Giosuè Alessandro Giuseppe Carducci was an Italian poet and writer. He was the first Italian to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1906.
Born July 27, 1835 in Valdicastello in the province of Lucca, by Michele Carducci, doctor and revolutionary, and Ildegonda Celli, of Volterra origins. On 25 October 1838 the Carducci family, due to the competition won by their father to become a local doctor, moved to Bolgheri, a lost Tuscan village which thanks to the poet became famous all over the world. The permanence in the Maremma is witnessed and recalled with affectionate nostalgia in the sonnet "Traversando la Maremma toscana" (1885) and in many other places of his poetry.
The famous Nonna Lucia is also part of the family nucleus, a decisive figure in the education and training of little Giosuè so much that the poet remembers it with great affection in the poem "Davanti San Guido". A few years later, however (precisely in 1842), this figure for us now nobly literary dies, throwing Joshua in despair.
In the meantime revolutionary movements are taking hold, motions in which the passionate and "testacalda" father Michele is involved. The situation is complicated to such an extent that shots are fired at the Carducci family, following the escalation of the conflict between Michele Carducci and the most conservative part of the Bolgheri population; the event forces them to move to nearby Castagneto where they remain for almost a year (now known as Castagneto Carducci).
On April 28, 1849 Carducci arrive in Florence. Joshua attended the Piarist Institute and met his future wife Elvira Menicucci, daughter of Francesco Menicucci, military tailor. On 11 November 1853 the future poet enters the Scuola Normale di Pisa. The requirements for admission do not match perfectly, but a declaration by Father Geremia, his teacher, is crucial: "... he has a beautiful talent and a very rich imagination, he is grasped by many excellent knowledge, he distinguished himself even among the best: he was always good as a young man, Christian and civilly educated ". Joshua supports the exams brilliantly doing the theme "Dante and his century" and wins the competition. In the same year he constituted, together with three classmates, the group of "Amici pedanti", engaged in the defense of classicism against the Manzonians. After graduation, achieved with honors, teaches rhetoric at the high school of San Miniato al Tedesco.
It is 1857, when he composed the "Rime di San Miniato" whose success is almost nil, except for a quote in a contemporary magazine by Guerrazzi. On the evening of Wednesday, November 4, his brother Dante is killed, cutting his chest with a razor sharp scalpel of his father; a thousand conjectures. It is said because he was tired of the family reproaches especially of his father, who had become intolerant and hard even with his children. The year after, however, the poet's father dies.
A year of mourning and the poet finally marries Elvira. Later, after the birth of his daughters Beatrice and Laura, he moved to Bologna, a very cultured and stimulating environment, where he taught Italian eloquence at the University. Thus began a very long period of teaching (which lasted until 1904), characterized by a fervent and passionate philological and critical activity. The son Dante is born too, but dies at a very young age. Carducci is severely struck by his death: grim, staring into space, he carries his pain everywhere, at home, at university, for a walk. In June 1871, thinking of his lost son he composed "Ancient Pianto".
In the '60s, the discontent provoked in him by the weakness shown, in his opinion, on several occasions by the post-unification government (the Roman question, the arrest of Garibaldi) resulted in a pro-republican and even Jacobin attitude: it also affected his poetic activity, characterized in this period by a rich social and political theme.
In the following years, with the changing of the Italian historical reality, Carducci passes from a violently polemical and revolutionary attitude to a much more peaceful relationship with the state and the monarchy, which ends up appearing to be the best guarantor of the secular spirit of the Risorgimento and of a non-subversive social progress (against socialist thought).
The new monarchical sympathy culminates in 1890 with the nomination as senator of the kingdom.
Returning to Castagneto in 1879, he gave life, together with his friends and fellow citizens to the famous "ribotte" during which he entertained tasting typical local dishes, drinking red wine, chatting and reciting the numerous toasts composed for those convivial occasions.
In 1906 the poet was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature ("Not only in recognition of his profound teachings and critical research, but on a tribute to the creative energy, purity of style and lyrical strength that characterizes his masterpiece of poetic "). The health conditions do not allow him to go to Stockholm to collect the prize that is given to him at his home in Bologna.
On 16 February 1907 Giosuè Carducci died due to cirrhosis of the liver at his home in Bologna, at the age of 72.
The funeral was held on 19 February and Carducci was buried at the Certosa di Bologna after several controversies related to the burial place.