Antonio Fogazzaro

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Antonio Fogazzaro
Born(1842-03-25)25 March 1842
Died7 March 1911(1911-03-07) (aged 68)
OccupationPoet, novelist
Notable worksThe Little World of the Past (1895), The Saint (1905)

Antonio Fogazzaro (Italian pronunciation: [anˈtɔːnjo foɡatˈtsaːro]; 25 March 1842 – 7 March 1911) was an Italian novelist and proponent of Liberal Catholicism.[1][2][3] He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times.[4]


Fogazzaro was born in Vicenza to a wealthy family. In 1864 he obtained a law degree in Turin.[5] He then moved to Milan where he followed the scapigliatura movement. In 1869 he was back in Vicenza to work as lawyer, but he left this line of work very soon to be a full-time novelist.

He began his literary career with Miranda, a poetical romance (1874), followed in 1876 by Valsolda, which, republished in 1886 with considerable additions, constitutes perhaps his principal claim as a poet. His novels, Malombra (1882), Daniele Cortis (1887), Misterio del Poeta (1888), obtained considerable literary success upon their first publication, but did not gain universal popularity until they were discovered and taken up by French critics in 1896.[6]

In Fogazzaro's work there is a constant conflict between sense of duty and passions, faith and reason. In some cases this brings the tormented soul of characters into mystic experiences. His most popular novel, Piccolo Mondo Antico (variously titled in English as The Patriot or The Little World of the Past). The novel is set in the 1850s in Valsolda, a small community on the shores of Lake Lugano where he spent most of his life. Piccolo Mondo Antico has delightful evocations of the landscape, and strong characterizations which reveal the inner psychological turmoil of the characters.

Fogazzaro toured Italy proposing to reconcile Darwin's theory of evolution with Christianity.[7] He found new interpretations in positivist and evolutionist theories. The Roman Catholic Church banned his novels Il Santo (1905) in April 1906 and Leila (1910) in May 1911.[8] He died in 1911 in his birthplace, Vicenza.


Piccolo mondo antico (13th edition, 1896)
L'origine dell'uomo e il sentimento religioso (1893)
Monument to Fogazzaro in Vicenza


Other works[edit]

  • Miranda (1874, verse romance)
  • Valsolda (1876, lyrics collection)
  • Fedele (1887, short story collection)
  • Per un recente raffronto delle teorie di S. Agostino e di Darwin circa la creazione (in Italian). Milano: Galli. 1892.
  • L'origine dell'uomo e il sentimento religioso (1893, speech)
  • Discorsi (1898, essays)
  • Scienza e dolore (Science and Suffering, 1898, essay)
  • Il dolore nell'arte (Suffering in Art, 1901, essay)
  • Scene (1903, plays).
  • The Trilogy of Rome (1907)
  • Tales from the Italian and Spanish (1920)


  1. ^ McKenzie, Kenneth (1911). "Antonio Fogazzaro," The Yale Review, Vol. I, New Series, pp. 119–128.
  2. ^ Sarti, Roland (2009). Italy: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. Infobase Publishing. p. 287.
  3. ^ Helmstadter, Richard J. (1997). Freedom and Religion in the Nineteenth Century. Stanford University Press. p. 210.
  4. ^ "Nomination Database". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  5. ^ Gallarati-Scotti, Tommaso (1922). The Life of Antonio Fogazzaro. London: Hodder and Stoughton, p. 25.
  6. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fogazzaro, Antonio". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 590.
  7. ^ Livingston, Arthur (1917). "Antonio Fogazzaro." In: The Warner Library, Vol. 10. New York: Warner Library Co., p. 5852.
  8. ^ "THE ECLIPSE OF CULTURE". Retrieved 2022-02-16.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]