January 9, 1881: Giovanni Papini, Italian writer, author of an extensive literary, essayistic, religious, political, and philosophical work, including "A Finished Man", "History of Christ" and "Gog", is born.
Giovanni Papini was a critical and polemic spirit of the 20th century.
The Italian journalist, critic, and novelist Giovanni Papini marked an entire epoch with his texts, first as a writer, then as a leader of the Italian futurist language, and finally as a spokesman for the Roman Catholic religious belief. Considered one of the most critical and polemic literary figures of the early 20th century, Papini left in his autobiography, "A Finished Man", a melancholy in pages that for many represent his masterpiece, for which he will be remembered tomorrow, 57 years after his death on July 8, 1956.
According to the biography published by the Encyclopedia Britannica online, Papini was born on January 9, 1881, in Florence, Italy, in the bosom of a humble family, hence his education was self-taught. It is said that since he was a child he was an assiduous visitor of public libraries where he was able to satiate his hunger for knowledge by reading texts of all genres.
He worked as a librarian at the Museum of Anthropology in Florence until 1903, when he founded the magazine "Leonardo" and a year later he began to collaborate in "La Voce", becoming one of the most restless representatives of that magazine. In 1906 he published the anti-traditionalist work "The Twilight of the Philosophers", in which he expressed his disenchantment with traditional philosophies.
At that time, Papini turned completely to journalism, turning it into an instrument of struggle against the positivism that prevailed in Italian philosophical thought, so that in 1911 he also founded the magazine "Anima" and in 1913 "Lacerba". One of his best-known and most translated books is the 1912 autobiographical novel "A Finished Man", a sincere account of his early years in Florence, where he reveals his desires for ideological certainty and personal fulfillment.
Papini wrote not only criticism but also poetry books, among which "Cento pagine di poesie" (1915) and "Opera prima" (1917) stand out. After the end of World War I, Papini was very affected by the horrors of the conflict, so he decided in 1921 to reconvert to Roman Catholicism, in which he had grown up, according to the Internet portal "biografiasyvidas.com".
In 1921 he wrote "History of Christ", a vivid and realistic recreation of the life of Jesus, and although the book was a great success for many critics it was only a book that manipulated the ideas adapting them to the moment. Among his religious works are the poetry book "Bread and Wine", written in 1926; "St. Augustine", of 1929; "Gog", of 1931; "The Devil" of 1943 and "Letters of Pope Celestine VI to Men", of 1946.
Giovanni Papini departed this world on July 8, 1956, leaving a space difficult to fill in Italian literature.