Other writers and works

Sandra Benjamin
Sicily: Three Thousand Years of Human History

Giuseppe Bonaviri

James Fentress
Rebels and Mafiosi

David Gilmour
The Last Leopard

Marc Llewellyn
Finding Nino

Theresa Maggio
The Stone Boudoir

Simone Mazzucconi
Panarea 1942 (Italian)
Literature in Sicily

Though the novel or romanza form was to come much
later, poetry had an early start in Sicily around the time
of Frederick II (1194-1250), a patron of arts and culture,
who is said to have composed several songs. During this
period Sicily produced a number of poets, including
Giacomo da Lentini, considered to be the father of the
sonnet, along with Pier della Vigna, who is mentioned in
Dante’s Inferno. Cielo d’Alcamo is famous for a
notable dialogue-poem Rosa Fresca Aulentissima.

During the Renaissance, the noteworthy studies and
research of Antonio Beccadelli and Giovanni Aurispa
helped increase classical knowledge, and the work done
at the monastery of San Salvatore in Messina brought
Greek Classics scholar Costantino Lascaris to the

Later in the 16th Century, the poetic works of Antonio
Veneziano and Argisto Giufreddi emerged as proponents
of the Petrarchan style, popular at that time, and written
in dialect, as well as in Italian.

Theatre became popular in the 17th and 18th Centuries
largely through the efforts of Ortensio Scammacca, and
the Age of Enlightenment brought with it a formal history
of Sicily written by Giovanni Battista Caruso, an abbot, as
well as a history of Sicilian literature edited by Antonio
Monitore. Other famous writers of the period were
Tommaso Campailla, Tommaso Natale and especially
Giovanni Meli, who is considered to be the greatest
Italian poet of his time.

The period between the Age of Enlightenment and the
new  literary realism saw Michele Amari’s
distinguished critical histories take their place along with
the writings of Eliodoro Lombardi, a proponent of
Romanticism and political commitment to Garibaldi and
the cause of the Risorgimento. Giuseppe Pitré’s
studies of Sicilian folklore raised the ethnic tradition of
Sicily to noble historical importance. His legacy lives on
today in the
Museo Etnografico Pitré in Palermo.

Out of a reaction to Romanticism, came the realist
movement advanced by the writings of Giovanni Verga
with his remarkable I Malavoglia (The House by the
Medlar Tree) and its sequal, Mastro Don Gesualdo.
Thus, Verga's work brings Sicilian literature into the 20th

Contemporary Italian literature owes much to Luigi
Pirandello’s pioneering work in early 20th Century
fiction with such works as The late Mattia Pascal and  
The Old and the Young. The triumphant success of his
play, Six Characters in Search of an Author brought
international fame. He received the Nobel Prize in
Literature in 1934.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa portrayed the decline of
the Sicilian aristocracy during the Risorgimento in his
greatly admired, posthumously published epic novel, Il
(The Leopard). It is one of the masterpieces of 20th
Century Italian and European literature; a poignant, yet
richly complex book, which E.M. Forster called “one
of the great lonely books.â€�  Forster also commented
that it was "not a historical novel� but "a novel which
happens to take place in history" and that  "Leopards do
not hang on every bush." Misunderstood and criticized at
the time of publication because its poetic and traditional
style seemed out of date at the time, it nonetheless
became a sensation and a success. It has gained in
stature over the course of the last half-century, and
remains in print throughout the world.
Vitaliano Brancati

Bell' Antonio
Don Giovanni in Sicily
The Lost Years
Vincenzo Consolo

The Smile of the Unknown Mariner
Notte tempo, casa per casa
Requiem per le vittime della Mafia
Salvatore Quasimodo


Acque e terra
To Give and to Have
Debit and Credit
Ed e Subito Sera

Nobel Prize in Literature 1959
Elio Vittorini

Conversations in Sicily
Men and Not Men
Erica two short novels
Women of Messina
The Twilight of the Elephant
The Red Carnation
The Dark and the Light
A Vittorini Omnibus
Danilo Dolci

A New World in the Making.
Creature of Creatures: Selected
The man who plays alone
Report From Palermo
Sicilian Lives
John Julius Norwitch
The Normans in Sicily
The Kingdom in the Sun

Leoluca Orlando
Fighting the Mafia

Peter Rob
Midnight in Sicily

Alexander Stille
Excellent Cadavers

Mary Taylor Simeti
On Persephone's Island
Pomp and Sustenance
Gioia Timpanelli
Sometimes the Soul
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