Montale, Eugenio

Montale, Eugenio

(āo͞ojĕ`nyō mōntä`lā), 1896–1981, Italian poet, critic, and translator. After working as an editor, Montale became chief librarian of the Gabinetto Vieusseux in Florence. His complex poetry expresses the tensions and disorders of 20th-century European culture, especially of Italian social and political life under fascism. Montale's pessimistic philosophy stressed that only the occasional moment of joy could give one a glimpse of salvation in the midst of one's hopeless existence on earth. Montale speaks with a stoic voice, one resigned to accept the absurdities and illusions of life. The collection Poesie (1958, tr. 1964) includes Ossi di seppia (1925), Le occasioni (1939), and La bufera e altro (1956). Montale's other works include The Butterfly of Dinard (1956, tr. 1971), a collection of book reviews and cultural criticism written for the newspaper Il corriere della sera, as well as Quaderno di traduzioni (1975), translations of T. S. Eliot, Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Corneille. Montale was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1975.


See his collected poems, tr. by J. Galassi (1998, rev. ed. 2012) and ed. by R. Warren and tr. by W. Arrowsmith (2012); studies by G. Cambon (1972), G. S. Singh (1973), R. J. West (1981), and H. Thomas (2004).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Montale, Eugenio


Born Oct. 12, 1896, in Genoa. Italian poet and representative of the hermetic movement.

Montale’s lyric poetry of the 1920’s and 1930’s, including the collections Cuttlefish Bones (1925) and The Occasions (1939), expresses the precarious nature of existence and the inner loneliness of man. During World War II and the period of the Italian resistance movement, his lyrical diary reflected a protest against the inhumanity of fascism, for example, his poem “Hitlerite Spring” (1943). In his postwar poetry, Montale sought to find a way out of pessimism toward greater mutual understanding, as in his collection The Whirlwind and More (1956). In the collection Satura (1972), the lyrical internal monologue is very topical and humanistic themes are combined with social irony. Montale was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1975.


La casa dei doganieri ed altri versi. Florence, 1932.
Diario del ’71 e del ’72. Milan, 1973.
In Russian translation:
Ital’ianskaia lirika: XX vek. Moscow, 1968.
“Iz knigi ‘Satura’.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1973, no. 1.


Manacorda, G. Montale. Florence, 1969 (Contains bibliography.)
Nascimbeni, G. Montale, 2nd ed. Milan, 1969.
Carpi, U. Montale dopo il fascismo dalla “Bufera” a “Satura.” Padua, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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