Giuseppe Ungaretti

Elena Coda (Purdue University)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

Giuseppe Ungaretti was born in Alexandria, Egypt, on February 8, 1888, of Italian immigrants originally from Lucca. He lost his father as a young child and his mother supported the family by running a bakery on the outskirts of the city close to the Sahara. The view of the desert, with its vast emptiness, would have a great impact on Ungaretti’s complex perception of history and humanity. As he would later note, commenting on his native city:

The imagery of desolation was obsessive within me from my very first poems. It was the desert that defined it in me: out of the desert were born, in my far-off infancy and youth, the notion and feeling of the infinite, of the primal, of the fall of all things into nothingness. (qtd. in Cary 1993, 138)

The imagery of desolation was obsessive within me…

2865 words

Citation: Coda, Elena. "Giuseppe Ungaretti". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 February 2011 [, accessed 10 December 2023.]

11845 Giuseppe Ungaretti 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.