda, in Prosatori e narratori, in Storia della letteratura italiana, Il Novecento, Milano, Garzanti, 1967.
  • Antonio Piromalli, Grazia Deledda, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1968.
  • Natalino Sapegno, Prefazione a Romanzi e novelle, Milano, Mondadori, 1972.
  • Giulio Angioni, Grazia Deledda, l'antropologia positivistica e la diversità della Sardegna, in Grazia Deledda nella cultura contemporanea, Nuoro, 1992, 299–306; Introduzione, Tradizioni popolari di Nuoro, Bibliotheca sarda, Nuoro, Ilisso, 2010.

Voice Recording[edit]

The voice of Grazia Deledda speaking (in Italian) at the Nobel Prize Ceremony in 1926.

External links[edit]