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School of Languages and European Studies

Department of Italian Studies

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Luigi Meneghello

The distinguished Italian writer, Luigi Meneghello, who in 1948 initiated the teaching of Italian studies at the University of Reading, has died suddenly at his home in Italy, aged 85.
Professor Meneghello  taught at Reading until 1980, 'founding', as a tribute in the leading Italian newspaper, the Corriere della Sera, yesterday put it, 'the now legendary Department of Italian Studies at Reading'. He was the author of a number of novels based on his experiences in fascist Italy, as a partisan during the war, and as an 'exile' in Britain.
His name, as the numerous obituaries and articles currently appearing in Italy state, has for many years been synonymous in the minds of many Italians with the university.
'Gigi', as he was affectionately known to his many friends and colleagues, was Head of the Department of Italian Studies from 1961 to 1980 and held an honorary doctorate from the University of Reading. His novels, including Libera nos a malo, Fiori italiani, I piccoli maestri (made into a major film in 1998) and Il dispatrio (based on his time in Reading), have in the last two decades established themselves as classics of 20th-century Italian literature.
His funeral was held in his home town of Malo, in the Veneto, on Friday 29 June. See the obituary by Lino Pertile, Professor of Italian at Harvard University and a former member of the Department.

Luigi Meneghello
Page last updated February 07, 2008
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