13. Salvatore Quasimodo (1901 – 1968)

Author and poet awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1959 “for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times”. Along with Giuseppe Ungaretti and Eugenio Montale, he is one of the foremost Italian poets of the 20th century.

Born in Modica, Sicily, his family moved to Messina to help the population struck by a devastating earthquake. The impressions of the effects of natural forces would have a great impact on the young Quasimodo.
Traditional literary critique divides Quasimodo’s work into two major periods -the hermetic period until World War II and the post-hermetic era until his death- both seen as a single poetical quest for a unique language. Quasimodo used a hermetical, “closed” language to sketch recurring motifs like Sicily, religion and death. Subsequently, the translation of authors from Roman and Greek Antiquity enabled him to extend his linguistic toolkit.

References: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1959/quasimodo-bio.html


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