Umberto Saba (Critical Survey of Poetry)
Other Literary Forms
Although remembered primarily for his poetry, particularly as assembled in the monumental editions of Il canzoniere, Umberto Saba also wrote several significant prose works, most of which were collected by Saba’s daughter Linuccia in Prose (1964). Scorciatoie e raccontini (1946; short cuts and vignettes) consists mainly of terse reflections on poetry and meditations on politics and postwar society. The collection Ricordi—racconti, 1910-1947 (1956; remembrances—stories) contains stories and sketches, some directly autobiographical. Saba’s prose style is usually rich and complex, though not particularly experimental. Like his poems, the prose works are reflective and benefit from a careful rereading. The pieces in Scorciatoie e raccontini are “shortcuts” because they cut through the twisting paths of conventional, logical thought to arrive at a conclusion which is often startling in its revelation and insight. In Storia e cronistoria del canzoniere (1948; history and chronicle of the canzoniere), Saba turns his critical eye to his own works, explaining the biographical background of the poems in Il canzoniere and giving interpretations. This self-criticism not only recalls the commentary of Dante Alighieri on his own poems in the La vita nuova (c. 1292; The New Life) but also exemplifies the influence of Sigmund Freud and...
(The entire section is 3482 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!