Other Literary Forms
Giuseppe Giusti’s prose writings, though inferior to his poetic ones, must be regarded, nevertheless, as a complement to them, for like his verses, they bear the mark of constant, painstaking rewriting and polishing. While his writings in prose suffer from a belabored style, his poetry retains its appearance of streamlined spontaneity despite numerous revisions.
When Giusti’s Epistolario (1904, 1932, 1956; correspondence) was published in its complete form, it confirmed his place in Italian literary history as a significant regional writer. Giusti’s letters epitomize the distinct flavor of the Tuscan language as it was spoken by the common people of his time. In the vernacular that he cultivated with pride, perhaps even with a certain arrogance, Giusti depicted vignettes of everyday life in contemporary Tuscany.
A similar spirit informs Raccolta dei proverbi toscani, con illustrazioni cavata dei manoscritti di G. Giusti ed ora ampliata ed ordinata (1853; illustrated collection of Tuscan proverbs from G. Giusti’s enlarged and rearranged manuscripts), published three years after Giusti’s death by his closest friend, Gino Capponi. The proverbs are a repository of Tuscan folkloric wit and wisdom, but, like Giusti’s letters, they suffer at times from the linguistic excesses to which he was prone. “Memorie inedite” (unpublished memoirs), later published as Cronaca dei fatti di Toscana (1890; chronicle of...
(The entire section is 516 words.)