RARA-AVIS: Sciascia, mystery writer

From: E.Borgers ( webeurop@yahoo.fr)
Date: 12 Aug 2006

In his message MrT said:
"These are not crime writers, though Sciascia did write dark fiction. I was referring to the quality of the writing, of the imagination. "

No and yes, if we speak about Sciscia.

Sciascia - for part of his work- is recognized in Italy and France as a crime fiction writer, belonging to the noir genre. You will find Leonardo Sciascia listed in studies, essays, etc. analysing the modern noir evolution, where he is cited for the part of his work belonging to the "roman policier" or to "il giallo".

He really belongs to the genre, as he borrowed its technique and approaches for some of his novels as his famous " Il giorno della civetta",1961 (=Day of the owl), picking on the local mafia (I think it was published in engl. as "Mafia Vendetta" ). There are others, at least 4 more, but I do not know if they are available in English (I red some in French translations, as my command of Italian is not good enough to read novels), amongst them: Il contesto (1971), and Todo modo (1974). _

Another interesting work of this Sicilian author is his diary, relating a big part of the very "difficult" years in Italy (final years of the sixties and all of the seventies), the country being squeezed between extreme-rightists and leftists, highly corrupted government and institutions, the ever present and poisonous mafia (title in French
"Noir sur noir" - Black on black). With bloodily results for the citizens.

Think also about most of the films based on his writings: they are definitely noir films.

Sciascia was always attracted by the research of the truth behind appearances, and it is probably that kind of look to reality that led him to the mystery lit. Another constant of his life and work was a honest and lucid adhesion to left views on society and applied politics.

On the other hand, he belongs to the mainstream lit. by lots of other works, but all rather pessimistic and sombre. He's considered as one of the greatest 20^th century Italian writer.

E.Borgers POLAR NOIR http://www.geocities.com/polarnoir

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