Corrado Alvaro, born in San Luca (RC) on 15 April 1895, is a major Italian author. Reggio’s library has dedicated to him an entire room which conserves the furnishings, carpets, books, paintings and desk of the beta, donated by his wife Laura and his son Massimo.
Journalist, intellectual, novelist: a Calabrian appreciated by everyone
In 1917 Alvaro collaborated with the Bolognese magazine “Il resto del Carlino” where he published his first collection of poetry, poesie grigioverdi (meaning “greyish-green poems”). In Bologna he married Laura Babini with whom he had a son named Massimo. In 1920 he moved to Milan where he started working for the newspaper “Corriere della Sera” and then published various works and collections of poetry: la siepe e l’orto, l’uomo nel labirinto, l’amata alla finestra.
DID YOU KNOW THAT …?
His novel Gente in Aspromonte (Revolt in Aspromonte) tells the story of the people of Reggio (Reggini) in a way no one else had ever been able to do and it was studied in the schools of Reggio. This is why all Reggini consider Alvaro the writer of adolescence and popular traditions.
Here comes success
After a brief sojourn in Germany, Alvaro moved to Rome where became a poetry critic of the Risorgimento era. In 1930 his novel Gente in Aspromonte was published and made him famous. His novel Vent’anni, published in 1931, won the literary prize of the newspaper “La Stampa”. After a trip to Russia in 1935 , he published I maestri del diluvio. Viaggio nella Russia sovietica. In 1940 his novel L’uomo è forte (Man is Strong), won the “Premio dell’Accademia d’Italia”. For the Roman Theatre he wrote the comedy Il caffè dei naviganti.
He wrote in his study overlooking the stairway of Piazza Navona
Alvaro rarely left Rome after 1945. He found the perfect writing atmosphere in his home in Piazza di Spagna. He decide to have Gente in Aspromonte reprinted, and wrote the play La lunga notte di Medea later produced in Milan. He collaborated prolifically with Roman directors on the screenplays of several films.
He published Quasi una vita for Bompiani in 1950, a collection of writings from his diary dating from 1927 to 1947. This won him the Premio Strega of 1951. He continued to write until he died of illness in Rome in 1956.
The collection of books and furnishings housed at the Municipal Library is only a part of the writer’s study. Another part went to the publishing house Bompiani and another was donated by his brother Massimo to the Corrado Alvaro Study Centre of Rome. Recently, the author’s manuscripts were purchased by the Province of Reggio Calabria (now a metropolitan city) and donated to the Corrado Alvaro Study Centre of San Luca, his birth town.
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