Christ in Concrete > Critical Studies & Collections

Christ in Concrete: Critical Studies
& Collections

The Pietro Di Donato Collection at the Stony Brook University Special Collections and University Archives - A collection of 19.5 linear ft. of manuscript and published material that documents the life of author, playwright, and bricklayer Pietro di Donato (1911-1992). The materials date from 1923 to 1993. The majority of the collection is comprised of typescript and holographic manuscripts authored by Pietro di Donato. Many of these papers contain notes and corrections in his own hand. The archive also includes publicity material, photographs that illustrate di Donato's travels to Italy, and published books and articles.

Original Manuscript at the University of Miami - We very recently discovered that the original 'complete' Christ in Concrete  manuscript has been housed at the University of Miami for about five years now, since 2015 when they first acquired it at auction in New York. Up until now, the only known (and thought to be the only in existence) original manuscript of Christ in Concrete has been the copy housed in the Di Donato Collection within Special Collections at Stony Brook University, in the author's hometown, Stony Brook, New York. -Note: the manuscript at Stony Brook is far from complete, consisting of fragments and partial, disjointed pages and sections of the book; rendering it a somewhat disappointing addition to the collection and researcher alike.

The recently discovered 'complete' manuscript at the University of Miami is a very exciting find with an equally interesting backstory involving a 1939 auction and the Spanish Civil War. Each page has been perfectly scanned and available online (click on highlighted link above), attesting to the high regard the institution has for this manuscript, under the guiding hand of Christina Favretto, head of Special Collections at the University of Miami. Clearly shown are the original type-written leaves strewn with changes and pencil-scripted notes by the author; but the hand-written message at the top of the title page tells it all. (Also, note the typed period after the book's title on title page; a telling detail of the writer's 'beginner' status.)

The Ethnic Language of Christ in Concrete - 1984 paper by Francesco Mulas presented at the Biennial Conference of the European Association for American Studies in Rome.

Pietro Di Donato, the Master Builder - by Matthew Diomede (Bucknell University Press, 1995) - Author Matthew Diomede explores the role of the immigrant Italian-American writer in twentieth-century American letters by examining the life and career of the novelist, dramatist, and essayist Pietro Di Donato. Diomede uses the text of two lengthy interviews with the writer to discover the themes of love, death, women, beauty, rebellion, and the mystery of life that can be found in Di Donato's works. He also touches on Di Donato's writing process.

Students Research Author Pietro Di Donato in Special Collections - and - English Students Explore Literary History in Special Collections - Special Collections at Stony Brook University house the Di Donato manuscripts, papers and various related artifacts. Here are two posts from the department reporting the engaged interest students and professors alike have in the Di Donato Collection.

The Travail of Pietro Di Donato - Here, originally from a 1980 issue of the quarterly publication MELUS, we have a portion of Michael D. Esposito's iconic thesis on Di Donato. Esposito pulled this from his original dissertation and entitled it intriguingly.

The young Esposito had recently conducted numerous in-person interviews with the author at his Strong's Neck home. They would go on to become fast friends, while Esposito became recognized as a top biographer of Pietro Di Donato's works.

Pietro Di Donato Reevaluated - A succinct wrap-up of Michael D. Esposito's experience working with the author to create his definitive thesis.

New York Times Obituary - by Dick Severo - The unexpurgated typed copy of NY Times journalist Dick Severo's obit.

Unlocking my Italian-American History: Reading Pietro Di Donato and Richard Gambino (Diasporas, 2011) - In an effort to better understand her own roots, Frances Gendimenico Kaufmann finds inspiration and connection in two classic works of Italian American literature: Pietro Di Donato's iconic work of autobiographical fiction, Christ in Concrete, and Blood of My Blood: The Dilemma of the Italian Americans, Richard Gambino's definitive historical, psychological and sociological dive into Italian American culture.

Lone Star Cement Corporation pocket notepad: this multi-faceted gem was utilized by Di Donato, on the job, laying bricks, to capture flashes of ideas, settings, and characters: notably – these fragmented ‘leaves of thoughts’ constitute a wonderful window on the the formative months during the creation of Three Circles of Light – making these notes circa ’58-’60.

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