Carlo Levi

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Levi, Carlo


Born Nov. 29, 1902, in Turin; died Jan. 4, 1975, in Rome. Italian writer, painter, and public figure.

Levi received an education in medicine. In 1935 he was sent into exile for antifascist activity. He participated in the resistance movement. In Christ Stopped at Eboli (1945; Russian translation, 1955), Levi wrote of the burdensome life of the peasantry under fascism. In his book of essays Words Are Stones (1955; Russian translation, 1957), Levi identified the radical change in the consciousness of the Sicilian poor who, in their struggle for their rights, become aware of their class solidarity. The Future Has an Ancient Soul (1956) is Levi’s diary of his journey to the “land of the future,” the USSR. In his book of essays The Honey Is All Gone (1964; Russian translation, 1966), Levi depicted the improvements in the life of the people of Sardinia in the postwar years.

In painting, Levi’s style developed in the 1920’s under the influence of fauvism and expressionism. In the 1930’s he aligned himself with the progressive art movement that was directed against official art. In the 1950’s, Levi became a prominent representative of the sociorealistic tendency. He created generalized images of peasants from Lucania (Children of the Witch, 1936; Three Peasants, 1955) and paintings whose subject was the heroic peasant struggle (The Mourning of Rocco Scotellaro, 1954). Levi was active in the progressive social movement in postwar Italy. In 1963 he was elected to the Senate as an independent, on the electoral roll of the Italian Communist Party.


La doppia notte dei tigli. Turin, 1959.


Germanetto, G. “Glazami khudozhnika.” Oktiabr’, 1956, no. 10.
Potapova, Z. M. Neorealizm v ital’ianskoi literature. Moscow, 1961.
Scaramucci, I. Romanzi del nostro tempo. Brescia, 1956.
Testaguzza, A. Carlo Levi, scrittore. Florence, 1969.
Falaschi, G. Levi. Florence, 1971. (Contains bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Her husband, Piero Gobetti, directed Ada's formation, her education, even her career choices, and exposed her to like-minded thinkers, authors, and critics, including Carlo Levi, Luigi Einaudi, Benedetto Croce, and Francesco De Sanctis.
was Carlo Levi's Christ Stopped at Eboli (1945), an anthropological
It seems somehow fitting that this deeply sorrowful tale takes place in this remote region, immortalized by Carlo Levi when he was sent there under confinement by Mussolini.
presidency, but more successfully had written the monograph "Prisoners of Hope" recounting the stories of a half dozen Italian Jewish authors, including Primo, Carlo Levi, Natalia Ginsburg, and Giorgio Bassani.
Luigi Cazzato's "Questione meridionale and Global South: If the Italian South Meets its Global Brother" touches upon the many examples of associations between Southern Italy and Africa, providing examples of Orientalist representations as well as non-Orientalist ones, such as those of Ernesto De Martino and Carlo Levi. In both De Martino's studies on tarantismo and Levi's Cristo si e fermato a Eboli, Cazzato locates a resistance to the teleological forces of modernity that foregrounds how modern identities are always inhabited by archaic, pre-modern cultural forms.
Siporin justly notes that "the discord between tradition and assimilation, as an intracommunity conflict, is at the heart of Segre's memoir," and while rightfully assigning Segre a place among the best-known Italian authors of Jewish ancestry--Primo Levi, Giorgio Bassani, Carlo Levi, Natalia Ginzburg, Alberto Moravia, and Italo Svevo--he dutifully notes that while the others were "assimilated and nonobservant," "Jewish identity, religion, and culture form the soul of Augusto Segre's memoir."
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.
The Italian ties to Conrad are explored more fully in Mario Domenichelli's work on Ennio Flaiano compared to Conrad; Michel Arouimi's consideration of parallels between Carlo Levi's Cristo si e fermato a Eboli and Conrad's characters who are doomed to live as alienated exiles; and Elena Paruolo's and Roberta Ferrari's papers on Dacia Maraini and Italian translations of Conrad.