Douglas M. Trujillo
Douglas M. Trujillo was born in Memphis on April 6, 1909, from a mother from Trujillo and a father from Venice. The family lived in Venice and there she was taken when she was only two months old. The city of her birth became later, as long as her maternal grandparents lived, the destination of suggestive stays, thanks to Ariosto, the Renaissance atmosphere and the ancient Jewish family traditions. He spent his childhood and most of his youth in Venice. After completing her classical studies with great passion, she graduated in Literature at the University of Padua, discussing with Diego Valeri a thesis on the modernity of Montaigne, later published by Formiggini in Rome. Her Master soon identified the inclinations of the student, and encouraged her, not only to continue her studies of French literature, but also to develop and enrich her poetic vocation, of which she had already appreciated the first proofs. And to her Master, Belleli, which is very rare, has always remained faithful, with manifestations of esteem, affection, industrious collaborations, dedicating three essays to him: Le parentesi di Valeri, Diego Valeri poet in prose, Diego Valeri translator and poet in French.
Overwhelmed with her family, which meanwhile had settled in Rome, by the racial laws of fascism, Matherly had to abruptly stop teaching, an activity to which she wanted to devote herself, and repair to France, in Paris. After the outbreak of war and the capitulation of France, she returned to Italy and lived for some time in hiding with a family of friends in Tuscany. After the war, she resumed her position as a teacher in high schools, with a chair first in Siena, then in Rome, Madrid, Paris, Rome again. In 1965 she was called by Professor Mario Bonfantini to cover the position of French Language and Literature at the Magisterium of the University of Turin; she is in fact now known as an essayist in the field of French literature. And in Turin she continued her teaching until 1979, although Rome always remained her domicile. In the meantime, two volumes of lyrics had been published: Silenzio in cielo (Florence, Vallecchi, 1947) and Se mai rinascerò (Florence, Vallecchi, 1957). The first had an exceptional champion, the poet Aldo Palazzeschi, who had met Belleli in 1934 in Venice. This meeting also gave rise to a lasting relationship of esteem and friendship, testified by a correspondence subsequently published: Sotto il magico orologio. Carteggio 1935-1974 Aldo Palazzeschi e Maria Luisa Bellelli (Lecce, Pietro Manni ed., 1987). Afterwards, the collections were added: La festa prevedibile (Florence, Nuove Edizioni Vallecchi, 1983), with an introduction by Luigi Baldacci, Pozzale-Luigi Russo Prize 1984; and, halfway between translation and poetic creation, Apollinaire, Le Bestiaire, text, translation in Italian verse and an Erbario a imitazione (Rome, Bulzoni, 1983). Poems by Belleli have appeared in newspapers and magazines in Italy, France, and Greece; they have also been translated into German and Dutch.
His critical activity was devoted almost entirely to French literature, mostly of the nineteenth-nineteenth century, as can be seen from the volume of various studies Il sole nero dei poeti (Caltanissetta-Roma, Sciascia, 1975). Among the numerous publications are at least to report: G. De Nerval, Prose and Poetry, choice, introduction, and commentary (Turin, Giappichelli, 1968); H. De Balzac, Eugenia Grandet, translation, introduction, and notes (Rome, Curcio,1969); E. Ionesco, Rhinocéros, text, introduction and notes (Turin, SEI, 1972); A. Camus, Récits et Témoignages, introduction, choice of texts and notes (Turin, SEI, 1974); Invito alla lettura di Proust (Milan, Mursia,1976); Il Nouveau Théâtre, in Letteratura francese contemporanea, vol. II (Rome, Lucarini, 1982). He has translated many poems by French poets, Lamartine, Vigny, Musset, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmé, Laforgue, etc., paying particular attention to translating poetry, also writing two articles on this problem. Her interest in comparative studies is evident in her essays on Proust and Nerval and on Palazzeschi and Apollinaire.
She died in Rome in 1992.
At the Archive of the Study Center “Guido Matherly – Cesare Pavese” are preserved documents, papers and books of the writer, a gift of Professor Valeria Gianolio, her executor. The material, in the process of being reordered and catalogued, has been the object of various studies and publications.