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Fogazzaro, Antonio

FOGAZZARO, ANTONIO (1842- ), Italian novelist and poet, was born at Vicenza in 1842. He was a pupil of the Abate Zanella, one of the best of the modern Italian poets, whose tender, thoughtful and deeply religious spirit continued to animate his literary productions. He began his literary career with Miranda, a poetical romance (1874), followed in 1876 by Valsolda, which, republished in 1886 with considerable additions, constitutes perhaps his principal claim as a poet, which is not inconsiderable. To the classic grandeur of Carducci and D'Annunzio's impetuous torrent of melody Fogazzaro opposes a Wordsworthian simplicity and pathos, contributing to modern Italian literature wholesome elements of which it would otherwise be nearly destitute. His novels, Malombra (1882), Daniele Cortis (1887), Misterio del Poeta (1888), obtained considerable literary success upon their first publication, but did not gain universal popularity until they were discovered and taken up by French critics in 1896. The demand then became prodigious, and a new work, Piccolo Mondo antico (1896), which critics far from friendly to Fogazzaro's religious and philosophical ideas pronounced the best Italian novel since I Promessi Sposi, went through numerous editions. Even greater sensation was caused by his novel Il Santo (The Saint, 1906), on account of its being treated as unorthodox by the Vatican; and Fogazzaro's sympathy with the Liberal Catholic movement - his own Catholicism being well known - made this novel a centre of discussion in the Roman Catholic world.

See the biography by Molmenti (1900).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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