Oriana Fallaci: a controvert journalist

When one talks about Oriana Fallaci, a famous Italian journalist and writer who died in 2006, one never knows whether to begin with her works or her personality. The two things go hand in hand and are in fact both impossible to overlook. Fallaci was a political activist, a hardened feminist and above all a woman with strong ideals and steel temperament, who did not miss the opportunity to defend her own ideas. She lived between Florence and New York, and was able to observe the tragedy of the twin towers in 2001 in person, and she composed some of the most famous writings and essays of the modern era.

Oriana Fallaci: her background


Proud, dignified, charismatic, pragmatic: the Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, who passed away in 2006, was this and much more. A successful writer and renowned journalist, from a cultural point of view she was one of the most prominent women figures. Active feminist, famous for her love/ hate relationship with the dear departed, Pier Paolo Pasolini, the renowned writer to whom Oriana dedicated a poignant letter after his death, full of meaning, raw and true in every part, a feature that we find in every piece of Fallaci’s writing. The artist, a native of Florence, spent most of her life in New York, where she carried out her profession.

Her journalistic career was characterized by a rebellious and nonconformist streak, which led her to make fiery interviews with some of the most powerful people on earth, regardless of defending their principles and their ethics even at the cost of being urgent or inopportune. Famous in this regard was the interview with the theocratic leader Ayatollah Khomeini, not at all soft towards women and not inclined to acknowledge their due rights, with whom Fallaci, as a true hardy feminist, clashed harshly. Among her most famous writings of all time we also find the reportage on the attack of the twin towers, during the event of which Fallaci was staying in New York and therefore experienced it firsthand. Then the famous “Letter to a child who was never born“; brief and clear extract dedicated to a child she never had, following an abortion that tormented her.

From adolescence to adulthood: Fallaci’s passion for journalism


Oriana Fallaci was born in Florence in 1929, well within the fascism dictatorship. The Mussolini political regime did not fit in at all with the rebellious nature of the writer, then a young girl. After the first years of adolescence dedicated to the clandestine fight against fascism, which gave her the steel temperament that characterized her, Oriana decided to immerse herself totally into the world of writing, dedicating herself to journalism. Her style and her dialogue soon led her to collaborate with some of the major European and world publishing houses, which secured her a comfortable lifestyle, and allowed her to move to the Big Apple soon afterwards. There she started her career as a writer of essays and novels, without ever putting journalism aside, although she did slow down slightly.

Bibliography Oriana Fallaci: the works not to be missed


Among Oriana Fallaci’s major works we must surely mention “Un uomo“. The novel was entirely written following the death of her companion, Alekos Panagulis, and dedicated to him. The novel “Inshallah” is instead a crude description of the history of Italian troops who, in 1983 were stationed in Lebanon and found themselves fighting for survival every day. From this novel we can see, as always, her extreme ability of penetrating the problems of a community, however big they may be, and make them her own, telling them as if she were experiencing them in person. It is impossible not to mention, also, her short work “La rabbia e l’orgoglio” (The Rage and the Pride), a unique masterpiece.

The famous quotes by Oriana Fallaci

Some of the quotations by Oriana Fallaci, apart from being passed on to history, are also a bit of a summary of what she was as a woman and what her mindset was. For example, let’s remember the sentences:

  • “Life has 4 senses: to love, to suffer, to struggle and to win. Those who love suffer, those who suffer struggle, those who struggle win. Love a lot, suffer a little, fight a lot, always win. “; here she confirms her fighting temperament.
  • “I will answer in a miniskirt style, that is, long enough to cover the topic and short enough to make it interesting.”; in which there is a clear analysis of her cryptic sometimes, also “restrained” nature.
  • “The greatest revolution, in a country, is the one that changes women and their way of life. You cannot make a revolution without women. Perhaps women are physically weaker but morally they have a force a hundred times bigger. “; in which she stresses the importance of women in society

The writer died in 2006 at the age of 77 after an illness that had long afflicted her.

Main image credits: Il Libraio
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