15. Leonardo Sciascia (1921 – 1989)

Novelist, essayist, playwright and politician born in Racalmuto, Sicily, noted for his metaphysical examinations of political corruption and arbitrary power. Sciascia’s first work, Favole della dittatura (“Fables of the Dictatorship”), published in 1950 was a satire on fascism, and was followed in 1952 by La Sicilia, il suo cuore, also a poetry collection. In 1961 he published the mystery Il giorno della civetta (The Day of the Owl), one of his most famous novels. Other works include: historical novel Il consiglio d’Egitto (The Council of Egypt), set in 18th-century Palermo; the play L’onorevole (The Honorable), a denunciation of the complicities between government and mafia; A ciascuno il suo (To Each His Own); Il contesto (The Challenge), which inspired Francesco Rosi’s movie Cadaveri eccellenti (1976) and created polemics due to its merciless portrait of Italian politics; La scomparsa di Majorana, dealing with the mysterious disappearance of scientist Ettore Majorana.

In 1975 Sciascia ran as an independent within the Italian Communist Party (PCI) slate, and was elected to the city council. In 1977 he resigned from PCI, due to his opposition to any dealing with the Christian Democratic party. And lwould be elected to the Italian and European Parlament with the Radical party
Sciascia’s work is intricate and displays a longing for justice while attempting to show how corrupt Italian society had become and remains. His linking of politicians, intrigue, and the Mafia gave him a high profile, which was very much at odds with his private self. Sciascia’s books are rarely characterized by a happy end and by justice for the ordinary man.

Read More: Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Leonardo-Sciascia

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