Giovanni Verga, I Malavoglia [The House by the Medlar Tree]

Susan Amatangelo (College of the Holy Cross)
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Though initially not a critical success, I Malavoglia [The House by the Medlar Tree], Giovanni Verga’s 1881 novel, came to be considered a canonical work of Italian literature and firmly established its author as the father of verismo (Italian Realism). The story of a family of Sicilian fishermen who struggle to improve their economic and social standing, it was the first in a proposed series of novels called I Vinti [The Vanquished], an homage to French Naturalist authors like Emile Zola and Gustave Flaubert. As described in his preface to I Malavoglia, through these novels Verga set out to trace the “ricercar del meglio” (I Malavoglia, 41) [search for betterment (The House by the Medlar Tree, xvii)] as it traverses the social classes, beginning with the Malavoglia family, who…

3227 words

Citation: Amatangelo, Susan. "I Malavoglia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 September 2020 [, accessed 11 December 2023.]

11303 I Malavoglia 3 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.

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