Aldo Palazzeschi

PALAZZESCHI

Poet and writer, Aldo Giurlani (who later got the surname Palazzeschi from his maternal grandmother), was born in Florence in 1885 by a middle class family. Hot-blooded and rebel writer, he soon became a professional provocateur, not just because of his original way of writing, but also because he presented a unique interpretation of the reality, opposite to the common way of thinking. He made his debut as poet in 1905 with a short collection of verses called “Cavalli Bianchi” (white horses). The publication of his third collection, “Poemi”(1909) assured him a friendship with Marinetti, which led him to join the Futurism movement (which identified Marinetti as its deus-ex-machina). In 1913 he started to collaborate with the magazine “Lacerba”, related to the literary  movement. In 1911 the publishing house Edizioni Futuriste released one of Palazzeschi’s masterpiece, “Il Codice Perelà”, with the subheading “futuristic novel”

This idyllic situation with the Futurists, however, came to an end in 1914, when his  independent personality and pacifist thoughts started to clash with the campaign in favor of the entry into the war promoted by the artists. This break-up led him to approach more traditional ways of writing: an example of this new tendency can be found in another of his masterpieces, the novel “Le sorelle Materassi”. After the experience of the First World War, during which he managed not to be sent to the front (he had, however, to serve as sapper), he kept a cold, wait-and-see approach towards the fascist regime and its ideologies about the “return to order.“ He then led a very secluded life, intensifying his narrative production and collaborating, from 1926, with “il Corriere della Sera”. In the 60s, it took place the third period of his literary activity, during which he showed again interest for the experimentations of his youth. The 68’s protests found him old, and he considered by many a sort of “living classic”. He accepted with irony and casualness the praises received by the poets of the new avant-garde, who identified him as their precursor. Amongst the works of his latest production, we find: “Il buffo integrale” (1966), la surreal fairytale “Stefanino” (1969), il “Doge” (1967) and the novel “Storia di un’amicizia” (1971). He died in Rome on the 17th july of 1974.

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