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Massimo Bontempelli (May 12, 1878 – July 21, 1960) was an Italian poet, playwright, and novelist. He was influential in developing and promoting the literary style known as magical realism.



Bontempelli graduated from the University of Torino in 1903. He taught elementary school for seven years, doing his writing on the side, but abandoned teaching for journalism when he could not secure a position at a secondary school. He served as a war correspondent during WWI. After the war, he settled in Milan and became interested in the literary styles of futurism and magical realism. In 1926, he, along with Curzio Malaparte, founded the journal "900". James Joyce, Max Jacob, and Rainer Maria Rilke sat on the editorial committee and Virginia Woolf and Blaise Cendrars were among the contributors.

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, Bontempelli was an active fascist. He served as a secretary of the fascist writers' union and spent time abroad lecturing on Italian culture and spreading propaganda. In 1938, he refused to accept a university post formerly held by a Jewish professor and was kicked out of the fascist party. After WWII, Bontempelli won a Senate race but the results were voided when his fascist ties were discovered. In 1953, Bontempelli's "L'amante Fedele" won the Strega Prize, Italy's most prestigious literary award. After years of declining health, Bontempelli died in Rome in 1960.


1908 Socrate moderno
1912 I sette savi
1919 Il purosangue
1920 La vita intensa - Romanzo dei romanzi; La guardia alla luna
1921 La vita operosa; Nuovi racconti d'avventure
1922 Viaggi e scoperte; La scacchiera davanti allo specchio (The Chess Set in the Mirror); Ultime avventure
1923 Eva ultima (Last Eva)
1924 La donna del Nadir
1925 La donna dei miei sogni e altre avventure moderne; Nostra Dea
1926 L'eden della tartaruga
1928 Donna nel sole, e altri idilli; Minnie la candida
1929 Il figlio di due madri (The Boy with Two Mothers); Il neosofista
1930 Vita e morte di Adria e dei suoi figli (The Life and Death of Adria and Her Children)
1931 Mia vita, morte e miracoli; Stato d grazia
1932 La famiglia del fabbro; <<522>> Racconto di una giornata; Valoria
1934 Galleria degli schiavi; Bassano padre geloso
1937 Gente nel tempo (People in Time)
1938 L'avventura novecentista
1941 Giro del sole
1942 Sette discorsi
1945 Le notti (The Nights); L'acqua (Water)
1946 L'ottuagenaria
1953 L'amante fedele (The Faithful Lover)

Works in English translation

Separations: Two Novels of Mothers and Children (Figlio di due madri / The Boy with Two Mothers and Vita e morte di Adria e dei suoi figli / The Life and Death of Adria and Her Children). Translated by Estelle Gilson. McPherson & Co, 2000.
The Chess Set in the Mirror (La scacchiera davanti allo specchio). Translated by Estelle Gilson. Illustrated by Sergio Tofano. Paul Dry Books, 2006.
The Faithful Lover (L'amante fedele). Translated by Estelle Gilson with an introduction by Luigi Fontanella. Host Publications, 2007, [1]
Letters of Introduction Translated by W.L. Dale. The Cornhill Magazine, No. 1030, Winter 1961/62 pages 268-271.

External links

Separations: Two Novels of Mothers and Children publicity page.
The Chess Set in the Mirror publicity page.
The Faithful Lover publicity page.



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