When Pietro Citati died, he delved into the lives of the good authors – Corriere.it


In 1984, he acquired the Strega Award for the biography of Tolstoy. A flexible and sensible literary critic, he was in a position to oscillate between varied eras, genres and authors

What was most placing about? Pietro Citati, who died on the age of 92, it’s the versatility with which in his work a literary critic was in a position to oscillate between varied eras, genres and authors. From the works of Greco-Roman Classicism to the sacred monsters of the nineteenth century Russian, from the Gospel texts to Giacomo Leopardi and Franz Kafka. Certainly one of his specialties was biographies of nice writers in narrative kind: it’s no coincidence that on the cultural pages of Corriere della Sera, the place he wrote at size in two completely different phases, he started to anticipate a part of his elementary essay Footage by Alessandro Manzoni (Mondadori 1973).

He was an excellent interpreter of the authors he handled, exemplary for his potential to mix absolute philological rigor and sharp psychological introspection. No surprise Citati acquired prestigious awards for its two biographies: Viareggio in 1970 from Goethe (Mondadori, 1970; Adelphi, 1990) e The Witch in 1984 with Tolstoy (Longanesi, 1983; Adelphi, 1996). He additionally acquired different awards overseas, incl. in France, Spain and Brazil.

Born in Florence on February 20, 1930 to a Sicilian household of aristocratic origin, graduated from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Citati didn’t pursue an everyday tutorial profession. His personal ardour for studying flourished spontaneously, not by means of systematic research, when his household moved from Turin to Liguria in 1942, throughout World Battle II, to keep away from bombing. Then, on the age of twelve, he started to study a little bit of every part: novels, poetry, but additionally Plato’s dialogues. Later, after graduating, he taught Italian for a while in vocational faculties, then started his profession as a literary critic, following within the footsteps of such masters as Emilio Cecchi, Giovanni Macchia and Mario Praz. He was relationship from the mid-Fifties author Carlo Emilio Gadda, for which he developed real honor.

After many articles in magazines similar to Il Punto, L’approdo and Paragone within the Sixties, there was an natural collaboration of Citati with the day by day Il Giorno, about which he generally wrote ceremonial dismissal. In 1970, the primary e book Goethe, instantly rewarded. Then, three years later, debut on the third web page of Corriere. Along with ready for an essay on Manzoni, it’s placing that Citati’s first article was dedicated to the immaturity of Italians. It struck him that so many younger skills, in each area of exercise, had been misplaced as a consequence of an absence of mental ardour or energy of focus. And he was much more saddened by the sight of people that, after settling in, slept on their laurels, charmed by their very own narcissism. He was no stranger to him then curiosity in Italian social life and for his faults, even when he was sipping interventions at political occasions, normally very harsh, even when ironic, in direction of the ruling class.

In an interview in 1984, after successful Strega, Citati said that he hated two fathers from his homeland who had been all the time revered: Communist Palmiro Togliatti for his pedantic cynicism and Christian Democrat Aldo Moro for his spirit of compromise.

The world most sympathetic to Citati was literature, particularly essentially the most well-known works with which he cherished to discover the perspective of the speleologist descending into the bottom: An excellent e book, he mentioned, composed of many layers: it’s a matter of discovering essentially the most hidden one. He additionally believed that the classics have the reward of transmitting new impressions and messages to every era that comes nearer and nearer to them: I feel books transfer in time. They aren’t all the time the identical, they’ve completely different features over the centuries. So long as we’re stationary and we should attempt to perceive the motion of the books.

The worth of Citati’s ingenuity was additionally acknowledged by its publication in 2006 Meridiano Mondadori consists of his writings, European Literary Civilization, edited by Paolo Lagazzi. Nevertheless, he was not the sort who preferred tributes an excessive amount of, quite the opposite, he thought-about himself to be actually alien to the literary society, to the world of awards and conferences.

He described himself as exact and pedantic with regards to making use of himself to work, but additionally an absolute beginner within the face of many matters. In spite of everything, the critic, he famous, was nothing greater than a leaf or a small department of an unlimited pine forest. He was very keen on historical tradition and for a very long time led the distinguished sequence of Greek-Latin Writers of the Lorenzo Valla Basis. The antinomies present in him that fascinated him … huge heritage in a very powerful issues for man. For instance, the bipolarity between determinism and freedom: at the very least seemingly, Homer’s future just isn’t stiff or iron, however double, oscillating and all the time on the verge of defeat. Typically it appears like a chance reasonably than a future you learn in your e book A colourful thoughts (Mondadori, 2002; Adelphi, 2018), through which he offers with the Odyssey.

One other Citati reward was: the power to carry this depth and breadth of reflection additionally to newspapers, with the instances and areas that this place entails. In 1988 he moved from Corriere to Repubblica, then returned to through Solferino in 2011-2017, lastly resuming writing for a newspaper based by Eugenio Scalfari. Every time with full consciousness of the problem dealing with him, which appeared to exalt him: The tradition of the reviewer – he famous – feverish, improvised, endangered by time and the impatience of the editor-in-chief who needs an article for a selected day.

His prose was clear and fluid. He was in a position to appeal to consideration even when coping with very advanced topics and multidimensional characters, which allowed him to succeed in a large viewers, as evidenced by successes with readers of a few of his books, such because the one dedicated to Franz Kafka in 1987. Even at a sophisticated age, he didn’t cease. to supply works of nice dedication. Among the many latest we recall: Leopards (Mondadori, 2010); And Vangeli (Mondadori, 2014); Silence and abyss (Mondadori, 2018).

July 28, 2022 (change July 28, 2022 | 09:49)

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