Lezione Sciasciana (Sciascia Lecture)

Lezione Sciasciana (Sciascia Lecture)

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Istituto Italiano di Cultura Sydney

Level 4 125 York street

Sydney, NSW

Australia

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To celebrate the anniversary, the National Committee for the Sciascia Centenary has designed a cycle of Lezioni Sciasciane (Sciascia Lecture

About this event

The Italian Cultural Institute, in collaboration with the University of New England and the Monash University of Melbourne, is pleased to host a Lezione Sciasciana (Sciascia Lecture) at its premises dedicated to the great Sicilian writer, journalist, essayist, playwright, poet, politician, art critic and teacher Leonardo Sciascia, whose birth centenary was celebrated in 2021.

To celebrate the anniversary, the National Committee for the Sciascia Centenary has designed a cycle of Lezioni Sciasciane (Sciascia Lectures), events that could take different forms (lectures, seminars, workshops, readings) which started in Italy and then continued in the rest of the world, involving realities and countries sometimes very distant from each other, animated by the desire to read and re-read the work of Sciascia, in a cosmopolitan context, to reflect on the author's pages, to disclose to younger generations and schools the world of his books, which bear an important ethical value and a strong civil message. The Lezioni Sciasciane saw the involvement of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the network of Italian Cultural Institutes, Embassies and Consulates, with an intense program that continues into 2022. Local universities, but also schools and institutions that promote the study of the Italian language and culture, have been involved in the preparation and delivery of each lecture.

The Lezione Sciasciana to be held at the Italian Cultural Institute in Sydney will be introduced by Dr Giulia Torello-Hill, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Italian Program at the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences of the University of New England, who will introduce the two keynote speakers:

Dr Barbara Pezzotti (Lecturer in European Languages at Monash University, Melbourne):barbara pezzotti

Truth, Humour and the Mafia: from Pirandello to Sciascia

Sciascia considered Luigi Pirandello his literary forefather, and explicitly stated that he wanted to introduce Pirandellian drama into crime fiction (Sciascia and Padovani 88). A ciascuno il suo (1966) is one of the most famous crime stories by Sciascia in which a school teacher, Professor Laurana, investigates the double murder of a village pharmacist and his friend Doctor Roscio. A reading of A ciascuno il suo through the lens of Pirandello’s theory on humour and crime fiction theory shows both how the maestro di Racalmuto was indebted to Pirandello and to what extent he ‘betrayed’ his forefather in giving a political spin to the idea of the scherzo (prank) and providing a final and unequivocal truth and the end of the story.

Dr Annamaria Pagliaro (Senior Research Fellow at Monash University, Melbourne):

Leonardo Sciascia and Federico De Roberto on the Narrativity of History

Sciascia, dismissing the success of Il Gattopardo, claimed that i Viceré by Federico De Roberto was “dopo I promessi sposi, il più grande romanzo che conti la letteratura italiana.” (La Repubblica, 14-15 August 1977). This novel, set between 1855 and 1882, offers a very subjective construction of Italian Unification, depicted through the experiences and personal interests of a Sicilian aristocratic family. Likewise, Sciascia, in Il Consiglio d’Egitto, but not only, explores themes surrounding the fabricated nature of historical narrative through the inventiveness of Abbot Vella and the revolutionary Enlightened Jacobin, Francesco Di Blasi. A reading of these texts will throw light on Sciascia’s discourse on history: on the precariousness of historical reconstruction, its limits and at the same time the power of its contents.

Leonardo Sciascia (8 January 1921 - 20 November 1989) was a writer, journalist, essayist, playwright and poet, but also a politiciansciascia 1 and teacher of Italian, as well as art critic. Sciascia has held many roles thanks to his free and non-conformist spirit, mercilessly criticizing his time and establishing himself as one of the greatest figures of the Italian 20th century. He was also the first writer who talked about the Mafia phenomenon in books such as Il giorno della civetta or A ciascuno il suo. Some of his novels have been made into films, including Il Giorno della Civetta (The Day of the Owl, 1968), Cadaveri eccellenti (Illustrious Corpses) and Todo modo (1976) and Porte aperte (Open Doors, 1990). Leonardo Sciascia was also animated by an enormous political passion, without however ever aligning with or joining a particular party. Despite this, he becams the first city councillor for the Italian Communist Party in Palermo (1975-1977). At the beginning of 1977, Sciascia resigned from the position of councillor of the Italian Communist Party since he was against its compromesso storico (historical compromise) policy. Some of his extreme positions led him to clash with the leadership of the PCI. From 1979 to 1983 he was a member of Parliament for the Radical Party. At the end he sympathized with the Socialist Party.

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