Giudici, Giovanni 1924–

views updated

Giudici, Giovanni 1924–

PERSONAL: Born June 26, 1924, in Le Grazi, La Spezia, Italy; married; children: two sons. Education: Attended university in Rome, Italy; earned degree in French literature.

ADDRESSES: Home—Milan, Italy. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Arnold Mondadori Editore, via Mondadori, 1, 20090, Seagrate, Milan, Italy.

CAREER: Writer. Olivetti (publishing house), Ivrea, Turin, and Milan, Italy, former copywriter.

AWARDS, HONORS: Viareggio prize, 1969.


Fiorì d'improvviso (poems; title means "Sudden Blooming"), Canzoniere (Rome, Italy), 1953.

La stazione di Pisa e altre poesie (title means "The Pisa Railroad Station and Other Poems"), Instituto Statale d'Arte (Urbino, Italy), 1955.

L'intelligenza col nemico (poems; title means "Intelligence with the Enemy"), All'Insegna del Pesce d'Oro (Milan, Italy), 1963.

L'educazione cattolica (1962–1963) (poems; title means "A Catholic Education"), All'Insegna del Pesce d'Oro (Milan, Italy), 1963.

La vita in versi (title means "Life in Verse"), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1965, 2nd edition, 1980.

Autobiologia (poems), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1965.

(Translator) Sara Lidman, Cinque diamanti, Rizzoli (Milan, Italy), 1966.

(Translator, with Giovanni Galtieri) Edmund Wilson, Saggi letterari, 1920–1950, Garzanti (Milan, Italy), 1967.

(Translator, with Ljudmila Kortikova) Jurij Tynjanov, Il problema del linguaggio poetico, Il Saggiatore (Milan, Italy), 1968, 2nd edition, 1981.

Omaggio a Praga = Hold Praze: cinque poesie e tre prose con una piccola antologia di poeti cèchi del '900 (includes poems and prose in Italian by Giudici and translations of Czech poetry by other authors into Italian), All'Insegna del Pesce d'Oro (Milan, Italy), 1968.

(Translator and author of preface) Jirí Orten, La cosa chiamata poesia, edited by Vladimir Mikeš, G. Einaudi (Turin, Italy), 1969.

(Translator, with J. Spendel and G. Venturi) Poesia Sovietica degli anni sessanta, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1970.

O Beatrice, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1972.

Poesie scelte (title means "Selected Poems"), edited by Fernando Bandini, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1975.

La letteratura verso Hiroshima e altri scritti, Riuniti (Rome, Italy), 1976.

(Author of text) Gianni Berengo-Gardin, Tevere (photography), Dalmine, 1976.

Il male dei creditori, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1977, 2nd edition, 1987.

Il ristorante dei morti, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1981.

(Translator) Addio, proibito piangere: e altri versi tradotti (1955–1980), Einaudi (Turin, Italy), 1982.

(With others) Design Process, Olivetti (Turin, Italy), 1983.

Lume dei tuoi misteri, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1984.

(Translator and author of introduction) St. Ignatius of Loyola, Esercizi spirituali, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1984.

La dama non cercata: poetica e letteratura, 1968–1984, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1985.

Salutz (1984–1986), Einaudi (Turin, Italy), 1986.

(Translator) Samuel Taylor Coleridge, La rima del vecchio marinaio; Kubla Khan, SE Studio Editoriale (Milan, Italy), 1987.

Frau Doktor, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1989.

Prove del teatro, Einaudi (Turin, Italy), 1989.

Scarabattole (poems for children), illustrated by Nicoletta Costa, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1989, 2nd edition, 1999.

Fortezza (title means "Fortitude"), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1990.

Il paradiso: perché mi vinse il lume d'esta stella: satura drammatica, Costa & Nolan (Genoa, Italy), 1991.

Poesie: 1953–1990, two volumes, Garzanti (Milan, Italy), 1991.

Andare in Cina a piedi: racconto sulla poesia, Edizioni (Rome, Italy), 1992.

Quanto spera di campare Giovanni (title means "How Long Does John Want to Live?"), Garzanti (Milan, Italy), 1993.

(With Franco Brovelli and Franco Gallivanone) Una parabola da comprendere: riflessioni sulla vita del prete nel postconcilio, Àncora (Milan, Italy), 1994.

Un poeta del golfo, Longanesi (Milan, Italy), 1995.

Empie stelle (1993–1996), Garzanti (Milan, Italy), 1996.

Per forza e per amore: critica e letteratura (1966–1995), Garzanti (Milan, Italy), 1996.

A una casa non sua: nuovi versi tradotti (1955–1995) (poems), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1997.

Eresia della sera, Garzanti (Milan, Italy), 1999.

(Translator) Aleksandr Pushkin, Eugenio Onieghin (translation of Eugene Onegin), Garzanti (Milan, Italy), 1999.

