Baldini, Antonio 1889-1962

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BALDINI, Antonio 1889-1962

PERSONAL: Born October 10, 1889, in Rome, Italy; died November 6, 1962, in Florence, Italy. Education: Studied literature and philology at University of Bologna.

CAREER: Journalist, dramatist, poet, and editor. Military service: Italian Army, 1915-18, served as an officer.


Nostro Purgatorio: fatti personali del tempo della guerra italiana. 1915-1917, Fratelli Treves (Milan, Italy), 1918, reprinted, Università degli studi di Trento, Dipartimento di scienze filologiche e storiche (Trento, Italy), 1996.

Salti di gomitolo, Vallecchi (Florence, Italy), 1920.

Umori di gioventu, 1911-1915, Vallecchi (Florence, Italy), 1920.

La strada delle meraviglie, Montadori (Milan, Italy), 1923, reprinted, Einaudi (Turin, Italy), 1974.

Michelaccio, La Ronda (Rome, Italy), 1924.

Galleria: rivista mensile del Corriere italiano, serial publication Le Monnier (Florence, Italy), 1924.

Armando Spadini, La terza pagina (Rome, Italy), 1924.

Le più belle pagine di Agnolo Firenzuola, Fratelli Trevies (Milan, Italy), 1925.

Le più belle pagine di Lodovico Ariosto, Fratelli Trevies (Milan, Italy), 1928.

La dolce calamità, overo la Donna di nessuno. Quatro racconti, L'Italiano (Bologna, Italy), 1928, published as Beato fra le donne, Mondatori (Milan, Italy), 1940, reprinted, Sellerio (Palermo, Italy), 1992.

La Signorina Elsa, Modernissima (Milan, Italy), 1929, reprinted, Dall'Oglio (Milan, Italy), 1967.

La Italia e gli italiani del secolo XIX, Le Monnier (Florence, Italy), 1930.

Amici allo spiedo, Vallechi (Florence, Italy), 1933, published as Italia di bonincontro, La Nuova Italia (Florence, Italy), 1941.

L'Ottava d'oro, Mondatori (Milan-Verona, Italy), 1933.

Ludovico della tranquillità, Mondatori (Milan, Italy), 1933.

La vecchia dal Bal Bullier, L'Italiano (Rome, Italy), 1934.

Cuore d'una volta, V. Bompiani (Milan, Italy), 1935.

Poesie di Giovanni Pascoli, Mondatori (Verona, Italy), 1939.

Cattedra d'occasione, La Nuova Italia (Florence, Italy), 1941.

Il sor Pietro, Cosimo Papareschi e Tuttaditutti, Le Monnier (Florence, Italy), 1941.

Buoni incontri d'Italia, Sansoni (Florence, Italy), 1942.

Strada maestra: antologia italiana per la scuola media, Perella (Rome, Italy), 1942.

Viaggio pittorico e sentimentale sul Reno, Le Monnier (Florence, Italy), 1942.

Bertoldo, Bertoldino e Cacasenno, Colombo (Rome, Italy), 1943.

Diagonale 1930, Parigi, Ankara; note di viaggio, Mondatori (Milan, Italy), 1943.

Se rinasco...., Tumminelli (Rome, Italy), 1944.

Rugantino, er commedione (sonnets), Colombo (Rome, Italy), 1944.

Da Montecavallo alle Tuileries con la prigionia nel forte di Finestrelle, 1809-1813, Colombo (Rome, Italy), 1944.

De Amicis, Garzanti (Milan, Italy), 1945.

Il libro delle 40 novelle, dei migliori scrittori italiani e stranieri, O. E. T. Bottega dell'antiquario (Rome, Italy), 1946.

La Toscanina; pagine dell'800, Colombo (Rome, Italy), 1946.

Fine Ottocento, Le Monnier (Florence, Italy), 1947.

Pastoso, Garzanti (Milan, Italy), 1947.

