The title is borrowed from novelist Leonardo Sciascia, one of a handful of notable writers little known in the U.S. Sciascia, described as the “conscience of Italy,” trades in detective fiction, where he subverts the police procedure novel so clues double back and disappear, solutions are unknowable, and justice is out of reach. Andrea Camilleri, admirer of Sciascia and Pirandello, says his aim is to “smuggle into a detective novel a critical commentary on my times.” His books have been made into a popular British TV series. Pirandello examines reality and identify in a metafictional format admired by Camilleri; feminist Letizia Battaglia looks head on at Mafia crime and its victims in her searing photography; two films, contrast a comedic view and hyperrealist perspective of Sicily. Sweeney’s travelogue notes from Entropy, and the Facebook site of Biblios bookstore in Siracusa give a present look at Sicily’s paradoxes.
The works invite comparisons with corruption in our own backyard.
- Leonardo Sciascia: Equal Danger, Day of the Owl, and The Moro Affair (with particular attention to the Introduction by Peter Robb)
- Camilleri: The Terra Cotta Dog
- Luigi Pirandello (Nobel winner whose psychological insights Camilleri admired): essay “Humor,” the plays Henry IV and Six Characters in Search of an Author.
- Peter Robb: Midnight in Sicily selected chapters including on Sciascia and Battaglia.
- Letizia Battaglia Passion, Justice, Freedom, Photographs of Sicily, Aperture.
- “Notes from Malta: Etna’s Long Slope,” March 2, 2016, Dennis James Sweeney in Entropy.
- Film: Divorce Italian Style set in Ragusa w/ Marcello Mastroianni
- Facebook site of Biblios bookstore in Siracusa
- La Terra Trema, (The Earth Trembles) 1948, directed by Luchino Visconti
Suzanne Bennett: When she isn’t traveling, Suzanne divides time between the Hudson Valley in NY and Jackson Heights, Queens. Newtown Literary recently published “The Adoption,” the first in a dystopian series set in Queens, NY. She just completed a novel about 1970s misfits who pin their hopes on selling imitation pre Columbian artifacts. Her PhD is from University of Missouri and work includes university teaching and non-profit theatre directing and administration. http://www.suzannebennettwriter.com
Image Credit: By MartinThoma (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons