Giovanni Cena

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cena, Giovanni


Born Jan. 12, 1870, in Montanaro Canavese; died Dec. 6, 1917, in Rome. Italian poet and journalist.

Cena studied at the University of Turin. He gained recognition with his first work, the narrative poem Mother (1897), which was devoted to the simple peasant woman. This was followed by In umbra (1899), a collection of lyrical poems depicting scenes of country life that were pervaded by love for the working people. Cena’s poetry is notable for its unaffected speech, simplicity, and sincerity. In 1902, Cena became editor in chief of Nuova antologia, a literary and sociopolitical journal published in Rome that printed translations of works by M. Gorky, A. P. Chekhov, and V. G. Korolenko. Cena interpreted socialist ideas in the spirit of humanist enlightenment. His only novel, The Forewarners (1904; published in Russian as At the Price of Life, 1905), described the life of the urban poor.


Opere complete, vols. 1–5. Turin, 1929.
Homo, sonetti. Rome, 1907.
In Russian translation:
[Pis’ma Chena k Gor’komu v 1906–1909.] In Arkhiv A. M. Gor’kogo, vol. 8. Moscow, 1960.


Gorky, M. Sobr. soch.,vol. 29. Moscow, 1955. Pages 35, 40–41.
Saprykina, E. Iu. “Revoliuts. tema v ital. litre kontsa XIX v.” In the collection Idei sotsializma i lit. protsess na rubezhe XIX–XX vv. Moscow, 1977.
Pancrazi, P. “L’uomo e il poeta Giovanni Cena.” In his Scrittori d’oggi: Serie prima. Bari, 1946.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Hovering between history and biography, which characterize the intimate areas unfolded by the literary archives, it is possible to glance at the contours of that part of Italian culture that Olga had witnessed: the visits to the Socialists of Siena; contacts with Sibilla Aleramo and Giovanni Cena and the philanthropic activity for the people of the Agro Romano; the encounter with Madame Helbig and the European musical aristocracy; her friendship with the painters Felice Carena and Armando Spadini, with the sculptors Angelo Zanelli and Medardo Rosso, with the writers Emilio Cecchi, Giuseppe Prezzolini, Giuseppe Antonio Borgese, Ugo Ojetti, Ardengo Soffici, Vincenzo Cardarelli, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Scipio Slataper, Giani Stuparich, Ferruccio Ferrazzi, and many others.