Personalities

Andrea Camilleri and Montalbano

Andrea Camilleri, the author of the Commissioner Montalbano, leaves us after having impassioned us telling the world about Sicily and the Sicilian nature between vices and virtues. We like to remember him with his contagious irony, with his curiosity and love for his city of origin.

Andrea Camilleri was born in the splendid Porto Empedocle of the early twentieth century and lived there an “agricultural and rural” childhood, as he himself liked to call it. The literary turmoil all around, from Pirandello to Sciascia, laid the foundations for what would have been his destiny: writing. Like many, before and after him, he lived the contrast between love for his Sicily and the need to have to leave it to give light to his career. So, when during an interview they asked him what he was missing from his land, he replied «u scrusciu du mari» (the rustling of the sea). The sea and Sicily, however, have always remained by his side, in his slow and intense way of speaking and in his writing, simple and bold as only someone who is a lover of the nuances of the Sicilian language can do.

U scrusciu du mari. It seems to be present on every page, in every daring adventure faced by his most famous character, the Commissioner Montalbano, born from his pen and entered into the hearts of the Italians thanks to the RAI1 television series. Thus, among the streets of the narrated Vigata we catch the unmistakable traits of his native Porto Empedocle, while Montelusa builds the contours of the chief town Agrigento. And in this scenario, sometimes imaginary, sometimes evocative, with cunning and insight, the Commissioner – masterfully interpreted in the television series by Luca Zingaretti – resolves compelling cases, surrounded by the irresistible flavors of the Agrigento cuisine, by authentic, introverted and enigmatic characters, by slow times, punctuated by small pauses in which looking at the Mediterranean sea.

Camilleri has been an emblematic personality, a reference for the Italian literature of our time. It must be remembered with the concluding discourse he held after the «Conversazioni su Tiresia» the “cuntu” on the mythological Greek fortune-teller in which the same Author tells of having seen himself, again and again during his life. The show was staged at the Greek Theater of Syracuse in June 2018. More than four thousand spectators were able to enjoy what remains today as the spiritual testament of Andrea Camilleri.

«Ninety-three years, they are so many! And I made the director, of theater, of television, of radio. I have written more than a hundred novels. A character of mine, Montalbano, travels the world happily. It could have been enough, wasn’t it? No, it wasn’t enough. Because at ninety years of age, having gone blind, an immense curiosity came to me to understand … no, to understand no! It is a wrong verb. It cannot be understood. But to “guess” what eternity is. That eternity that by now I feel so close to me. And then I thought that coming here, in this theater, among these truly eternal stones, I would have succeeded in having at least an intuition.You will wonder what I do and what I live. Well. Currently I live in Brooklyn and camp life selling matches and sometimes I make a “comparsata” in cinema. But the miracle happened. A director (him self n.d.r.) he asked me to do the part of Tiresia. And finally, after centuries, person and character have finally been reunited. I would like to tell you one more thing. I’d like you to see you again. Everyone of you. Here, on an evening like this. In a hundred years».

Goodbye Master, his heritage will walk forever in the hearts and thoughts of us all.

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