The first literary documents in Friulian date back to the mid-13th and early 14th century. They surface from piles of practical papers, at the time when Friulian was used as a chancery language, but they cannot be considered as the start of a literary tradition. If there is no production in the 15th century, the following century witnessed a flourishing of texts, and the appearance of literary societies in embryonic state.
The first authors emerge (Morlupino, Sini, Strassoldo), linked to different strands or endowed with a multi-faceted personality (Biancone, Donato).
The 17th century is dominated by the Brigata udinese (Udine Brigade) and the fervent inspiration of Ermes di Colloredo, whilst Eusebio Stella too writes in the 17th century, an independent author for the variety of language and contents.
Between the 17th and the 18th centuries, alongside the epigones of Ermes di Colloredo, there is an increase in literary production in the neighbouring areas of Friuli, and Gorizia takes part with Gio Maria Marussig, Gian Giuseppe Bosizio, Marzio di Strassoldo.
Pietro Zorutti, long considered to be the Friulian poet par excellence, greatly influences the 19th century with a literary production that stems from an easy vein, that chooses central Friulian as the medium to reach a broad audience. Studies in Friulian, its lexicon and the number of documents drawn in the language make great strides whilst Caterina Percoto makes its appearance as the first great Friulian woman prose writer.
From around the end of the 19th century, literary production is no longer scarce. In fact the number of writers increases but, above all, literary tradition renovates and links Friulian writing to modern contributions. Pier Paolo Pasolini advocated that Friulian was an ‘intact’ medium capable of conversing with European literatures and, at the end of the second World War he decides to distance himself from Zorutti and what was known as zoruttismo, i.e. a tendency towards rather superficial ‘dialectalism’, whilst the road is already paved for troubled and dense expressions.
Consult the materials
|The 16th century|
|Baroque 17th century and the 18th century|
|The 19th century|
|Straddling two centuries|
|The 20th century breakthrough|