Uno Scrittore Siciliano
A Sicilian Writer
He wrote in a very realistic way, known as il Verismo.
He was also a photographer.
Giovanni Carmelo Verga was born on 2 September in Catania, Sicily, in 1840.
Giovanni's family was wealthy. He received a private education and discovered his love of writing whilst a teenager. In 1858 he began to study Law at the University of Catania but he did not complete the course. Instead, he spent the university money that his father had given him towards publishing his first books!
His first literary work was Amore e Patria (Love and Country). It was written around 1856 when he was just a teenager.
Giovanni Verga was fascinated by the peasants and labourers of Sicily. Their life-style and their customs must have seemed so different to Giovanni who lived in a well-to-do and educated manner. He took many photos of those interesting people, creating a snapshot of their world.
In addition to his photography, Giovanni's story-writing creates a very real and honest portrayal of life. A name was given to his writing-style: it is Verismo (meaning - a style that is real and true). It comes from the Italian word vero meaning true / real.
Below are some photos, taken by Giovanni Verga, showing the country people in their environment in Sicily. Most of these photos were taken in the late 1800s.