La monaca di Monza, Universale Economica (Milan, Italy), 1950.

Melafumo; quindici variazioni, Edizione Radio Italiana, 1950.

(With Leonetta C. Pieraccini) Visti di Vicino, Vallecchi Editore (Florence, Italy), 1952.

Il libro dei buoni incontri di guerra e di pace, Sansoni (Florence, Italy), 1953.

(Editor, with Calogero Fazio) Buoni incontri: antologia italina e pagine di scrittori stranieri ad uso del Ginnasi superiori e del Licel Scientifici, Montadori (Milan, Italy), 1953.

VII (i.e. Settimo) quadriennale nazionale d'arte di Roma, novembre 1955-Aprile 1956, De Luca (Rome, Italy), 1955.

Italia sottovoce, Sansoni (Florence, Italy), 1956.

Quel caro magon di Lucia; microscopie manzoniane, R. Ricciardi (Milan, Italy), 1956.

Il Doppio Melafumo, Edizione Radio Italiana (Turin, Italy), 1957.

Simpatia di Roma, Almanacco Torrioni (Milan, Italy), 1957.

Romana per lettori e veditori, Fratelli Lega (Faenza, Italy), 1957.

Michelaccio; Racconti, Mondatori (Verona, Italy), 1958.

Ariosto e dintorni, S. Sciascia (Rome, Italy), 1958.

Studi pascoliani, Stab. Grafico F. Lli Lega (Faenza, Italy), 1958.

VIII quadriennale nazionale d'arte di Roma; Dicembre 1959-aprile 1960, Mondatori (Verona, Italy), 1959.

Nuovi racconti italiani, Nuova Accademia esitrice (Milan, Italy), 1962.

Gente di Trastevere, Mondatori (Verona, Italy), 1963.

Poesie, Mondatori (Milan, Italy), 1965.

Un sogno dentro l'altro, Mondatori (Milan, Italy), 1965.

Sole di febbraio, U. Mursia (Milan, Italy), 1967.

La Scala di servizio; introduzione al libro e alla lettura, R. Ricciardi (Milan, Italy), 1971.

Il lettore in pantofole, M. Bulzoni (Rome, Italy), 1971.

Tastiera, Fratelli Palombi (Rome, Italy), 1977.

Michelaccio; e, Rugantino, Longanesi (Milan, Italy), 1981.

Carteggio: 1911-1954, Edizioni scientifiche italiane (Naples, Italy), 1984.

Ricerche sulla storia di Eunapio di Sardi: problemi di storiografia tardopagana, CLUEB (Bologna, Italy) 1984.

Avvenimenti e discorsi, Pàtron (Bologna, Italy), 1985.

Il Sor Pietro, l'Antologia e la Nuova antologia, Le Monnier (Florence, Italy), 1989.

Carteggio: 1915-1960, Edizioni scientifiche italiane (Naples, Italy), 1984.

Carteggio: 1929-1961, Edizioni di storia e letteratura (Rome, Italy), 1992.

Carteggio: 1933-1962, Le Monnier (Florence, Italy), 1992.

Galleria: una revista di Soffici e Baldini sotto il fascismo; gennaio-maggio 1924, Le Monnier (Florence, Italy), 1992.

Carteggio: 1912-1962, Edizioni di storia e letteratura (Rome, Italy), 1993.

Carteggio: 1915-1962, Edizioni di storia e letteratura (Rome, Italy), 1997.

Carteggio: 1915-1955, Edizioni scientifiche italiane (Naples, Italy), 1997.

Storie Perdute: III secolo d.C., Pàtron (Bologna, Italy), 2000.

Author's works have been translated into French.

SIDELIGHTS: Antonio Baldini was an Italian neoclassicist writer, poet, and critic whose work, full of humor and fantasy, spanned five turbulent decades. He was born into a well-to-do Roman family on October 10, 1889, about thirty years after Italy had achieved its unification, and studied literature and philology at the University of Bologna.

