Author:
Gaetano Savatteri
Publisher:
Sellerio
Release date:
15-09-2022

L'isola nuova Savatteri
L’isola nuova. Trent’anni di scritture di Sicilia

An author’s anthology of recent Sicilian fiction. More than fifty entries, chosen by Gaetano Savatteri who, with his introductory notes, takes the reader on a thirty-year journey.

For decades Sicily has been a metaphor for Italy and the world, a “litmus test of the inefficiencies, distortions and deficits of all Italy,” Savatteri writes. A complex, deprived land, subject to injustice, where the social, political, folkloric aspects of the Mafia narrative have constituted a genre that has absorbed every other narrative. In the aftermath of the maxiprocess and the season of massacres, however, something changes.
While the decisive game for the holding of national democracy is being played out on the island, Andrea Camilleri begins to write a Sicilian detective story, The Shape of Water. Camilleri belongs to the same literary generation as Sciascia, Bufalino and Consolo, but he is the first to realize that “the listening space for a new Sicilian narrative” has been created. Literature in Sicily then discovers that it has the strength, the flair, the need to accommodate new sensibilities, cultural processes that are partly unseen but enduring.
This is why Gaetano Savatteri, in tracing a cut within the history of the imagery produced by Sicily has chosen to start from that 1992, “from the years of the Mafia massacres, years in which the success of Andrea Camilleri opens wide the doors to a new narrative of Sicily.”
Hence – also from here – the idea of an anthology collecting thirty years of Sicilian writing, in the form of novel, short story, but also investigative writing, film and theater script, poetry and comics through nine thematic chapters. To mention only a few themes and authors, they range from the chapter on not only literary narratives of mafia and antimafia (Bolzoni, Calabr√≤), to the chapter devoted to island history and stories (Auci, Maraini, Agnello Hornby); from the very rich one on detective stories (Piazzese, Cassar Scalia, Gazzola) to the one on the city (Pif, Vetri, Terranova); and then again the pages that authors such as Calaciura and Scaldati have dedicated to the marginal, or those on migrations to and from the Island (Culicchia, Enia). Without neglecting some voices that seem to observe Sicily, Italy, and the world through an oblique gaze (Vasta, Di Grado, Fumettibrutti). And then again D’Avenia, Melissa P., Emma Dante, Ficarra, Picone, Tornatore, and many others. Thirty years of writing that has reshaped “the powerful theater of suggestions set up from one part of Sicily to another. A theater visible from many parts of the world.”