Love In Vain
Fiction by Federigo Tozzi
The twenty stories in Love in Vain were selected and translated by Minna Proctor, who received the 1998 PEN/Renato Poggioli Award for her then unpublished renderings of Federigo Tozzi’s fiction. Tozzi (1883-1920), a follower of Gabriele D’Annunzio and Giovanni Verga, was encouraged by Luigi Pirandello and was himself a major influence on Alberto Moravia, who held him in the highest regard. The 1919-20 Spanish flu epidemic cut short his successful, prolific career, and for fifty years Tozzi was virtually ignored. He was only belatedly recognized as a supreme stylist and master of Italian realism. “Impassioned by literature, yet isolated from the mainstream,” writes Proctor in her biographical introduction, “Tozzi found nothing so fascinating as the unfettered expression of the inner lives of normal people.” His work is at once a mixture of subtlety and melodrama, of psychological perception, primitive emotion, and raw physical need, as his plain subjects, yearning for connection and love, forever grasp at the unattainable.