The Mediterranean is filled with a variety of poets and short story writers. From the 1300s-1900s, these authors have spanned an array of topics and themes for




НазваThe Mediterranean is filled with a variety of poets and short story writers. From the 1300s-1900s, these authors have spanned an array of topics and themes for
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Alyssa Naber

English IV

Ms. Froiland

16 December 2009

Mediterranean Authors

The Mediterranean is filled with a variety of poets and short story writers. From the 1300s-1900s, these authors have spanned an array of topics and themes for readers to enjoy. For example the general theme for all of the stories was about love and death. Once again even the poems were about death. A comparison among these Mediterranean writers, Dante Alighieri, Federico Garcia Lorca, Nazim Hikmet, Luigi Pirandello, Naguib Mahfouz, Emilia Pardo Bazan, will be demonstrated below.

According to World Literature by Donna Rosenburg, Dante Alighieri was born into a noble family in Florence, Italy in 1265. He received a fine education in the classics (pg 70). In 1302, while visiting Rome, Dante was wrongly convicted, this resulted in him never being able to return to Florence. Nineteen years later he died in Ravenna, Italy, in 1321, and became a famous and honored writer. One of his most famous poems he has written is ‘Divine Comedy’, a work that many consider to be the greatest poem of the Middle Ages. An important element in his poetry is courtly love, a tradition that developed and also flowered in twelfth century European poetry. Given Dante’s stature as a poet, the role of women in most of his poetry contributed to their development in society (pg 70). Most of his poems deal with some aspect of love. “Because you know you’re young in beauty yet” is about two people who seem to be so in love and yet find themselves wondering if one can die because of love. Two young people question their love for each other and the author, Dante Alighieri seems to tell his readers to not fall in love so young. Throughout the poem the man is going back and forth about killing himself and seeing if his one true love will kill herself also just to be with him. By the end of the poem the man kills himself and the woman is left with grief and does not understand why her one true love would kill himself to prove that he loves her.

Federico Garcia Lorca was born in Granada, a southern province in Spain to an affluent family (pg 84). Garcia Lorca studied law at the University of Granada and then attended the University of Madrid, where he became close friends with avant-garde writers and artists. In 1918, Garcia Lorca’s career started and by 1931 he was directing a government-sponsored traveling theater group called L Barraca, which performed classical and modern drama throughout Spain (pg 84). When the Spanish Civil War began in 1936, Lorca remained in Granada where he felt safe since he was an artist and not a political activist. Because Garcia Lorca’s was friends with leftist intellectuals, he was murdered by the Fascists. The Fascist government of General Francisco Franco banned Garcia Lorca’s works in Spain from 1936 to 1975 (pg 84). In his poem, “Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejas,” Garcia Lorca writes a formal elegy for a fellow poet, good friend, and famous matador who died in a bullfight. The poem ranges back and forth through time, using allusion to connect his dead friend to the bull. “Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejas” confers immortality on Sanchez Mejas and on himself as well. Garcia Lorca developed a unique style of writing, which combined the modern with the ancient and traditional. He expresses his ideas through images and metaphors. With his poetry and plays, death is part of life, and blood is the link between them.

Nazim Hikmet, was born on January 15, 1902, in Selanik, Ottoman Empire, which is formally known today as Thessaloniki, Greece (pg 93). At age fifteen he published his first poems. When he was twenty-two, he joined the Turkish Communist Party and began to write as a journalist (pg 93). Hikmet was imprisoned in 1924 for writing for a communist magazine. He fled to Russia to escape a second prison sentence but when he returned to Turkey; he was convicted of instigating a military rebellion and was sentenced to 35 years (pg 93). Hikmet shared the international peace prize with Pablo Neruda and an international protest forced the Turkish government to release him but forced him into exile. He lived in Poland and Russia until his death in Moscow Russia in 1963. “Letter to my Wife” was written while in prison in 1933. He used a unique style of writing like he was having a conversation for the intended reader. He wrote with great optimism for life and future.

Only Dante is known for making an important literature movement Italian literature. Even though Dante and Federico went to college, they both seemed to have gotten a degree in separate things than their intended careers. Dante, considering it was the 1300s studied philosophy. Federico went for law, but later intended to go to a different university where he met some famous people. Nazim did become a journalist when he was older, but he did not go to college. Dante was born before anyone else was born as the other two came at least three hundred years later. Everyone was born in different countries: Spain, Italy, and Greece - all only a body of water away from each other.

Short story writer, Luigi Pirandello was born in Agrigento, Sicily, Italy, to wealthy parents in the year of 1867 (pg 79). Throughout half of his life he attended universities in Rome, Italy, and Bonn, Germany. When he was a young adult, he taught Italian literature, and also wrote short stories, poetry, and also novels (pg 79). When he turned twenty-seven, he married the daughter of his father’s business partner (pg 79). The family business supported him as an author, until the business failed that is, an event that caused his wife to lose her reasoning (pg 79). His wife died in 1918. In 1913, when he was forty-six, he became a play writer and introduced the world theatre the symbolic physiological dramas. The international fame he achieved in the 1920’s enabled him to retire from teaching and to travel with a theater group that performed his plays (pg 79). December 10, 1936, was the year he died.

A well educated writer and reader, Emilia Pardo Bazan, was born in Galicia, Spain. When she was fifteen, her parents arranged for her to marry a law student (pg 73). In 1871, five years later, she won a literary contest; she wrote an essay on a feminist writer from the eighteenth century (pg 73). In 1876, five years later again, she wrote and published her first poetry book. Three years later, in 1879, she published her first novel. In 1833, her husband demanded that she stop writing; because she caused a public controversy with another writer, declaring her independence from her husband, she moved in with her mother. In both 1891 and 1892 she published a monthly literary journal that contained her essays and a short story. Finally, in 1915, her importance as a writer enabled her to become the first female professor at a Spanish University, (University of Madrid).

Naguib Mahfouz, was born in the historic district of Gamaliya, In Cairo, Egypt, in 1911. He attended Islamic elementary school and then graduated with a degree in philosophy from King Fuad I University, now the University of Cairo in 1934. He began writing literature at the age of seventeen and published his first works in a magazine. Between 1934 and his retirement in 1972, he lived in Agouza, a suburb in Cairo. During the time he worked for both the ministry of culture and he was also in charge of theater and motion-picture censorship. He worked, while he wrote at night.

In all of the short stories death and love are the main points of comparing all of the stories. But each short story was told differently. War involved a death of a soldier. The Conjurer that Made off with the Dish involved the killing a girl. Torn Lace involved the death of a relationship.

War was written about a father who lost his son in a war and it had not sunk it yet that he died. The Conjurer that Made off with the Dish was written about a boy who found love but in the end he could not be with her and he saw a guy murder a girl. Torn Lace was written about a bride who loved her groom but on the day of the wedding, he turned into something she did not want to marry.

In each story, the characters loved someone and because of that love, there was death. Like Romeo and Juliet, their love for each other ended up with both of them killing themselves. War and The Conjurer that Made off with the Dish both involved an actual person dying, while Torn Lace involved a relationship dying.

As shown above the Mediterranean poets had their differences and similarities in their writing themes. Primarily their similarities were both of death and love, and over all, their differences were in the own time periods that they were written.

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