- Category : Writers-Fiction
- Type : MS
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Four Ways 1
Italian author and politician.
He was a founding member of the breakaway Italian Communist Party (PCI) in 1921, and became one of its covert leaders during the Fascist regime. Ignazio's brother Romolo Tranquilli was arrested in 1928 for being a member of the PCI, and he died in prison in 1931 as a result of the severe beatings he received.
Ignazio Silone left Italy in 1927 on a mission to the Soviet Union, and settled in Switzerland in 1930. While there, he declared his opposition to Joseph Stalin, and the leadership of Comintern; consequently, he was expelled from the PCI. He suffered from tuberculosis and severe clinical depression, and spent nearly a year in Swiss clinics; in Switzerland Aline Valangin helped and played host to him and other migrants. As he recovered, Silone began writing his first novel, Fontamara, published in German translation in 1933. The English edition, first published by Penguin Books in September 1934, went through frequent reprintings during the 1930s, with the events of the Spanish Civil War and the escalation towards the outbreak of World War II increasing attention for its subject material.
The United States Army printed unauthorised versions of Fontamara and Bread and Wine and distributed them to the Italians during the liberation of Italy after 1943. These two books together with The Seed Beneath the Snowform the Abruzzo Trilogy. Silone returned to Italy only in 1944, and two years later he was elected as a PSI deputy.
In the course of World War II, he had become the leader of a clandestine Socialist organization operating from Switzerland to support resistance groups in Nazi Germany-occupied Northern Italy. He also became an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) agent under the pseudonym of Len.
Following his contribution to anti-communist anthology The God That Failed (1949), Silone joined the Congress of Cultural Freedom and edited Tempo Presente. In 1967, with the discovery that the journal received secret funds from the United States Central Intelligence Agency, Silone resigned and devoted all his energies to the writing of novels and autobiographical essays.
In 1969 he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, a literary award for writers who deal with the theme of individual freedom and society. In 1971 he was the recipient of the prestigious Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.
He died in Geneva on 22 August 1978.