The permanent exhibition Life is Not a Dream
, dedicated to Salvatore Quasimodo, Nobel Prize recipient for Literature (1959) first opened on the 23rd of April 2001. It is housed in the Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery of Regional Province of Messina. It consists of photos, manuscripts, letters, honours coming from the archives of the poet, owned by the Regional Province.
Quasimodo’s exhibition is subdivided in nine sections and shows the various artistic and cultural interests of the great poet. The exhibition itinerary begins with the period of his life in Messina(1908-1919) with some documents of his youth; juvenile pictures of the poet, his relatives and family members; his diploma from the technical school A.M.Jaci in Messina, the collection of juvenile poems written between 1915 and 1919 entitled Kiss The Threshold of your Home
(show-case n.1); manuscripts from the collection To Give and To Have
, from Balaton Shore, Varvàra Alexandrovna, I have Flowers and in the Night invite the Poplars (show-case n. 2); testimonies of his activity as art critic including pictures with his artist friends; the reproduction of 27 abstract gouaches - the only pictorial works by the poet - which reveal his interest in pictorial art. The latter were published in the art book The Poetic Vision of Dream
The exhibition continues with musical scores inspired by Quasimodo‘s lyrics. The poet, in fact, was interested in music and in 1949 he wrote the libretto Billy Budd and Love for Galatea (show-case n.4). His love for theatre is witnessed by his long activity as theatrical critic (from 1948 to 1959) for the weekly magazine Omnibus and Time and as translator of the theatrical works of Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Shakespeare and Molière.
He contributed to several literary reviews of the time, in particular the genoese review Circoli (1931) and the Florentine review Solaria which published his first two books of verse Waters and Lands and Sunken Oboe (show-case n.5).
This is an important period of his life in which he made the acquaintance of meny famous poets such as Montale, Sbarbaro, Barile and Grande. In 1940 the avant-garde review Corrente
published his personal translation of greek lyrics (show-case n.6). At the end of the exhibit is the personal world of the poet (show-case n.7) with his most inpired lyric verses written for those closest to him-mother, father, brother, daughter; also to his first wife Bice Donetti, and to his second wife Maria Cumani.
A separate section is dedicated to the women in his life (show-case n.8) with four collection of letters, two of which were published To Sibilla and Love letters to Maria Cumani and two which have never been published Love Letters to Amelia Spezialetti and to Curzia Ferrari.
The last section is dedicated to the Nobel Prize for Literature which was awarded to Salvatore Quasimodo on the 22nd of October 1959 by the king Gustav VI of Sweden and which symbolizes the crowning piece of his poetic achievement (show-case n.9).
The exhibition includes the Nobel Gold Metal, a bronze medal, photos of the event and some of the hundred of congratulation telegrams to the poet, the dearest one from his young friend of the Wind of Tyndari, Salvatore Pugliatti, who supported him during all of his artistic life.