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THE INVISIBLE WRITER

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					                  THE INVISIBLE WRITER

    GIOVANNI VERGA AND THE ITALIAN
          REALISM (VERISMO)

The greatest exponent of the Italian realism has been Giovanni Verga. The Verism is

the Italian literary expression of the "Positivism" that corresponds in English to the

"Realism" and to the French "NATURALISM" .Therefore we can define better the

Verism as the answer of the Italian literature to that cultural movement (positivism)

that involved the whole Europe at the end of nineteen century and that in the various

countries took different names and forms (another expression of positivism there

was also in Russia). In fact there are some differences among these three literary

expressions (Verismo, "Realism" and Naturalism), that however have the same

positivist root. The greatest difference between Verism and Naturalism is in the fact

that while the naturalists also applied to the literature the scientific method and

everything for them had to be explained through the science including the human

spirituality, according to the Italian realists, literature cannot have different

purposes instead, from those literary same, for which literature cannot be used for

making scientific experiments.


For the Verists the scientific nature in literature is in the technique with which the

writer represents his own works. From here the principle of the impersonality can be

understood and this is the central motive for the realistic literature. In fact

according to this principle the writer has to withdraw himself from the story, or he

doesn't have to intervene in the narration with his reflections, with personal opinions,

for which the story has to seem as done by itself , because the writer has to be

invisible in the work. To do this however, the writer has to identify himself with the

characters, to see things through their eyes, and to express himself through their

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language. Then for the realists, literature has to be the mirror of the reality, and it

has to represent it for that it is. It needs to say however that also trying to be the

most objective possible, also using the principle of the impersonality, there is always

an operating behind it, that also not wanting it, he puts always something of personal

in the works.


Verga indeed wrote his works founding himself on the principle of the impersonality.

His narrative technique is original and innovating in comparison to the traditional and

contemporary techniques both Italians and foreigner. At the base of the principle of

the impersonality, nevertheless, there are strongly pessimist positions of "the Rod",

which is conservative in his vision and for his ideas. The greatest part of his novels

have at the centre the popular life, of the smaller classes, and really here his

pessimism was born, in his ideas, of the strongest that inevitably crushes always the

weaker, and that the humblest can never have a social ascent. Giovanni Verga was

born in Catania in 1840 from a family of wealthy landowners , his studies were not

regular therefore he is different from the other Italian poets of the epoch that had

a whole classical formation. The most important works were: "UNA PECCATRICE" ("A

Sinner"), (autobiographic), "STORIA DI UNA CAPINERA" ("History of a blackcap"),

"ROSSO MALPELO" ("Red Evil             Hair") that     was his first realistic work,

"Nedda",("Nedda") the harvest "VITA DEI CAMPI" ("Life of the Fields"), "NOVELLE

RUSTICANE" ("Rustics tales ") that speaks of the life of Sicilian country. In 72' he

transferred in Milan where he entered into contact with the environments of the

"Scapigliatura" (loose living, unconventionality), previously he also lived in Florence. He

had the objective to write a cycle of novels called the cycle of the "defeated" with

which wanted to trace the social picture of the modern Italian life. The first novel

was "I MALAVOGLIA" ("the Reluctances" ) that it is the history of a family of

fishermen of a Sicilian small village. In this novel accordingly his language is poor

with naked fact of proverbs and popular ways of saying. The second novel is

"MASTRO DON GESUALDO" ("Master Don Gesualdo" ) history of a mason that

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marries a noble woman to have a social ascent, but then he finds again himself to die

alone and forgotten by everybody. Here the language raises because the bourgeois

world and aristocrat is represented. The third novel "LA DUCHESSA DI LEYRA"

("the Duchess of Leyra" ) wasn’t finished , while the fourth "L’ONOREVOLE

SCIPIONI" ("the Honourable Scipioni") and the fifth one "L’ UOMO DI LUSSO"

("the Man of Luxury"), they were not initiated. It returned in 1893 definitely to live

in Catania where he died in 1922.


                                                                  Mariangela Giancola




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