Giovanni Verga


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Verga, Giovanni

 

Born Aug. 31, 1840, in Catania, Sicily; died there Jan. 27, 1922. Italian writer.

Verga’s first novels, Carbonari of the Mountains (1861-62) and In the Lagoon (1863), are typical of Italian revolutionary romanticism. The second period of Verga’s creative work encompasses sentimental novels drawn from the life of bohemianism as well as high society: The Sinner (1866), Eva (1873; Russian translation, 1881), A Real Tiger (1875), and others. His novella TV edda (1874), concerning the tragic fate of a young woman farmworker, displays traits of a new trend in Italian realistic literature, verismo; Verga became its leader during the 1880’s. Humanism and democratism, which had always been characteristic of Verga, now acquired a special resonance. At the same time there was an intensification of his fatalistic view of the destiny of man and society. In his collections of stories Life of the Fields (1880) and Little Novels of Sicily (1883), he showed the difficult life and profound feelings of Sicilian peasants and farmworkers and satirically depicted the rich people of these rural areas. In the novels The House by the Medlar Tree (1881; Russian translation, 1936) and Mastro Don Gesualdo (1889; Russian translation, 1895) Verga described the social shifts in Sicily under the influence of capitalism that led to the destruction of the family structure. P. Mascagni used motifs from Verga’s story Cavalleria Rusticana (1884) for his opera of the same name (1890).

WORKS

Novelle rusticane. Rome, 1920.
Lettere al suo traduttore. Florence, 1954.
In Russian translation:
Dramy. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Novelly. Moscow, 1957.

REFERENCES

Dzhovanni Verga: Biobibliograf che skii ukazatel’. (Compiled and prefaced by V. T. Danchenko.) Moscow, 1966.
Cattaneo, G. Giovanni Verga. [Turin, 1963.] (Bibliography.)
Russo, L. Giovanni Verga, 4th ed. Bari, 1966.
Scuderi, E. Verga. [Catania, 1966.] (Bibliography, pages 240-45).
Ricciardi, M. “Rassegna verghiana.” Lettere italiane, 1968, no. 2.
Storia delta letteratura italiana, vol. 8 [Milan, 1968.] (Bibliography.)
Raja, G. Un secolo di bibliografia verghiana. Padua, 1960.

N. G. ELINA