Other literary forms
The works of Elio Vittorini (vee-toh-REE-nee) fit uneasily within traditional genres. Vittorini was, by temperament and by conscious decision, an innovator. His novels, with few exceptions, first appeared in installments in literary journals and only years later were published in book form, extensively reworked and perhaps with changed titles. Given the historical and editorial circumstances surrounding their publication, Vittorini’s novels appear as works in progress and are fully integrated with his other activities as a writer, with his journalistic, political, and theoretical concerns.
Vittorini’s first major publication was a collection of eight short stories, Piccola borghesia (1931; petty bourgeoisie). “La mia guerra” (“My War”), which is first in the collection but last chronologically, foreshadows Vittorini’s later atmosphere and pattern of allusions, with the theme of childhood adventure set against the background of the experience of war and travel. “La signora della stazione” (“The Stationmaster’s Lady”) also is significant, in view of Vittorini’s later development of the theme of childhood on a sunny, mythical island.
In 1936, Vittorini published Nei morlacchi—Viaggio in Sardegna, a collection of notes he had taken on a trip to Sardinia. The book, which includes a prose poem, acquired its definitive title and format, Sardegna come un’infanzia (Sardinia as one’s childhood),...
(The entire section is 532 words.)