(September 26, 1860 – October 6, 1917) was an Italian author and journalist, one of the early practitioners in Italian fiction of realism
, a style of writing that embraced direct, colloquial language and rejected the more ornate style of earlier Italian literature.
Scarfoglio was born in Paganica
, in the Abruzzi
region of Italy
, but lived and worked in Naples
much of his life.
As a writer of fiction, his early reputation rests on the novella The Trial of Phryne
, published in 1884, a retelling—set in contemporary small-town Italy- of the trial of Phryne, a Greek courtesan from the fourth century, BCE. In Scarfoglio's version, a young woman, Mariantonia, guilty of murder, is acquitted simply because she is beautiful. Scarfoglio's tale is well known even to Italians who have not actually read the novella
, since it was the basis for an episode in Alessandro Blasetti
's popular 1952 film Altri tempi
), starring Gina Lollobrigida
As a journalist, Scarfoglio and his wife, Matilde Serao
, the best-known woman writer in Italy at the time, founded a number of newspapers: Corriere di Roma
, the Corriere di Napoli
, the Ora
of Palermo, and, the most prominent, Il Mattino
in Naples, still the largest daily newspaper in the city. His name is chiefly associated with the latter paper, which he owned and edited for many years.
He and his wife were responsible for moving Naples into the mainstream of Italian journalism in the... Read More