Advertisement

 Giosue Carducci

Advertisement

Giosue Carducci

Birth
Valdicastello, Provincia di Lucca, Toscana, Italy
Death 8 Feb 1907 (aged 71)
Bologna, Città Metropolitana di Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Burial Bologna, Città Metropolitana di Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Memorial ID 9983 View Source
Suggest Edits

Nobel Prize in Literature. Giosue Carducci received world-wide notoriety after receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1906. Although Italy is known for its great, ancient authors, he was the first Italian to receive this honor. His poetry inspired his compatriots in the war for Italy's independence, and he was recognized as the author of masterpieces in his home country as well as others. Receiving the 1906 Nobel Prize after his formal retirement in 1904, he died shortly after this honor in February of 1907. Too ill to travel to Stockholm to accept the award in person, his Nobel Prize was presented to him by Baron de Bildet, the Swedish ambassador to Italy. According to the Nobel Prize committee, he was given this coveted award for "not only in consideration of his deep learning and critical research, but above all as a tribute to the creative energy, freshness of style, and lyrical force which characterize his poetic masterpieces." Born the son of a physician, his family moved about the country for political reasons, finally settling in Florence. His father was an advocate of the unification of Italy. Their political views often were the opposite of the Roman Catholic Church, which was more of a governmental Papal State than a church in this era. Italy was involved in three civil wars dating from 1848 to 1870. Those who rebelled for freedom were considered to be leftist, liberals, or “Satan.” As a young student, he enjoyed the Greek and Roman authors and the Italian classics, while beginning to write poetry. He received a scholarship to attend college. In 1856 he earned a degree in philosophy and letters from the University of Pisa. He taught in various high schools until he was appointed on November 10, 1860 the chairman of Italian Literature at the University of Bologna, a post he held until his retirement over forty years later. While being a professor, it can be said that he never used the same lesson twice. The University Hall in which he held his lectures, now honors his name. Written with 50 stanzas of 4 lines each with the second and fourth lines rhyming, his poems have become classic. His six-book collection, “Juvenilia,” was published in 1850 to 1860. Some of his collections of poetry include “Rhymes” in 1857, “Hymn to Satan” in 1865, “New Poems” in 1873, “Light and Heavy” in 1868, “Iambics and Epodes” in 1882, and the three-book collection, “The Barbarian Odes,” in 1877, 1882, and 1889. Only 520 copies of “Rhymes” were published and today, a collector could pay up to $2,000 for a copy. In his collections, he wrote about heroes of the civil war such as numerous poems about the freedom fighter, Garibaldi. As an atheist, his discontentment with the Vatican and the control of the church can be seen in a host of his poems. Being an excellent translator of Goetha and Heine in to Italian, his own poetry was influenced. As a scholar and literary critic, he published “Literary Studies” in 1874 and “Critical Sketches and Literary Discussion” in 1876. In addition to his poetry, he wrote articles on literary criticism, biographies, speeches and essays that compiled twenty volumes, “Works,” which was reprinted in its entirety in the 1920s. Mirroring Italian history, his poems range from youthful revolutionary, liberal idealism to acceptance of a conservative monarchy. Besides putting politics in verse, he became active in politics In 1890 he was appointed by King Victor Emmanuel III to the Senate and served as a deputy in the House of Representatives. He married Ildegonda Celli on April 30, 1833, and the couple had four children. They lived in near poverty in the early years of their marriage. He was initiated to the 33rd and highest degree of the Scottish Rite Freemasonry as long-time member of the Grand Orient of Italy. Despite his greatest in his day, he has fallen into obscurity by the end of the twentieth century. The power of his poetry loses its grasp as the language of his era is not what is used today. Strangely, the Nobel Prize is the only international honor he received. A plaque to him and several other poets is in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence and his home is a museum with a bust of him in the garden. Some of his poems can be found online in English. In his 1875 poem, “Death,” he gives death a human female nature, “When she comes, men bow their heads, but the women fall to pining.”

Bio by: Linda Davis


Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Giosue Carducci?

Current rating:

38 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 17 Jun 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9983
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/9983/giosue-carducci : accessed ), memorial page for Giosue Carducci (27 Jul 1835–8 Feb 1907), Find a Grave Memorial ID 9983, citing Cimitero Monumentale della Certosa di Bologna, Bologna, Città Metropolitana di Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .