A munificent intellectual

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A munificent intellectual

Alberto Cantoni

... So, Jew, and not faint and disguised, indeed, as you can see in his work Israele Italiano, declared in a firm and clear conscience and dignity, its own world he didn’t want to represent, person or thing, feeling or costumes, or only one manner...

Brief extract from: Cantoni, edited by Bacchelli in "Romanzi e racconti italiani dell’Ottocento", Milano, 1953”.

Humorist and poet, Alberto Cantoni (1841-1904), scion of a Jewish family of landowners, spent a quiet life in the Pomponesco countryside. He lived among his peasants, even portraying them in his books. He was particularly appreciated by Luigi Pirandello, who wrote the introduction to his posthumous work L’Illustrissimo (1906). He was a prolific writer: Il demonio dello stile and Pietro and Paola (1887), Un re Umorista e Memorie (1891), L’altalena delle antipatie ( (1893), Humour classico e moderno (1899), Scaricalasino (1901). Incline to the psychological analysis, the grotesque and the irony, Cantoni was a typical writer of his time, little influenced by the Jewish world to which he belonged. He left a will in favour of the poor of Pomponesco. His hometown has dedicated to him a bust at the entrance of the Town Hall and has given the title, along with his sister Giulia, to via Fratelli Cantoni.