July 18, 2019

Newsy Today


The man I did not find

The writer Andrea Camilleri.

Andrea Camilleriand I shared an editorial stamp in Italy: "Sellerio editore". The founder of the same Elvira Sellerio, now deceased, was an old lady when I met her. Of noble, distinguished, incisive, intelligent origin, he dared in his time to found such "editrice house" in Palermo, far from the places where all the bookish activity was: Miln and Rome. She personally told me that her colleagues considered her crazy and apparently with a certain reason.

The company, even giving priority to the quality of the chosen texts and putting them in circulation with absolute care, does not manage to raise its head. So much so that, when they were already thinking about throwing the absolute shutdown, the miracle happened:they published the first black novel(all calledgiallos) of an author who was not known as a novelist but as a screenwriter and translator: Andrea Camilleri. And function,function to the point of reviving the entire editorialand to make of that author (not already young), a true national myth.

Since then, all of Camilleri's titles have becomebest sellers, unseating any international writer by more famous than outside. NeitherStephen KingneitherDan Brown,the Italians preferred the genuine "national product" in their case. In this regard it is important to point out that the man worshiped was Sicilian, and in Italy Sicily occupies a somewhat special status. It is a remote region with a reputation for hermeticism, but which provokes innate sympathy and is considered in a certain way the essence of Mediterranean Italianness. This circumstance helped to read the first texts of the writer adding a plus of curiosity and affection. Everything else is pure literary merit.

There's a lot of things about Camilleri. I know he was jovial, funny, smoker, unkind, kind, vital. When he made a work trip, all the organizers who invited him and received him knew perfectly that he was traveling with a whole family cohort. Either they accepted the unwritten clause or they do not appear there. Andrea had children and grandchildren who idolized him and he felt like the center of the clan. Write as a possessed and was not limited to the police genre, but made fruitful forays into other areas of literature. Also, in recent times he had lost his sight because of glaucoma, but that terrible circumstance did not slow down his production. He dictated his novels, two or three a year, to a charming young woman who worked at the publisher with whom he had great complicity. I could not stand the recorders.

We never met personally. And yet, we had a curious relationship: we talked about interviews published in newspapers. All started when a good day I happened to declare that his novels were a bit macho. I answered with another statement that stated: "Despite the opinion of the Bartlett, I have a high concept of women." He asked our common editor if Andrea had bothered with my comment, and he told me that on the contrary, he had fun like crazy. We continue for several years in this plan and each time our cross evaluations transcend greater affection. He put the icing on the head: "Women, except Alicia Gimnez Bartlett, have no sense of humor when writing." I do not know if he was kidding me or not, in any case answer saying that when they called me in their country "The Spanish Camilleri"I always felt a special pride.

Last month the Sicilian told our editor Antonio Sellerio that he wanted to meet me before he died. We were going to make an appointment and … you see, it could not be. It gives me a tremendous pain, but even without having found it, I always remember it.

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(tagsToTranslate) culture / literature (t) Books (t) art (t) culture and shows – literature (t) Andrea Camilleri (t) man (t) text (t) author (t) editorial (t) woman (t) )Writer