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Luzi, Mario (Egidio Vincenzo) 1914-2005

Luzi, Mario (Egidio Vincenzo) 1914-2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born October 20, 1914, in Castello, Italy; died February 28, 2005, in Florence, Italy. Educator and writer. Luzi was considered by many critics to be one of the most talented Italian poets of the twentieth century. A gifted poet from a young age, he began writing verses when he was only nine and published his first collection, La barca (1935), when he was still a student at the University of Florence. He graduated there with a Ph.D. in 1936. Luzi then became a teacher, taking jobs in various cities for the next seventeen years before returning to Florence to join the university faculty as a professor of French literature. While he was teaching, Luzi published dozens of poetry collections. He won the Premio Marzotto Narrative o Poesia in 1957 for his Onore del vero (1957) and the Premio Taormina in 1964 for Nel magma (1963; second enlarged edition, 1966). Other honors included the 1953 Carducci prize, the 1971 Fiuggi prize, the 1978 Viareggio prize, the 1985 Mondello award, and the Librex Guggenheim in 1986. He was also commissioned by Pope John Paul II to write a piece about Easter in 1999, and in 2004 he was appointed a life senator. Despite all these honors, however, Luzi's several nominations for the Nobel Prize for Literature never resulted in his winning that prestigious award. As a writer, Luzi embraced the "hermetic school" while his contemporaries flocked to neo-realism. Among his other verse collections are In the Dark Body of Metamorphosis and Other Poems (1975), the two-volume Nell'opera del mondo, 1957-78 (1979), Per il battesimo dei nostri frammenti (1985), and Viaggio terrestre e celeste di Simone Martini (1994). Luzi also published plays, essay collections, and translations of works by other writers as Jean Racine and William Shakespeare.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2005, p. B11.

New York Times, March 1, 2005, p. A17.

Times (London, England), March 21, 2005, p. 51.

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