In the years leading up to Italy's entry in World War I, Baldini worked as a journalist for La Voce magazine while associating with a closed circle of young intellectuals in Rome. In 1914 he published his first novel, Pazienze e impazienze di Maestro Pastoso, which could be seen as a summing up of Baldini's intellectual formation during his early years. Between 1915 and 1918 he served as an Italian army officer in the first world war and upon returning home he published Nostro Purgatorio, an acclaimed memoir of his military experience that was among the earliest chronicles of the heroism and disillusion in that war. After a short period of working as a businessman in Upper Silesia, he threw himself into journalism and became one of the founders of La Ronda. He was also an active member of a group of intellectuals who frequented the "terza saletta" of Rome's Café Aragno. These young men, who could be seen as forerunners to the Paris café society of the 1920s, debated on everything from the growing industrialization and rigid conformism of Italian society (ultimately to culminate in fascism) to the influence of classical literature on their rapidly changing world.

In 1920, Baldini published Salti di gomitolo. This was the first in a series of works characterized by a desire to confront serious issues behind a mask of humor, fantasy, and fragmentary allusions that owed much to the classical tradition. The book is broken into two parts, "Echi del Nostro Disfattismo," and "Lavori di Striglia, Rasoio. E di Gomma." The second part is a blend of poetry, prose, and fantasy that focuses on liberation from the self and the fragmentary world Baldini inhabited. His criticism of other works in the book ultimately relates back to himself, this type of criticism becoming an aspect of all of Baldini's later writing.

In 1923 came La strada delle meraviglie, a work based around three sisters and their fairytale-like desire to marry a king's baker, cook, and son respectively. Complete with a wicked queen and a witch, the book revolves around sorcery, magic, and the good sisters' actions, with all eventually finishing well. A year later Baldini published the partly autobiographical Michelaccio, perhaps his most famous work. This book humorously traces the life of its titular hero, "a scamp blessed with a down-to-earth attitude and fantastic good luck," wrote Luigi Scanzo in Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century. Through the 1920s, Baldini continued to contribute to newspapers such as Corriere della Sera and La Tribuna, finally becoming editor of Nuova Anthologia in 1931 while remaining prolific as a writer. In 1929 La dolce calamità appeared, paying homage to women Baldini loved, both in the real world and that of his fertile imagination. Particularly notable is the fairytale "Il gigante Paolone e la piccola Mabruca." In Amici allo spiedo, published in 1932, Baldini used his well-honed wit to gently make fun of intellectual/artistic contemporaries such as Chirico, Spadini, and Croce. While the sketches are well defined and often humorous, they never resort to nastiness. Continuing on the theme of remembering intellectual colleagues, Baldini published La vecchia dal Bal Bullier, a memoir of his experiences in Paris café society during the 1920s. Baldini's heart, however, always remained in Rome, and the visions of his native city were central to the work he created. In 1942, with Italy at war and seriously divided, he produced one of his most important works in Rugantino. Using many of the same techniques of blending fantasy and reality used in Michelaccio, Baldini paid homage to the Rome he loved and its transformation through the centuries.

Although none of Baldini's works gained widespread popularity—his fragmentary style was appreciated mostly by intellectually sophisticated readers—he stayed busy to the end of his life. Some of his later works include Se rinasco, Melafumo, quindici variazioni, Italia sottovoce, and the posthumously released Un sogno dentro l'altro. He also continued editing books of poetry and literature by leading Italian figures such as Giovanni Pascoli and others. Baldini died in Florence on November 6, 1962. Although Baldini's Italy had been devastated by two world wars and twenty-one years under fascism, his colorful and often humorous visions were frequently in open contrast to the violent years in which he wrote.



Di Biase, Carmine, Antonio Baldini, Mursia (Milan, Italy), 1973.

Di Biase, Carmine, Lessico di Antonio Baldini, Sansoni (Florence, Italy), 1974.

