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Sicilian dusk

The late Sicilian novelist Leonardo Sciascia was an expert chronicler of Italy's moral anguish, and both an artist and politician

It’s rush hour in Palermo. Every man for himself. Natale, a student of electronics at the university, is doing his utmost to get me to the office of Sciascia’s publisher on time, worming along side streets, cutting across traffic jams loud with horns. Sciascia-a beautiful name, pronounced Sha-sha-is Sicily’s most distinguished living writer. His books are short, clear, drily sinister; vehicles for an intelligence which circumscribes a mystery. Everyone is tipping him for the Nobel Prize. I missed him last week. I mustn’t miss him today.

But we are late. Natale triple-parks in the local manner. Inside the Sellerio office,…

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