Verga, Giovanni

Verga, Giovanni jōvänˈnē vĕrˈgä [key], 1840–1922, Italian novelist, b. Sicily. He abandoned the study of law for literature and wrote several novels of passion in the style of the French realists. His later works, written in a different style, are marked by simplicity and strict accuracy. They deal with the Sicilian middle class and sympathetically treat the poverty and struggles of the peasantry. Verga's technique gave rise to the term verismo, denoting the realistic school. He is considered one of the outstanding writers of modern Europe and has been compared with Flaubert and Zola. His works include Cavalleria rusticana (1880, tr. with other stories in the same volume by D. H. Lawrence, 1928), I Malavoglia (1881, tr. The House by the Medlar Tree, 1890), Novelle rusticane (1883, tr. by D. H. Lawrence, Little Novels of Sicily, 1925), and Mastro-Don Gesualdo (1889, tr. by D. H. Lawrence, 1923). The dramatization of Cavalleria rusticana was produced in 1884, and Mascagni's opera, based on it, in 1890. A stage version of La lupa, one of his best stories, was produced in 1896 (tr. The Wolf Hunt, 1921).

See study by G. L. Lucente (1981).

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