Fleishmann, Wolfgang Bernard, editor, Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. (New York, NY), 1965.

Orioli, Giovanni, Lettura di Baldini, 1st di Studi romani (Rome, Italy), 1965.

Zennario, Silvio, editor, Dante nella i etteratura italina del Novocento, Bonacci (Rome, Italy), 1979.


Alla Bottega, Volume 8, 1970, Carmine Di Biase, "La grande guerra in Baldini e i suoi contemporanei," pp. 5-8.

Arcadia, Accademia Letteraria Italiana, Volume 4, 1963, Emerico Giachery, "Ricordo di Antonio Baldini," pp. 102-104.

Aspetti Letterari, Volume 30, 1970, pp. 19-27.

Baretti, Volume 3, 1962, Giuseppe Toffanin, "Ricordo di Antonio Baldini," pp. 21-23.

Brigata, Volume 18, 1973, Antonio Gallo, "Tre saggisti meridionali per Dante, Baldini e Febonio," pp. 12-15.

Capitolium, Volume 38, 1963, Livio Jannatoni, "Baldini, figlio pacioso di una roma ottocentesca," pp. 22-24.

Carovana, Volume 12, 1962, Filiberto Mazzoleni, "Profilo di Antonio Baldini," pp. 219-221.

Citta di Vita, Volume 25, 1970, Carmine di Biase, "La Roma Visita di Baldini," pp. 45-54.

Convivium, Volume 31, 1963, Mario Cincinnati, "Antonio Baldini," pp. 72-74.

Giornale d'Italia, Volume 21-22, 1972, Luigi Pasquini, "Ricordo di Antonio Baldini," p. 3.

Idea, Volume 26, 1970, Carmine Di Biase, "Confessioni e impegno d'uomo in Echi del nostro disfattismo," pp. 52-58; Volume 28, 1972, Carmine Di Biase, "Antonio Baldinia nel 1920," pp. 51-54.

Italia che Scrive, Volume 45, 1962, Massimo Grillando, "Antonio Baldini," pp. 213-217.

Lettore di Provincia, August, 1993, Manuela Ricci, "Baldini-Panzini: Un percorso tra le carte del fondo 'A Baldinia' della Biblioteca Comunale di Santarchangelo di Romagna," pp. 27-34; December, 1994, "Lettere di Antonio Baldini," pp. 63-74.

Letture, Volume 18, 1963, Luigi Cattoretti, "Antonio Baldini stillista prezioso," pp. 163-176.

Martinella, Volume 17, 1963, Luigi Pasquini, "Antonio Baldini, ovvero buonicontri e buonumore," pp. 277-286; Volume 26, 1972, Nello Vian, "Antonio Baldinia, Giovanni Beltrami e l'amor del libro," pp. 291-296.

Narrativa, Volume 9, 1964, Gino Raya, "Diciannove lettere di A. Baldini," pp. 55-62.

Nuova Antologia, Volume 98, 1963, "Omaggio ad Antonio Baldini."

Osservatore Political Letterario, Volume 8, 1962, Giovanni Titta Rosa, "Baldini e Melafumo," pp. 29-32; Volume 10, 1964, Mariano Moretti, "Mezzo Secolo con Baldini," pp. 63-69; Volume 16, 1970, pp. 73-82.

Rassegna della Letteratura Italiana, Volume 83, 1979, mberto Carpi, "Il Primo Baldini," pp. 307-315.

Silarus, September-October 2001, Filberto Mazzoleni, "Antonio Baldinia e il suo amore per Roma," pp. 16-19.

Studi Romani, January, 1984, Eugenio Ragni, "Rileggiamo (Meglio) Antonio Baldini," pp. 49-60.

Vita e Pensiero, Volume 45, 1962, Pina Romagnoli Robuschi, "Antonio Baldini," pp. 823-826; Volume 52, 1969, Carmine di Biase, "Lavori di striglia, di rasoio e di penna di Antonio Baldini," pp. 919-928.*