Silone, Ignazio

(pseud. Ignazio Tranquillini, 1900–1978)
   Ignazio Silone was a native of the province of Aquila (the Abruzzi) who was orphaned by an earthquake in his early teens. After the death of his parents Silone was obliged to break off his studies. He became involved in the workers’movement and in the antiwar struggle. An ardent socialist, he was implacably opposed to the Fascists from the very beginning, and in the early 1920s worked for a Trieste newspaper, Il Lavoratore, that was a frequent target for Fascist squads. After Benito Mussolini introduced the series of repressive measures outlawing all political dissent and organization in 1925–1926, Silone, who by now was a member of the Partito Comunista Italiano/Italian Communist Party (PCI), joined Antonio Gramsci in clandestine activities against the regime. He narrowly avoided arrest and incarceration, escaping to Switzerland with the police on his trail in 1928. His brother Romolo, who allegedly took part in an April 1928 bomb attack against VictorEmmanuel III, was less fortunate. He was tortured and died in a Fascist prison in 1932. As one of the most important exiled Italian communists, Silone took an active role in the Communist International, but this firsthand experience of the communists’doctrinaire subordination to Stalinism led him to break with the PCI in July 1931. Academic research has since established that during these years Silone was in fact a double agent of the Fascist police and under the pseudonym “Silvestri” was informing on the activities of the PCI. Silone eventually broke with both the Fascist police and Stalinism.
   Silone’s most important books were first published in Switzerland. Fontamarawas published in 1933, first in German, then in more than 20 other languages. Vino e pane (Bread and Wine, 1936), his greatest novel, followed three years later. It tells the story of a communist intellectual, Pietro Spina, who disguises himself from the Fascists by pretending to be Don Paolo Spada, a priest. Living among the peasants in an out-of-the-way mountain village in the Abruzzi, Pietro comes to doubt that political solutions—particularly the narrow dogmatism of the Communist Party—can bring about an improvement in the lot of the ordinary people. By the end of the novel, he is in despair, but, in fact, his own humanity and decency have already been an example for the villagers. Like George Orwell, Silone’s contemporary and friend, Silone came to the conclusion that common decency, not political blueprints, was the key to creating a better society. While in exile, Silone also wrote two important treatises on politics, Fascismo, le sue origini e il suo sviluppo (Fascism: Its Origins and Development, 1935) and La scuola dei dittatori(The School for Dictators, 1938). After World War II, Silone played a major role in the formation of the anticommunist Partito Socialista Democratico Italiano/Italian Social Democratic Party (PSDI). His implacable and active postwar opposition to Stalinism may have cost him the place in Italian letters that he deserved. One of the most widely read and translated Italian authors in the 20th century, his works are scantily represented in Italian school textbooks and university courses even today. Silone died in Geneva in 1978.
   See also Confino; Fascism; Squadrismo.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Silone, Ignazio — orig. Secondo Tranquilli born May 1, 1900, Pescina dei Marsi, Italy died Aug. 22, 1978, Geneva, Switz. Italian novelist, short story writer, and political leader. A founder of the Italian Communist party in 1921, he was active in the party until… …   Universalium

  • Silone,Ignazio — Si·lo·ne (sĭ lōʹnē, sē lōʹnĕ), Ignazio. 1900 1978. Italian novelist whose best known works, Bread and Wine (1937) and The Seed Beneath the Snow (1941), were written while he was in exile from the Fascist regime in Italy. * * * …   Universalium

  • Silone, Ignazio — orig. Secondo Tranquilli (1 may. 1900, Pescina dei Marsi, Italia–22 ago. 1978, Ginebra, Suiza). Novelista, cuentista y líder político italiano. Fue fundador del Partido Comunista italiano en 1921 y se mantuvo como miembro activo del partido hasta …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Silone, Ignazio — pseud. di Secondo Tranquilli (Pescina dei Marsi, L Aquila 1900 Ginevra 1978) scrittore; direttore con Nicola Chiaromonte di “Tempo Presente”; saggista …   Dizionario biografico elementare del Novecento letterario italiano

  • Silone, Ignazio — pseud. di Tranquilli, Secondo …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Silone — Ignazio Silone (* 1. Mai 1900 in Pescina dei Marsi/Abruzzen; † 22. August 1978 in Genf) war ein politisch engagierter italienischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Siehe auch 4 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ignazio Silone — Nombre completo Secondo Tranquilli Nacimiento 1 de mayo de 1900 Pescina (Italia) Defunción 22 de agosto de 1978 Ginebra (Suiza) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Silone — (izg. silȏne), Ignazio (1900 1978) DEFINICIJA talijanski političar i književnik; jedan od osnivača KP Italije (1921), ogorčen zbog boljševičko staljinističkih postupaka u Kominterni odlučno se distancirao od komunizma (1927 1929); u emigraciji u… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Silone — Silone,   Ignazio, eigentlich Secondo Tranquilli [traȖ ku̯illi], italienischer Schriftsteller, * Pescina (Provinz L Aquila) 1. 5. 1900, ✝ Genf 22. 8. 1978; wuchs im bäuerlichen Milieu auf, verlor bei einem Erdbeben 1915 fast seine ganze Familie.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Ignazio Silone — (* 1. Mai 1900 in Pescina dei Marsi/Abruzzen; † 22. August 1978 in Genf) war ein politisch engagierter italienischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Zitat …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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