BASSANI, GIORGIO (1916–2000), Italian writer. Bassani, who was born in Bologna, lived for many years in Ferrara and was active in the anti-Fascist Resistance. After World War II he moved to Rome, but Ferrara, and especially its Jewish community, remained at the heart of Bassani's literary world. His first published work was a volume of stories and poems entitled Una città di pianura (1940), published under a pseudonym because of the Fascist antisemitic laws. In 1945 he made his reputation with a book of poems, Storie di poveri amanti. His collection of short stories Cinque storie ferraresi (1956) deals with provincial life in Ferrara. One of them, "Una lapide in via Mazzini" is the story of a Jewish survivor of a concentration camp: his presence is an embarrassing reminder to the people of his native town, who wish to forget the tragedy. Gli occhiali d'oro (1958; The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles, 1960) is the story of two men rejected by society, one because he is a homosexual, the other because he is a Jew. The Jewish theme is omnipresent in Bassani's fiction: Jewish identity is a paradigm of the malaise of modern man, who has lost his stable system of values. This theme is intertwined with the theme of memory, particularly in Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini (1962; The Garden of Finzi Contini, 1965), which has been translated into a number of languages, including Hebrew. Reality and fiction are mixed in this novel, which deals with the fate of an old and wealthy Jewish family during the Fascist years and the war, and stops just before its deportation. In L'airone (1968; The Heron, 1969) a Jewish bourgeois who leaves his property to his Christian wife and the Communist peasants represents the European bourgeois unable to establish a healthy relationship with the surrounding world. The association of a problematic Jewish identity with the crisis of the contemporary bourgeosie is also a key theme of Dietro la porta (1964; Behind the Door, 1972), the most autobiographical of his novels. Jewish characters are also present in L'odore del fieno (1972; The Smell of Hay, 1997). In 1980 Bassani revised his short stories and novels and published them in one volume under the title Il romanzo di Ferrara. His poems were collected in 1982 in In rima e senza; among them some texts dealing with the Jewish condition, such as "Le leggi razziali" (1974). Di là dal cuore (1984) is a collection all of Bassani's critical essays. From 1948 to 1961 he edited the literary review Botteghe Oscure and from 1948 to 1961 he was a vice president of Italian radio and television; for many years he was also president of Italia nostra, an association for the preservation of the country's artistic and natural heritage. In addition he taught the history of theater at the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Grillandi, Invito alla lettura di Bassani (1972); G. Bassani Opere (1998), with a chronology and bibliography; A. Dolfi, Giorgio Bassani: una scrittura della malinconia (2000); C. Kroha, "Judaism and Manhood in the Novels of Giorgio Bassani," in: T. Di Napoli (ed.), The Italian Jewish Experience (2000); P. Prebys, Giorgio Bassani, Bibliografia sulle opere e sulla vita (2002). (Alessandro Guetta (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bassani, Giorgio — (1916–2000)    Along with Primo Levi, Giorgio Bassani is probably the finest postwar writer produced by Italy’s small Jewish community. Born in Bologna in 1916, Bassani was raised in the Po Valley city of Ferrara, which provides the backdrop for… …   Historical Dictionary of modern Italy

  • Bassani, Giorgio — ▪ 2001       Italian writer and editor (b. March 4, 1916, Bologna, Italy d. April 13, 2000, Rome, Italy), skillfully presented the plight of Jews of the Ferrara community in Fascist era Italy in his award winning 1962 novel Il giardino dei Finzi… …   Universalium

  • Bassani, Giorgio — (1916 2000)    Italian writer. Born in Bologna, he lived in Ferrara until 1943, when he moved to Rome. He edited Bolteghe oscure, an international literary review, from 1948 to 1960. His Garden of the Finzi Continis depicts an aristocratic… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Bassani, Giorgio — ► (1916 2000) Novelista y poeta italiano. Obras: Cinco historias de Ferrara (1956), El jardín de los Finzi Contini (1962), Detrás de la puerta (1964) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bassani, Giorgio — (Bologna 1916 Roma 2000) scrittore, saggista e poeta; direttore di “Botteghe Oscure”. collab./opere: “Corrente” …   Dizionario biografico elementare del Novecento letterario italiano

  • Bassani — Bassani, Giorgio …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Giorgio Bassani — (* 4. März 1916 in Bologna; † 13. April 2000 in Rom) war ein italienischer Schriftsteller und Dichter. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Ehrungen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Giorgio Bassani — (Bolonia, 4 de marzo de 1916 Roma, 13 de abril de 2000), escritor judío italiano, famoso por sus Novelas de Ferrara. Biografía Hijo de Dora y del médico Enrico Bassani, hermano de Paolo y Jenny, Giorgio Bassani pasó su infancia en Ferrara. En… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Giorgio Bassani — Giorgio Bassani, romancier et poète italien né le 4 mars 1916 à Bologne, mort le 13 avril 2000 à Rome. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Principales œuvres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • BASSANI (G.) — Une ville: Ferrare, une époque: la fin des années trente, un milieu: la communauté israélite traquée par les lois raciales définissent d’emblée l’œuvre narrative de Giorgio Bassani. Le succès, mérité, d’un roman comme Le Jardin des Finzi Contini… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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