Guido Gozzano

Guido Gozzano

Guido Gustavo Gozzano was an Italian poet and writer. He was born in Turin, the son of Fausto Gozzano, an engineer, and of Diodata Mautino, the daughter of Senator Mautino, patriot and supporter of Giuseppe Mazzini and Massimo D'Azeglio. He spent his life in Turin and in Agliè (in the Canavese area), where his family owned several buildings and a large estate: Villa Il Meleto. Of delicate health (but nevertheless practicing sports such as ice-skating, cycling, and swimming), he completed primary school with mediocre results, and attended Liceo classico Cavour; in 1903, after secondary school, he studied law at the University of Turin but never graduated, preferring to attend the crepuscolari torinesi, i.e. literature lessons by poet Arturo Graf, who was well liked by the young men of letters. Graf exercised great influence over Gozzano. His Leopardi-inspired pessimism was mitigated by a spiritualistic form of socialism, a combination which young Turinese intellectuals (who saw in his thought an "antidote" to the style of Gabriele D'Annunzio) particularly favoured. Graf helped Gozzano depart from D'Annunzio's canon, which imbued his early work, by "going back to the sources" and devoting himself to a thorough study of the poetry of Dante Alighieri and Francesco Petrarca, which helped refine his poetic sensibility.

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