Cesare Pavese

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Cesare Pavese
BirthplaceSanto Stefano Belbo
Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator

Pavese, Cesare

(chā`zärā pävĕ`sā), 1908–50, Italian novelist, poet, and translator. A major literary figure in postwar Italy, Pavese brought American influence to Italian literature through his translations. He himself was strongly influenced by Melville. Pavese's flight from the Fascists and subsequent imprisonment were reflected in his writings, which dealt with social struggle and revealed his sympathy for the oppressed. His major works include Il Compagno [the comrade] (1948), Tra Donne Sole (1948; tr. Among Women Only, 1953), and La luna e i falò (1950; tr. The Moon and the Bonfire, 1952). Pavese's recurrent theme in these novels is the search of urban man, who is caught in continually changing situations, for permanence and stability. In 1950, unhappy with both his personal life and the political climate of postwar Italy, he committed suicide.


See study by D. Thompson (1982).

Pavese, Cesare


Born Sept. 9, 1908, in Santo Stefano Belbo, Piedmont; died Aug. 27, 1950, in Turin. Italian writer. Member of the Italian Communist Party from 1945.

Pavese graduated from the University of Turin in 1930. He worked for the Einaudi publishing house and translated works by contemporary American writers. In the 1930’s he was exiled for his anti-Fascist views. Themes in Pavese’s early works, which included the verse collection Lavorare stanca (Work Is Tiring, 1936) and the novella Paesi tuoi (1941; English translation The Harvesters, 1962), are a tragic alienation and the rejection of reality. Contrasting motifs—an overcoming of hopelessness and the discovery of meaning in life—are found in the collection of novellas Prima che il gallo canti (Before the Cock Crows, 1949) and in the novella La luna e i falò (1950; English translation The Moon and the Bonfires, 1952; Russian translation in the journal Novyi mir, 1969, no. 12). The young hero of the novel Il compagno (1947; Russian translation, 1960; English translation The Comrade, 1961) becomes a Communist and a member of the underground.

Pavese’s diary, Il mestiere di vivere (1952; English translation The Burning Brand, 1961), was published posthumously, as were collections of his verse, short stories, and critical articles. His literary style and ideological quest influenced the young writers of postwar Italy.


Dialoghi con Leucò, 3rd ed. Turin, 1960.
In Russian translation:
Prekrasnoe leto. Moscow, 1974.


Breitburd, G. “Goden k peru.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1973, no. 7.
Venturi, G. Pavese. Florence [1970].
Gioanola, E. C. Pavese. Milan [1971].


References in periodicals archive ?
This selection includes four original letters from 1924, 1928, and 1929, by Augusto Monti, Giulio Carlo Argan, Cesare Pavese and, in particular, a detailed and rare hand-written letter from Mila himself to Leone Ginzburg.
Ma davvero Cesare Pavese ha conosciuto Beppe Fenoglio?
Aproximaciones a la 'fidelidad' de Goethe, Cesare Pavese y Albert Camus, 3.
Four of the suicides were first-borns (Randall Jarrell 1st of 2, John Berryman 1st of 2, Sylvia Plath 1st of 2, Irina Andone 1st of 2), five of them were middle-borns (Heinrich von Kleist 5th of 7, Dimitrie Anghel 3rd of 4, Vachel Lindsay 2nd of 6, Georg Trakl 5th of 6, Benjamin Fondane 2nd of 3), six of them were last-borns (Thomas Chatterton 3rd of 3, John Davidson 4th of 4, Sara Teasdale 4th of 4, Cesare Pavese 2nd of 2, Anne Sexton 3rd of 3, George Vasilievici 2nd of 2), three of them (Gerard de Nerval, Hart Crane, Paul Celan) were only children.
Leuco va in America: Cesare Pavese nel centenario della nascita (Stony Brook, NY: Forum Italicum, 2009), 209-222.
Includes Attilio Bertolucci, Carlo Betocchi, Piero Bigongiari, Dino Campana, Vincenzo Cardarelli, Ercole Ugo D'Andrea, Ennio De Santis, Guido Garufi, Alessandro Gentile, Alfredo Giuliani, Corrado Govoni, Margherita Guidacci, Massimo Lippi, Mario Luzi, Eugenio Montale, Arturo Onofri, Elio Pagliarani, Aldo Palazzeschi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Cesare Pavese, Antonia Pozzi, Salvatore Quasimodo, Clemente Rebora, Amelia Rosselli, Umberto Saba, Edoardo Sanguineti, Vittorio Sereni, Maria Luisa Spaziani, and Giuseppe Ungaretti.
Seguono poi tre saggi sulla fortuna in Spagna di autori contemporanei italiani, Umberto Saba, Dino Buzzati e Cesare Pavese.
Tampoco olvidaron que gracias a ella varias generaciones de lectores en espanol han podido acercarse a las obras de autores sobre todo italianos (Italo Calvino, Cesare Pavese, Manzoni) pero tambien franceses (Maupassant).
Al leer Oficio de vivir de Eugenia Brito no pude dejar de hacer la conexion, con el diario El oficio de vivir de Cesare Pavese, publicado en 1952.
E o primeiro livro do poeta e escritor Cesare Pavese, considerado uma das grandes vozes italianas no periodo entre as duas guerras mundiais.
Its particular achievement consists of its new readings of the modes of representation of the nation through its rural narratives: the novels of peasant crisis produced from the 1930s to the 1950s by Ignazio Silone, Carlo Levi, Francesco Jovine, and Cesare Pavese.
Laura Giovannelli treats how Conrad becomes "rewritten" in Alberto Moravia, Cesare Pavese, and Giuseppe Berto.