When Pietro Citati died, he delved into the lives of the good authors – Corriere.it

from ANTONIO CARIOTIA

He received the Strega Prize in 1984 with Tolstoy’s biography. Versatile and good literary critic, he managed to fluctuate between essentially the most numerous eras, genres and authors

What was most putting in Pietro Citati, died at age 92, it was the flexibility with which his work as a literary critic allowed him to dig between essentially the most numerous eras, genres and authors. From the works of Greco-Roman classicism to the sacred monsters of the Russian nineteenth century, from the evangelical texts to Giacomo Leopardi and Franz Kafka. One in every of his specialties was the biographies of the good writers in narrative type: it’s no accident that within the cultural pages of Corriere della Sera, the place he had written extensively in two distinct phases, he started to anticipate a part of his elementary essay Photos by Alessandro Manzoni (Mondadori 1973).

He was an excellent interpreter of the authors he handled, exemplifying his means to mix absolute philological rigor and acute psychological introspection. Not surprisingly, Citati had received prestigious awards for 2 biographies: Viareggio in 1970 along with his Goethe (Mondadori, 1970; Adelphi, 1990) e the witch in 1984 with Tolstoy (Longanesi, 1983; Adelphi, 1996). He was additionally awarded different awards overseas, for instance in France, Spain and Brazil.

Born in Florence on February 20, 1930 in a Sicilian household of aristocratic origin, graduated from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, Citati had not adopted a daily tutorial profession. His personal ardour for studying arose spontaneously, not from systematic research, when his household moved from Turin to Liguria in 1942, throughout World Warfare II, to flee the bombings. Then, on the age of twelve, he began to be self-taught and to check a bit of little bit of the whole lot: novels, poetry, but additionally Plato’s dialogues. Later, after graduating, he had taught Italian for a while in skilled colleges, then launched into a profession as a literary critic, following within the footsteps of masters comparable to Emilio Cecchi, Giovanni Macchia and Mario Praz. He had been relationship because the mid-Fifties the author Carlo Emilio Gadda, for which he had developed an genuine veneration.

The various articles in magazines comparable to Il Punto, L’approdo and Paragone have been adopted within the Nineteen Sixties by Citati’s natural collaboration with the day by day Il Giorno, on which he typically wrote solemn resignation. The primary e book in 1970 goethe, instantly rewarded. Then, three years later, the debut on the third web page of the Corriere. Other than the anticipation of the Manzoni essay, it’s putting that Citati’s first article was dedicated to the immaturity of Italians. He seen that so many younger skills, in each subject of exercise, have been misplaced by way of an absence of mental ardour or means to pay attention. And the sight of individuals, having settled in, sleeping on their laurels, bewitched by their very own narcissism, saddened him much more. It was no stranger to him then curiosity in Italian social life and for his shortcomings, even when he sipped the interventions on political occasions, often very critical, even in an ironic tone, in the direction of the ruling class.

In an interview launched in 1984, after profitable the Strega, Citati acknowledged that: he hated two fathers of the homeland who have been all the time honored: the communist Palmiro Togliatti for his pedantic cynicism, and the Christian Democrat Aldo Moro for his compromising spirit.

The world that Citati most appreciated was literature, particularly essentially the most well-known works, with which he appreciated to discover the perspective of the caver who descends into the depths of the subsoil: An important e book – he mentioned – made up of many layers: it’s a matter of discovering essentially the most hidden. He additionally believed that the classics had the present of conveying new sensations and messages to every technology that approached and approached them: I feel books undergo time. They don’t seem to be all the time the identical, they’ve completely different elements in response to the ages. Whereas we’re silent and we should attempt to perceive the motion of the books.

The worth of Citati’s ingenuity was additionally acknowledged with the publication in 2006 of a Meridiano Mondadoric compiled from his writings, entitled The European Literary Civilization, edited by Paolo Lagazzi. However he was not the sort to pay tribute an excessive amount of, quite the opposite, he thought of himself primarily alien to the literary society, to the world of prizes and congresses.

He outlined himself precisely and pedantic when it got here to devoting himself to a piece, but additionally an absolute beginner within the gentle of many topics. In spite of everything, the critic, he famous, was nothing greater than a leaf or twig of an immense pine forest. He was keen on historic tradition and had lengthy directed the Lorenzo Valla Basis’s prestigious sequence of Greek and Latin writers. The antinomies discovered therein fascinated him immense heritage on essentially the most very important points for human beings. For instance, the bipolarity between determinism and freedom: the Homeric future is outwardly not inflexible or iron, however double, oscillating and all the time on the verge of being defeated. Generally it appears extra like a risk than a destiny, you learn in your e book The coloured ghost (Mondadori, 2002; Adelphi, 2018) during which he treats the Odyssey.

One other present from Citati was the flexibility to deliver this depth and breadth of reflection to newspapers as properly, with the occasions and areas that that location entails. In 1988 he moved from Corriere to Repubblica, then returned to Through Solferino from 2011 to 2017, ultimately resuming writing for the newspaper based by Eugenio Scalfari. At all times in full consciousness of the problem he confronted and which appeared to raise him: a reviewer’s tradition – he famous – feverish, improvised, threatened by time and by the impatience of the editor-in-chief, who needs the article for a selected day.

His prose was clear and flowing. He managed to draw consideration even when coping with very advanced topics and multifaceted characters, which allowed him to attraction to a large viewers, as evidenced by the success with the readers of a few of his books, comparable to that devoted to Franz Kafka in 1987. Even at a complicated age, he had not stopped producing works of nice dedication. We bear in mind one of the vital current: leopards (Mondadori, 2010); the gospels (Mondadori, 2014); Silence and the abyss (Mondadori, 2018).

July 28, 2022 (change July 28, 2022 | 09:49)

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