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Quasimodo, Salvatore(sälvätô`rā kwäzē`mōdō), 1901–68, Italian poet and translator, b. Sicily. Quasimodo worked first as a technical designer and civil engineer. His five volumes of verse published between 1930 and 1938, including Acque e terra (1930), established him as leader of Italy's "hermetic" poets, whose verbal complexity, derived from the French symbolists, was used in discreet opposition to Mussolini. His anti-Fascist activities during World War II led to his imprisonment. Quasimodo's poetic ripening and his commitment as poet to the plight of modern man brought him the 1959 Nobel Prize in Literature. His mature style is marked by increased clarity and sensitivity. He chose to interpret man's history and fate with an underlying lament for human defeat in a violent universe. His works include Dare e avere: 1959–1965 (1966, tr. To Give and to Have, 1969) and Debit and Credit (tr. 1972).
See his Selected Writings (tr. 1960) and The Poet and the Politician and Other Essays (tr. 1964).
Born Aug. 20, 1901, in Syracuse; died June 14, 1968, in Naples. Italian poet.
In the 1930’s, Quasimodo wrote in the style of the “hermetic” school, which was characterized by motifs of grief and loneliness —the collections Waters and Land (1930), Sunken Oboe (1932), Erato and Apollion (1936), and Poems (1938). During the antifascist resistance he began to concern himself with social reality (the collection Day After Day, 1947). Quasimodo’s postwar poetry deals with civic and patriotic themes—for example, Life Is Not a Dream (1949), and The False and True Green (1954)—and expresses faith in the people, whom the poet addresses directly (the collection The Incomparable Earth, 1958). Quasimodo was a member of the World Peace Council (1950) and received the Nobel Prize in 1959.
WORKSTutte le poesie. Verona, 1961.
In Russian translation:
Moia strana—Italiia. Edited by K. Zelinskii. [Introductory article by A. Surkov.] Moscow, 1961. (Translated from Italian.)
[“Stikhi.”] In ItaVianskaia lirika: XX vek. Moscow, 1968.
REFERENCESTedesco, N. S. Quasimodo e la condizione poetica del nostro tempo. Palermo . (Contains bibliography.)
Pento, B. Lettura di Quasimodo. Milan .
Mazzamuto, P. Salvatore Quasimodo. [Palermo, 1967.]
Quasimodo e la critica. Edited by G. Finzi. [Milan, 1969.]
R. I. KHLODOVSKII