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Carlo Emilio Gadda
(November 14, 1893 - May 21, 1973) Italy

Carlo Emilio Gadda



Carlo Emilio GaddaGadda was the first of three children born into a well-to-do burgeois family in Milan. His father died when Gadda was young, and his mother pushed him into studying engineering, even though he was more interested in literature.

He took part in WWI, during which his younger brother died. From 1922, Gadda worked as a clerical engineer in Italy, France, Germany and Argentina. During these years he studied also philosophy, and began to work casually as a journalist. In 1936 Gadda's mother died, and he sold the family home.

Carlo Emilio GaddaThis left him financially comfortable, and his work as an engineer became increasingly sporadic as he devoted himself more and more to writing. He moved to Florence, then to Rome, where he worked for the national broadcasting company until 1955, when he devoted himself exclusively to literature.

Bashful, awkward and neurotically attached to a bourgeois tradition of decorum, Gadda was never at ease with his homosexuality. Judging by the accounts of those who knew him well, he was terrorised by the idea that others might discover his sexual tastes.


Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001 - et alii

His work include:

  • Il castello di Udine (1934)
  • Giornale di guerra e di prigione (1955)
  • Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana (That Awful Mess on Via Merulana, 1957)
  • La cognizione del dolore (Acquainted With Grief, 1964)
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