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Sciascia’s Debut as a Writer



Sciascia’s Debut as a Writer

A lecture by Joseph Francese (Michigan State University)
In collaboration with the University of Reading

Leonardo Sciascia was a writer, novelist, essayist, playwright, and politician. Some of his works have been made into films, including Porte Aperte (1990, Open Doors), Cadaveri Eccellenti (1976, Illustrious Corpses), and Il giorno della civetta (1968, The Day of the Owl).

Sciascia’s first published work was Favole della dittatura (1950, “Fables of the Dictatorship”), a satire on fascism. His first significant novel, Le parrocchie di Regalpetra (1956, Salt in the Wound), chronicles the history of a small Sicilian town and the effect of politics on the lives of the townspeople. He further examined what he termed sicilitudine (“Sicilian-ness”) in the four stories of Gli zii di Sicilia (1958, Sicilian Uncles).
Although Sicilian life and attitudes remained the chief subject of his writing, Sciascia did not discover his favourite vehicle, the mystery novel, until the publication in 1961 of Il giorno della civetta (The Day of the Owl, first English translation as Mafia Vendetta), a study of the Mafia. Other mystery novels followed, among them A ciascuno il suo (1966, A Man’s Blessing), Il contesto (1971, Equal Danger), and Todo modo (1974, One Way or Another).

Sciascia's palette is so restricted and the weight of what's unsaid lies so heavy that he creates a kind of fictive omertà between narrator and reader. Which is, of course, the point: can any Sicilian death by gunshot really be that simple? And if not, can the truth ever be spoken? The poise and understatement of this writing is peerless.
A Simple Story by Leonardo Sciascia. Review by Chris Ross

This event will be held in English.


Joseph Francese
is University Outstanding Faculty and Professor of Italian at Michigan State University. He is also Senior Editor of “Italian Culture” (the journal of the American Association for Italian Studies); Editor of “Studi di italianistica moderna e contemporanea nel mondo anglofono/Studies in Modern and Contemporary Italianistica in the Anglophonic World” (a monograph series published by Firenze University Press); and has served on the PMLA Advisory Committee. He is the author of numerous articles and chapters on topics in Renaissance and contemporary literature, and has written books on Pasolini, postmodern narrative, Italian cultural politics in the 1950s, and the fictions of Eco, Consolo, and Tabucchi. His most recent books, Leonardo Sciascia e la funzione sociale degli intellettuali was published in 2012; Vincenzo Consolo: gli anni de «l’Unità» (1992-2012), ovvero la poetica della colpa-espiazione in 2015. In addition, he has edited three volumes of collected essays, the latest being Perspectives on Gramsci: Culture, Politics, and Social Theory for Routledge.


Data: Ven 4 Mag 2018

Orario: Alle 18:30

Organizzato da : ICI London

In collaborazione con : University of Reading

Ingresso : Libero


ICI London