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Carlo Levi was born in Turin, Italy, on November 29, 1902, one of the children of Ercole and Annetta (Treves) Levi. Levi's father was a merchant who also enjoyed painting, and Carlo Levi himself became well-known for his landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. Levi valued his artistry at least as much as his writing, and his paintings have retained their value. Levi originally pursued a career in medicine, receiving an M.D. degree in 1924 from the University of Turin. He painted and performed medical research, but he also became involved in anti-Fascist activities in opposition to Benito Mussolini's government, and he was jailed repeatedly during the 1930s and 1940s. His imprisonment in the malaria-stricken southern Italian town of Gagliano greatly influenced Levi's later life. While treating the impoverished and ill citizens, he felt extreme pity, and the time spent in Gagliano led to his most famous work, Christ Stopped at Eboli (1945). This literary work won the Arianna Mondadori del Corniere Lombardo Prize. Levi also published the political/philosophical Of Fear and Freedom (1948), along with the novel The Watch (1948); and several authentic travel books on the cultures of the Soviet Union, Germany, Sardinia, and Sicily. Carlo Levi's frequent depiction of owls would become his artistic symbol. He died in Rome on Jan. 4, 1975. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from Christ Stopped at Eboli… (more)
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Carlo Levi was born to a prosperous Italian-Jewish family in Turin. Although he earned a medical degree from the University of Turin, he never practiced medicine. He served as an assistant to a professor at Turin University's clinic while painting and writing. He went to live and study in Paris, where he mingled with many notable artists. Back in Italy, he helped found the anti-fascist Giustizia e Libertà movement and directed the underground publication Lotta politica. In 1935-1936, Levi was forced by Mussolini's government into internal exile southern province of Lucania. Out of this experience he wrote his first book, Christ Stopped at Eboli, published in 1945. He was elected to the Italian Senate in 1963 and served on the Communist ticket for two terms.
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