Pitigrilli

Biografie şi Bibliografie

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Pitigrilli, pseudonym for Dino Segre, (9 May 1893 - 8 May 1975) was an Italian writer.[1]

He was born in Turin. His father was Jewish, his mother Catholic, and he grew up a Catholic. He graduated from the University of Turin, Faculty of Law in 1916.

He formed a relationship with the poet Amalia Guglielminetti, which lasted only a short time. He made a living as a journalist and writer of novels.

In 1924 he founded the literary magazine Grandi Firme, which attracted a large readership of young literati. The magazine lasted until 1938, when the Fascist Government banned it, in accordance with the Race Laws.

From 1930 he started travelling around Europe, staying mainly in Paris, with brief periods in Italy. He returned to Italy in 1940, risking being interned (as a Jew), but fled with his family in 1943 to Switzerland, where he stayed until 1947.

In 1948 he went to Argentina where he remained for ten years. He then returned to Europe, staying mainly in Paris while visiting his house in Turin occasionally. He was in Turin when he died.

Pitigrilli was a famous aphorist: "Fragments: a providential resource for writers who don't know how to put together an entire book." "Grammar: a complicated structure that teaches language but impedes speaking."

Cocaïne (1921) is his most famous novel.

Works in English

    * Cocaine, New York, Greenberg, 1933.
    * The man who searched for love, translated by Warre B. Wells, New York, R. M. Mc Bride & Company, 1932.

Collaboration with the Fascist regime

According to documents and accounts by members of the clandestine anti-fascist movement Giustizia e Liberta` (Justice and Freedom) operating in the city of Turin, Pitigrilli acted as an informant for the Fascist secret police OVRA [2] . Since the fascist regime issued openly anti-Semitic “racial laws” and Pitigrilli was a Jew he had credibility among anti-fascist activists. According to a statement of an Italian post-war government committee: “…the last doubt (on Pitigrilli being OVRA informant number 373) could not stand after the unequivocal and categorical testimonies … about encounters and confidential conversations that took place exclusively with Pitigrilli.” It was later found that elements of these conversations were used by the Fascist secret police to carry out arrests and prosecutions of anti-fascist friends of Pitigrilli.

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