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

With ANTONIO CARIOTI

In 1984, he obtained the Strega Award for the biography of Tolstoy. A flexible and sensible literary critic, he was in a position to oscillate between numerous eras, genres and authors

What was most hanging about? Pietro Citati, who died on the age of 92, it’s the versatility with which in his work a literary critic was in a position to oscillate between numerous eras, genres and authors. From the works of Greco-Roman Classicism to the sacred monsters of the nineteenth century Russian, from the Gospel texts to Giacomo Leopardi and Franz Kafka. Considered one of his specialties was biographies of nice writers in narrative kind: it’s no coincidence that on the cultural pages of Corriere della Sera, the place he wrote at size in two completely different phases, he started to anticipate a part of his basic essay Footage by Alessandro Manzoni (Mondadori 1973).

He was an excellent interpreter of the authors he handled, exemplary for his skill to mix absolute philological rigor and sharp psychological introspection. No marvel Citati obtained prestigious awards for its two biographies: Viareggio in 1970 from Goethe (Mondadori, 1970; Adelphi, 1990) e The Witch in 1984 with Tolstoy (Longanesi, 1983; Adelphi, 1996). He additionally obtained different awards overseas, incl. in France, Spain and Brazil.

Born in Florence on February 20, 1930 to a Sicilian household of aristocratic origin, graduated from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Citati didn’t pursue a daily tutorial profession. His personal ardour for studying flourished spontaneously, not via systematic examine, when his household moved from Turin to Liguria in 1942, throughout World Struggle II, to keep away from bombing. Then, on the age of twelve, he started to be taught a little bit of every part: novels, poetry, but additionally Plato’s dialogues. Later, after graduating, he taught Italian for a while in vocational colleges, then started his profession as a literary critic, following within the footsteps of such masters as Emilio Cecchi, Giovanni Macchia and Mario Praz. He was courting from the mid-Fifties author Carlo Emilio Gadda, for which he developed real honor.

After many articles in magazines comparable to Il Punto, L’approdo and Paragone within the Sixties, there was an natural collaboration of Citati with the every day Il Giorno, about which he typically wrote ceremonial dismissal. In 1970, the primary ebook Goethe, instantly rewarded. Then, three years later, debut on the third web page of Corriere. Along with ready for an essay on Manzoni, it’s hanging that Citati’s first article was dedicated to the immaturity of Italians. It struck him that so many younger skills, in each subject of exercise, have been misplaced as a consequence of a scarcity of mental ardour or energy of focus. And he was much more saddened by the sight of people that, after settling in, slept on their laurels, charmed by their very own narcissism. He was no stranger to him then curiosity in Italian social life and for his faults, even when he was sipping interventions at political occasions, often very harsh, even when ironic, in the direction of the ruling class.

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

The world most sympathetic to Citati was literature, particularly essentially the most well-known works with which he beloved to discover the angle of the speleologist descending into the bottom: An amazing ebook, he stated, composed of many layers: it’s a matter of discovering essentially the most hidden one. He additionally believed that the classics have the present of transmitting new impressions and messages to every technology that comes nearer and nearer to them: I believe books transfer in time. They aren’t all the time the identical, they’ve completely different points over the centuries. So long as we’re stationary and we should attempt to perceive the motion of the books.

The worth of Citati’s ingenuity was additionally acknowledged by its publication in 2006 Meridiano Mondadori consists of his writings, European Literary Civilization, edited by Paolo Lagazzi. Nonetheless, he was not the sort who favored tributes an excessive amount of, quite the opposite, he thought-about himself to be in actual fact alien to the literary society, to the world of awards and conferences.

He described himself as exact and pedantic in relation to making use of himself to work, but additionally an absolute newbie within the face of many matters. In spite of everything, the critic, he famous, was nothing greater than a leaf or a small department of an enormous pine forest. He was very keen on historic tradition and for a very long time led the celebrated sequence of Greek-Latin Writers of the Lorenzo Valla Basis. The antinomies present in him that fascinated him … huge heritage in an important issues for man. For instance, the bipolarity between determinism and freedom: a minimum of seemingly, Homer’s future shouldn’t be stiff or iron, however double, oscillating and all the time on the verge of defeat. Generally it seems like a possibility relatively than a future you learn in your ebook A colourful thoughts (Mondadori, 2002; Adelphi, 2018), by which he offers with the Odyssey.

One other Citati present was: the flexibility to deliver this depth and breadth of reflection additionally to newspapers, with the occasions and areas that this place entails. In 1988 he moved from Corriere to Repubblica, then returned to by way of Solferino in 2011-2017, lastly resuming writing for a newspaper based by Eugenio Scalfari. Every time with full consciousness of the problem going through him, which appeared to exalt him: The tradition of the reviewer – he famous – feverish, improvised, endangered by time and the impatience of the editor-in-chief who needs an article for a selected day.

His prose was clear and fluid. He was in a position to entice consideration even when coping with very advanced topics and multidimensional characters, which allowed him to achieve a large viewers, as evidenced by successes with readers of a few of his books, such because the one dedicated to Franz Kafka in 1987. Even at a sophisticated age, he didn’t cease. to provide works of nice dedication. Among the many latest we recall: Leopards (Mondadori, 2010); And Vangeli (Mondadori, 2014); Silence and abyss (Mondadori, 2018).

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

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