Grazia Deledda, a Sardinian icon of women’s emancipation
A rich program of events celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Grazia Deledda, a writer of international standing and a fundamental figure in the conquests of women’s rights.
There are artists whose importance transcends their field of work. Even centuries after the release of their works, they are still relevant today. One of these is certainly Grazia Deledda, or Gràssia in the Sardinian language. She was born in Nuoro on September 28, 1871, and become a great and prolific writer. At first she embraced Verga’s realism, albeit with the necessary differences. Then she became one of the great representatives of the Italian Decadentism.
Her importance has been recognized also internationally. She represents a unicum for Italy. In fact, she is still the only Italian woman to have won the Nobel Prize for literature, in 1926. And she is just the second woman to have received the prestigious award, after the Swedish Selma Lagerlöf.
This fact shows us that we are still living in a male-dominated society. The lesson of Deledda is therefore more alive than ever.
The themes of her writings, for example the patriarchal ethics in the Sardinian society, made her a true Sardinian icon of the struggle for women emancipation and the conquest of equal rights between men and women.
After all, Deledda managed to successfully emerge in an era in which the concepts of feminism and equal opportunities were very abstract. They were often considered unimportant, especially in enlightened cultural circles.
Her battles against the preconceptions and obstructions of being a “modern woman” are still very relevant today. And for this very reason Sardinia is planning a busy program of literary and musical events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of this extraordinary writer. For a whole year Grazia Deledda will be the protagonist of Sardinian culture. But she will also represent an opportunity to rethink some of our daily challenges.
Sardinia celebrates Grazia Deledda
Throughout 2022, a series of events will bring out the greatness of Grazia Deledda. The Province and Municipality of Nuoro set up a program of events, still constantly updated, which appears to be rich.
The artistic director Anthony Muroni explained the meaning of these celebrations on the opening day. He said: “The leitmotif of these celebrations will be the motto ‘Grazia Deledda, a woman of our times’. She was a woman who put no limits on women and that is why we dedicate this day to the women of Afghanistan who are experiencing a dramatic moment. The writer from Nuoro, already in the 19th century, did not accept the role that was given to her and embarked on the path of self-determination, also proposed through the characters in her books. Women who love and worked, just like men”.
The events in Sardinia will be many and will involve various representatives of the art world. However, they will also have a broader scope, both nationally and internationally. In particular, there will be events in Stockholm in collaboration with the Nobel foundation, in Dubai for the Expo and in St. Petersburg. The latter city is not chosen by chance, given the links between Deledda, Tolstoy and the Russian literature in general.
Muroni’s words are ambitious: “We are going to bring everywhere the memory of this great writer who anticipated the times in a path, that of women’s rights, which has not yet ended”.
The governor of the Region Christian Solinas said: “Grazia Deledda is an icon of the Sardinian women. Thanks to her, Sardinia has entered the world cultural and literary debate. Many Sardinain women stood out, like Eleonora D’Arborea. In the Nuoro area we have important examples, such as Deledda herself and Marianna Bussalai. They were forerunner women who emerged in the Sardinian culture, who understood and made it clear that Sardinian culture was not a limit but an excellence”.
Nuoro is called the Athens of Sardinia for its large number of intellectuals and artists. This city is where all the events related to the writer will start.
The Mayor Andrea Soddu is excited: “Grazia Deledda is an inspiring muse. She is almost a religious divinity who has invaded our imagination and our dreams, which seem possible if we think about the example of her life”.
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