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Mal di Sicilia by Francesco Terracina

Mal di Sicilia by Francesco Terracina

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May 10 2024 18:30 - 20:00


Mal di Sicilia by Francesco Terracina

The author in conversation with John Dickie (UCL)

Mal di Sicilia is a widespread feeling that generates the impulse to run away and at the same time the desire to stay or to come back. The book attempts to create a dialogue between people from different backgrounds who have never met before, but who have had a complex relationship with the island. It is Sicily that the voice of Alexander Hardcastle, an early 1900s archaeologist, echoes, lost in the ruins of the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento, amazed by the beauty of the landscape and eventually killed by his own passion (he will die in a psychiatric hospital).

Through fourteen portraits, Francesco Terracina's essay tries to brighten the autumn island, which with its slightly crepuscular colours tries to hide its dark sides in the shadows, giving the idea of a land of light and recreation. A land whose complexity is clear to those who decide to belong to it. Mal di Sicilia seems to be well summarized in a verse by Giuseppe Ungaretti: "Come portati via si rimane". The fate of an island that has many ambitions is played out and ends up stumbling into the chaos that rules it. The appeal of Sicily is probably not part of, or at least does not end, the nostalgia that absolves everything.


Italian Cultural Institute London


Italian Cultural Institute, 39 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8NX London


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