Manara Valgimigli (1876 - 1965) - personaggi
Manara Valgimigli (1876 - 1965)
CLASSICAL PHILOLOGIST AND WRITER
Manara was born on 9 July 1876 in San Piero in Bagno (then in the province of Florence, now Forlì-Cesena). His father Antonio Valgimigli was from Modigliana and a primary scool teacher; his mother was Sofia Baldelli, the daughter of the hospital pharmacist. On 6 December 1885 the family moved from San Piero in Bagno to Valdinievole where Valgimigli had been given a job as School Inspector. Manara continued his school education in Siena and Lucca before enrolling in the University of Bologna in 1894 and graduated with Carducci on 15 November 1898. He was a friend of the poet Giovanni Pascoli, and shortly after graduation was called upon by him to teach literature at the “Dante Alighieri” school in Messina. As part of the difficult early years of experience that all teachers had to go through at the time Valgimigli was moved from Messina to various places around the peninsula: La Spezia, Lucera, back to Messina, Massa, back to La Spezia and then Pisa. In 1922 he won a professorship in Greek literature and began his academic career, first in Messina and then in Pisa, but he was forced to leave because of the persecution he experienced because of his open dislike of the Fascist regime. He took refuge in the more tolerant Padua in 1926, at the invitation of his dear friend Concetto Marchesi. He taught in Padua until 1948, the year of his retirement. From 1948 to 1955 he was director of the Biblioteca Classense di Ravenna (Classe Library, Ravenna).
The list of his writings is lengthy: critical editions of the Greek classics, translations and studies of Greek and Latin literature (Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Sappho, the Greek lyric poets, commentaries and school editions of the Iliad, the Odyssey and of Aeneid); later he produced works of literary criticism and pages of memories relating to his education in Bologna at the hands of Carducci, who was a master for both poetry and life, and among his many students (Il nostro Carducci, Uomini e scrittori del mio tempo, Il mantello di Cebète). Le presine della signora Giacoma, Batàno and the title essay Colleviti speak about the themes of his childhood in San Piero: Giacoma, his maternal grandmother, his mother Sofia, his calf Batàno, his father Antonio against the background of his native village, whose streets and squares are enlivened by gesturing and voices.
Member of the Accademia dei Lincei from 1946, Valgimigli was awarded the "Premio Viareggio" for essay-writing in 1964. He suffered much bereavement through his long life (Alessandra Cantoni, his first partner, his son Bixio, his wife Emilia and his much loved daughter, Erse) and died himself on 28 August 1965 in Vilminore di Scalve (Bergamo).