Questo sito usa cookie per fornirti un'esperienza migliore. Proseguendo la navigazione accetti l'utilizzo dei cookie da parte nostra OK
consolato_calcutta

Dacia Maraini

 

Dacia Maraini

Dacia Maraini
Dacia Maraini

The daughter of a Sicilian princess, artist Topazia Alliata di Salaparuta, and ethnologist Fosco Maraini, Dacia Maraini was born in Fiesole, near Florence. Her parents fled Fascist Italy for Japan in 1938 but here were interned in a concentration camp for their anti-fascist views. In her collection of verse, Mangiami pure (Devour me too), she writes of these terrible years, finally brought to an end by the arrival of the Americans. Back in Italy, the family moved to Sicily and spent the first few years in Bagheria, the ancestral home of Topazia Alliata. Dacia studied in Palermo, Florence and Rome and published her first novel, La Vacanza (The Vacation) in 1962 when she was only 26. Since then, she has written numerous novels, collections of poetry, plays and screenplays. Her works have been widely translated and the writer has won several literary awards, most notably the Premio Campiello for La Lunga Vita di Marianna Ucrìa (The Silent Duchess) and the Premio Strega, the most prestigious Italian literary prize, for her collection of short stories Buio/Darkness (1999).

In novel after novel, Dacia Maraini returns to certain central themes: social problems, the lives of women, love, sexuality, freedom, violence in the family and cruelty towards children and animals. One of her best known works, the historical novel, The Silent Duchess, exemplifies this very well. The storyof a Sicilian noblewoman and her family, the novel not only brings alive the beauty of the Mediterranean island in loving and sensuous detail, but also addresses something altogether darker: women, their emotional lives, bodies and relationships and a society marked by violence, anger and silent brutality. In the story of Marianna, the silent duchess of the title, struck deaf and dumb following a trauma, the function of silence is not so much ‘the absence of speech’ but an ‘alternative to male language’, as Anna Camaiti-Hostert so perceptively puts it in her afterward to the English-language edition. A much earlier work, Donna in Guerra (Woman at War), published in 1975, is a kind of blidungsroman, the story of a woman’s journey to independence and self-awareness. A much more recent and equally fascinating book is Cercando Emma (Searching for Emma), which examines the often problematic relationship between Flaubert and his famous creation, the beautiful, vexing and self-centred Emma. Other noteworthy works are: L’eta’ del Malessere (The Age of Discontent), Bagheria and the plays Maria Stuarda (Mary Stuart) and Dialogo di una prostituta con il suo cliente (Dialogue between a Prostitute and her Client).

 


94