Francesco Jovine 1902 – 1950
The biography, even for its short life, does not have outwardly striking or dramatic situations. The birth at Guardialfiera in the province of Campobasso, from a peasant family that also had at home, for the times and the social class, a discreet library. He spent his childhood next to his father, strongly linked to popular traditions, who transmitted to him a deep love for his homeland and that will be the founding element of his narrative.
He contrasted, in a very topical way, the atavistic and uncontaminated values of southern peasant life with the decadent values of the city bourgeoisie. He was a convinced supporter of narrative realism, meant as the reconquest of reality to interpret it in a historical and poetic sense. Molise and his nativevillage will always be at the center of his works, told with great nostalgia and almost mythicalized.
In 1941 he wrote a series of articles that were then collected in a posthumous volume entitled “Viaggio in Molise”. In these writings the most exciting and intimate aspects related to the roots of Molise culture prevail.
“Mrs. Ava”, a historical window on Molise, was the novel that launched him as narrator once and for all. Set in the period of the fall of the Bourbon Kingdom and narrated through the events of the small town of Guardialfiera, the novel refers to an ancient song that recalls the times of Mrs. Ava as a symbol of a lost time. This work bears witness to Jovine’s moral and civil commitment to the masses of men and women victims of history, for whom nothing will ever change as well political situations change.
Her most famous novel, “The Lands of the Sacrament” tells of men inevitably defeated, the language is as essential and dry as the earth and the people who inhabit it. Released a few days after his death, which occurred suddenly at only 48 years old, he was recognized by critics who awarded him the prestigious Viareggio Prize in 1950.