Home » Italy » Paolo Volponi

Paolo Volponi


Paolo Volponi was born in Urbino in 1924. His father had a small business that baked terra cotta. At the end of the war, he had a brief spell in the Italian resistance. After the war, he studied law and took a degree from Urbino University. The following year, he published his first collection of poetry. He then went to work for Olivetti, joining a team looking at social conditions in the South of Italy. He later moved to Ivrea, where he work in human resources. Adriano Olivetti was, at this time, trying to humanise his company, by hiring more idealistic people. While working for Olivetti, he continued to publish both prose and poetry. In 1971, he went to work for Fiat but had to leave when his left-wing views were deemed unacceptable. He joined the Communist party and later became a senator in the Italian parliament for the communists. He remained a communist till his death in 1994. Many of his works are based on his experiences in Olivetti and Fiat, putting forward the view that industrial society should be more democratic and humanistic. His books, though having a post-modern flavour, are clearly more in the realist tradition but they are also different from those of many of his contemporaries and deserve to be better known. He died in 1994.

Other links

Paolo Volponi (in Italian)
Paolo Volponi (in Italian)
Paolo Volponi (in Italian)
Biografia Paolo Volponi (in Italian)
Paolo Volponi: Il Coraggio della Diversità (in Italian)
Interview (in Italian)


1948 Il ramarro
1955 L’antica moneta
1960 Le porte dell’Appennino
1962 Memoriale (My Trouble Began; The Memorandum)
1964 La nuova pesa
1965 La macchina mondiale (The Worldwide Machine)
1965 Una luce celeste
1967 I sovrani e la ricchezza
1967 Accingersi all’impresa
1968 La barca Olimpia
1968 Olimpia e la pietra
1973 Le mura di Urbino
1974 La vita
1974 Corporale [Corporal]
1974 Foglia mortale
1975 Il sipario ducale (Last Act in Urbino)
1978 Il pianeta irritabile
1980 Poesie e poemetti 1946-1966
1981 Il lanciatore di giavellotto (The Javelin Thrower)
1986 Con testo a fronte
1989 Le mosche del capitale [The Flies of Capital]
1989 Case dell’alta valle del Metauro
1990 Nel silenzio campale
1991 È per un’impudente vanteria
1991 La strada per Roma
1994 Scritti dal margine
1995 Il leone e la volpe
1995 Del naturale e dell’artificiale
2001 Poesie
2002 Romanzi e prose I, II, III
2002 La pestilenza
2004 La zattera di sale e altri frammenti inediti o rari
2005 Cantonate di Urbino
2009 Scrivo a te come guardandomi allo specchio: lettere a Pasolini (1954-1975)