Vittorini, Elio

Vittorini, Elio

(ĕ`lyō vēt-tōrē`nē), 1908–66, Italian novelist, b. Syracuse, Sicily. Between 1934 and 1941 Vittorini translated the works of D. H. Lawrence, Poe, Faulkner, Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, and others. His first novel, In Sicily (1938, tr. 1949), caused his imprisonment by the Fascist government. Vittorini's works, among them The Twilight of the Elephant (1947, tr. 1951) and The Red Carnation (1948, tr. 1952), make a serious attempt to assess the Fascist experience. His later works include The Dark and the Light (1956, tr. 1961); Diario in pubblico (1957), essays; and Le città nel mondo (1969).


See D. Heiney, Three Italian Novelists (1968).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vittorini, Elio


Born July 27, 1908, in Syracuse, Sicily; died Feb. 12, 1966, in Milan. Italian writer.

Vittorini’s first collection of short stories, The Petite Bourgeoisie (1931), clearly expresses elements of antifascist political satire. In his best book, Conversation in Sicily (1941), an allegorical protest against the military adventures and demagoguery of fascism is interwoven with a description of the actual life and misery of the Sicilian peasantry. The novel Good and Bad People (1945; Russian translation, 1969) is devoted to the epic of the Resistance.

Vittorini’s postwar works, including The Women of Messina (1949) and Erika and Her Brothers (1956), describe the hard life and moral courage of the Italian poor. Diary Open to the Public (1957) is a collection of his publicistic articles from 1929 to 1956. Vittorini’s works and his activity as a journalist had an influence on the development of postwar realist prose in Italy.


Il Sempione strizza I’occhio al Frejus. Milan, 1947.
Erica e i suoi fratelli: La Garibaldina. Milan, 1956.
Il garofano rosso. [Verona] 1958-Conversazione in Sicilia. [Turin] 1966.
Cittá del mondo. Turin, 1969.
In Russian translation:
“Erika,” Inostrannaia literatura, 1960, no. 9.
“Moia voina.” In Ital’ianskaia novella XX veka. Moscow, 1969.


Potapova, Z. M. “Realisticheskie traditsii v ital’ianskoi literature 30-kh godov.” In Zarubezhnaia literatura v 30-e gody XX veka. Moscow, 1969.
Addamo, S. Vittorini e la narrativa siciliana contemporanea. Caltanisseta-Rome [1962].
Salinari, C. Preludio e fine del realismo in Italia. Naples, 1967.
Calvino, I. Vittorini: Progettazione e letteratura. Milan, 1968.
Heiney, D. Three Italian Novelists: Moravia, Pavese, Vittorini. Ann Arbor [1968].


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