(With Cesare Segre and Alessandro Pancheri) Le varianti e la storia: il Canzoniere di Francesco Petrarca: lezione Sapegno 1999, Bollati Boringhieri (Turin, Italy), 1999.

(With Carlo di Alesio, Carlo Ossola, and Rodolfo Zucco) I versie della vita, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 2000.

Author of introduction to books, including Isabella della Grazia, by Giancarlo Buzzi, All'Insegna del Pesce d'Oro, 1967; Tre Racconti, by Gustave Flaubert, Garzanti, 1974; and Umberto Saba, Mondadori, 1976. Contributor to books, including From Pure Silence to Impure Dialogue: A Survey of Post-war Italian Poetry (1945–1965), edited and translated by Vittoria Bradshaw, Las Américas, 1971; and The New Italian Poetry: 1945 to the Present, edited and translated by Lawrence Smith, University of California Press, 1981. Also contributor to periodicals, including Communità, Aut Aut, Paragone, Rinascita, and Quaderni piacentini.

SIDELIGHTS: Italian poet, essayist, and translator Giovanni Giudici is known for penning existentialist verses that often deal with the difficulties of living in modern Western society. Initially planning an academic career, after earning a degree in French literature Giudici found work as a copywriter for the publishing house Olivetti, remaining there until his retirement. In his spare time, he wrote poetry and prose, with his first poetry collection, Fiorì d'improvviso, being released in 1953. Since then, Giudici has become known as a political and existentialist poet who nonetheless reject the idea that "the social condition is not synonymous to the human condition," as Rosetta Di Pace-Jordan explained in an essay for the Dictionary of Literary Biography. Though strongly opposed to Western materialism and capitalism, the poet acknowledges that one cannot extricate him or herself completely from the necessities of life to lead an ideal existence: to be, as philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once held, completely true to oneself. Rejecting violence in favor of determined but passive resistance to political oppression, Giudici likewise rejects the boundaries placed on him by his Catholic background, while simultaneously realizing that his religious upbringing is a part of who he is. Another dichotomy in his poems is the tension between "a sense of determinism and a desire for action," noted Pace-Jordan.

Rather than leaning on metaphor, generalizations, or symbolism in his poetry, Giudici relies heavily on autobiography, drawing on his own experiences and relationships with family and friends to express himself. One of the best examples of this approach is his collection La vita in versi. Here, Giudici attempts to capture and explain the common experience of modern man by using his own life as an example. Autobiologia, as the title implies, is also autobiographical. Here is a prime example of the poet's theme that, as Pace-Jordan wrote, "the individual can never be self-sufficient; self-realization needs to be always reciprocal in some way." Furthermore, just as individuals are inextricably tied to human society, they are also tied to nature. Giudici "knows that one cannot change nature through an act of the will," commented Pace-Jordan. "He is also aware that the point at which instincts and actions connect eludes consciousness. This knowledge does not allow him to overestimate freedom or to underestimate the determining forces impinging on the self."

Because Giudici focuses on the ordinary occurrences and situations of everyday life, his verses are not only autobiographical but also take on a documentary air. As Keith Bosley noted in a review of Poesie scelte for the Times Literary Supplement, "His poems are insistently about ordinary people." Although their subjects are quotidian, the verses are not without lyricism and musicality, as several critics have observed. Spiritualism is also infused in many of his poems, which typically take the form of a "formal, rhetorical prayer," wrote Pace-Jordan. In a World Literature Today review of Empie stelle (1993–1996), Patricia M. Gathercole further commented: "We need to read Giudici's poetry aloud to appreciate its true worth. There is a haunting beauty about his lines which emanates from his acute attention to sound."



Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 128: Twentieth-Century Italian Poets, Second Series, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1993.


Modern Language Review, April, 1987, Massimo Bacigalupo, review of La dama non cercata: poetica e letteratura, 1968–1984, pp. 501-502.

Times Literary Supplement, September 25, 1969, G. Singh, "Exploiting the Subjective," review of Autobiologia, p. 1063; July 21, 1972, "Italian Ironies," review of O Beatrice, p. 839; October 31, 1975, Keith Bosley, "Melancholy Moments," review of Poesie scelte, p. 1308; October 4, 1991, Peter Hainsworth, "Montale and After," review of Poesie: 1953–1990, p. 32.

World Literature Today, autumn, 1978, Rosetta d. Piclardi, review of Il male dei creditori, p. 609; spring, 1982, Thomas G. Bergin, review of Il ristorante dei morti, p. 320; winter, 1985, Rosario Ferreri, review of Lume dei tuoi misteri, p. 73; summer, 1994, Patricia M. Gathercole, review of Quanto spera di campare Giovanni, p. 547; spring, 1997, Patricia M. Gathercole, review of Empie stelle (1993–1996), p. 365.