Alberto Moravia  

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Alberto Moravia, born Alberto Pincherle, (November 28, 1907September 26, 1990) was one of the leading Italian novelists in the 20th century.

His works explored issues of modern sexuality, alienation, and existentialism in well-to-do bourgeois milieux. He is best known for his antifascist novel Il Conformista (The Conformist), which was the basis for the 1970 film The Conformist which was directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Other Moravia novels that became films include Il Disprezzo (known as Contempt) filmed by Jean-Luc Godard in 1963 as Le Mépris (Contempt), and La Ciociara (Two Women, which won the Best Actress award for Sophia Loren) filmed by Vittorio de Sica in 1961.

Moravia felt the pressure of censorship throughout his literary career. He was accused of immorality, lewdness, and obsessiveness. Some of his works have been banned, and in 1952 all of his works were placed on the Papal Index.

Themes and style

Most of Moravia's works deal with themes such as moral aridity, the hypocrisy in today's life and the substantial incapability of finding happiness in traditional ways like love or marriage. These themes are usually demonstrated as a kind of typical pathology of middle-class life; marriage, in particular, is the main target of works such as Disobedience and L'amore coniugale (1949). In works like Il disprezzo and La noia (both from the 1950s), the main theme is alienation, despite being always observed from a rational and realistic point of view. Political themes are often present: an example is La Romana, the story of a young prostitute entangled with the Fascist police regime and with a net of conspirers. The extreme realism of sexuality in La noia introduced the more experimental and psychology-oriented works of the 1970s.

Moravia's style was highly regarded for extreme starkness and lack of adornment, characterized by very elementary and common words (although within a very elaborate syntactic background). Propositions constitute often a description of a single psychological observation which mix one with another to form a complex state of mood. In later works, the use of inner monologue becomes increasingly prominent.


  • "La cortigiana stanca" (1927)
  • Gli indifferenti (Time of Indifference, 1929)
  • Le ambizioni sbagliate (1935)
  • La bella vita (1935)
  • L'imbroglio (1937, novellas)
  • I sogni del pigro (1940)
  • La mascherata (1941)
  • La cetonia (1943)
  • L'amante infelice (1943)
  • Agostino (Two Adolescents, 1944)
  • L'epidemia (1944, short story collection)
  • La romana (The Woman of Rome, 1947)
  • La disubbidienza (Disobedience, 1947)
  • L'amore coniugale (1947, short story collection)
  • Il conformista (The Conformist, 1947)
  • L'amore coniugale (1949)
  • Racconti romani (Roman Tales, 1954)
  • Il disprezzo (A Ghost at Noon or Contempt, 1954)
  • La ciociara (Two Women, 1957)
  • Nuovi racconti romani (1959)
  • La noia (The Empty Canvas, 1960)
  • L'automa (The Fetish, 1962, collection of short stories)
  • L'uomo come fine (1963, essay)
  • L'attenzione (1965)
  • La vita è gioco (1969)
  • Il paradiso (1970)
  • Io e lui (Him and Me, 1971)
  • A quale tribù appartieni (1972)
  • Un'altra vita (1973)
  • Al cinema (1975, essays)
  • Boh (1976)
  • Una vita interiore (1978)
  • Impegno controvoglia (1980)
  • La cosa e altri racconti (1983, short story collection)
  • L'uomo che guarda (1985)
  • L'inverno nucleare (1986, essays and interviews)
  • La villa del venerdì e altri racconti (1990)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Alberto Moravia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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