30 Nov 2016

The novel in the fascist era and the incredible case of Guido Da Verona  

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Where and when

30November 2016



Museo Novecento

Free admission subject to availability

Presentation by Andrea Pellegrini

In the years of the Belle Époque and Fascism, the best known and best-selling of Italian writers, with twenty-four novels to his credit and exceeding two million copies, was Guido da Verona. Jewish and fascist sui generis, this writer born in Saliceto sul Panaro in 1881 would soon be ostracized by literary criticism and after so many setbacks forgotten to the point of disappearing. The cultural scene, soon overshadowed by Mussolini’s regime, favored prose art, among the hegemonies of the Rondist calligraphy, compared to the novel, considered a genre of running and mere fiction. In addition to the more rare and unprofitable author, that time saw the flourishing of consumer fiction. Among the many writers of this new genre, Guido da Verona was certainly the best known, competing with the elite literature and so, soon, the target of official criticism that never ceased to discredit him. Visionary and ahead of his time, he loved the cinema and was anti-clerical, anti-bourgeois, anti-traditionalist, against the death penalty, against marriage and for divorce in the times of Concordat. It was fascist, despite many anti-fascisms in the background, and had dogs of all races, racehorses and more than elegant ways exhibited on all the pages of Italian magazines as a Hollywood star. A parody of the Promessi sposi, which he wrote and published in 1929, corresponded with his demise. Died in unclear circumstances in 1939, Guido da Verona then disappeared definitively from the chronicles and from all our memories.

The conference will coincide with the official presentation of a book that opens the new editorial series Occhio di bue – A beacon focused on the works in the shadow of the great authors of Italian literature – edited by the rapporteur dott. Andrea Pellegrini and Dr. Michele Rossi, and that holds a lyrical fragment never republished by Guido da Verona taken from the Book of my wandering dream of 1919:  Guido Da Verona, The Story of my funeral, with an introductory essay by Andrea Pellegrini, Arezzo, Helicon, 2016.

Andrea Pellegrini (Lucca 1971), PhD in Italian Literature at the University of Florence, literary critic and author of some novels such as Lettera dalla Norvegia (Fara, 2006) and Come una madre (Joker, 2008), won the Premio Firenze – Fiorino d’Argento 2014 with the essay entitled La seduzione del classico negli anni del moderno cultura e arte italiana from 1914 to 1920 (Helicon, 2014).

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