It is October 12 and Google remembers with a doodle Eugenio Montale: one of the greatest Italian poets of the twentieth century and Nobel Prize for Literature who was born in Genoa exactly 125 years ago, in 1986. With his experiences at the front in the two world wars, he told about the human condition by being the interpreter of the most dramatic events of the last century.
From ‘Ossi di seppia’ to the Nobel Prize
With a degree in accounting, Montale self-taught French symbolism and the philosophical thought of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. He enlisted in 1917 to fight the First World War. The experience at the front led him to publish the first poems on the human condition, becoming the interpreter of the most dramatic events of those times. Those early writings make them converge in ‘Ossi di seppia’: one of the most popular collections that with texts such as “Often the evil of living I encountered” highlights the truths hidden behind the appearances of everyday life. He distances himself from fascism and in 1927 he moves to Florence. There he met Elio Vittorini, Salvatore Quasimodo and Carlo Emilio Gadda, and became director of the Gabinetto Vieusseux. He was recalled to military service for two years during the Second World War. He retires to Switzerland where he can continue to publish, avoiding Italian censorship. After the war, he moved to Milan and began collaborating with Corriere della Sera. The Nobel Prize arrives in 1975: “For his distinct poetics which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the symbol of a vision of life devoid of illusions”. He was the fifth Italian to receive it, after Giosuè Carducci, Grazia Deledda, Luigi Pirandello and Salvatore Quasimodo. He died on 12 September 1981 in Milan.