Issue 1, Spring 1953
Since the end of the war, Italian literature has been arousing marked interest in almost all the countries of Europe, and particularly France and England. A great many people, however, seem to imagine that the termination of hostilities and the overthrow of the Fascists started a new era in Italian prose and poetry. Not at all: although even in Italy people expected a radical change just after the liberation, nothing came of it. But in fact a literary revolution to correspond to the political was not particularly called for, since for the most part writers had been staying clear of the political scene, both in their lives and in their work.
After 1945, novelists, essayists and critics alike had a chance to write without having to worry about the censorship, but since only a negligible few had taken sides in political questions, they did not in general have to change their views. That is why we still see about the same names in print as before, and why there was no post-war break with earlier writing. The Italian writers today best known abroad—Moravia, Alvaro, Piovene, Soldati, Brancati, Pavese, Vittorini, Buzzati and others—were known in their own country before the war as young writers of importance.
Because of this continuity certain basic characteristics of Italian literature continue to exist: one of them is that Italy is not a country where the novel holds the place it does in England, France, and, in the last century, Russia.