13 titles (2 linear feet)View all digital View full finding aid
Simultaneously prolific and tragic, Cesare Pavese was a major figure in 20th century Italian letters. Born in the Piedmont region in 1908 and educated in Turin, Pavese was drawn to English-language literature as a student, writing his thesis on Walt Whitman (1930). Nearly overnight, he became well known as a translator of modern American and British fiction, from Melville, Faulkner, and Steinbeck to James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, and at the same time, he began to publish his own creative work beginning with Lavorare stanca, a book of poetry, in 1936. Although sentenced to three years of internal exile for his anti-fascist sympathies (1938-1941), he continued to write, capped by the appearance of his first two novels in 1941 and 1942. The war's end saw Pavese blossom into an exceptionally creative period, however even as his renown grew, the effects of depression and a failed love affair with the American actress Constance Dowling led him to suicide in August 1950. Two months before he had been awarded the prestigious Strega Prize.
This collection of first and early editions by Cesare Pavese includes five signed volumes: three inscribed to Constance Dowling, one to his friends Leone Ginzburg and later to Dowling, and the fifth to Doris and Harry. Dozens of other volumes by and about Pavese were donated to the Library's general collections.
Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries