Leonardo Scacia, Senior Editor in Italy

In 1981, when the echoes of the last failed coup were still ringing in this country, he came to Spain Leonardo Scaciaauthor In any case, One of his most famous books, among which he wrote about the darkest period in post-war Italy, the biggest drama of which will be the assassination of the former prime minister. Aldo Moro. The Red Brigades They fulfilled the order of his elimination and this killing was the root of one of Sciascia’s strongest contributions to the interpretation of this ideological nonsense that pretended to be leftist when in reality it was a cruel re-creation of fascism.

On that visit from Sciascia, in the middle of a dinner with new acquaintances, Master of Sicily, whose centenary was celebrated last yearHe asked which Spanish authors could be translated into their language. That night he will win National Essay Award guy Fernando Savatre, whose books had not yet crossed borders. One of the diners told Sciascia that, precisely, Savater could be a good author for his purpose of feeding his Italian publishing house Spanish sap. It was by chance that night that the young writer, who would later become the most celebrated philosopher among Spanish thinkers, won the National Essay Prize.

Convinced that the opportunity said something important, Sciascia began buying the books of the person who would be the author of Childhood recovered He met Savater and finally published it at the publishing house Vendor introduction to ethics, what was Herald essay award. Today Savatre is a hero in Italy, in Mexico, in France, in Argentina, everywhere you want to know about philosophy written in that language, and Sciascia saw it first.

Sciascia did everything for the Sicilian publishing house, Celerio, to which he devoted flair and wit. There were also among the Spaniards with whom he was friends Manuel Vasquez Montalban. This eagerness to explore the talents of others (it is not very usual for one writer to deal with another) was one of the great virtues of the Sicilian master, and Celerio’s paintings, owned by some of his friends, have left He patented the strength of his literary taste embodied in the cards he made to highlight the values ​​of what he chose.

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The Spanish public now had the opportunity to meet these jewels of Leonardo Chiaccia’s flair. The publishing house Libros del Kultrum has just published an unmissable work for those who love books from cover to last page, where the editors usually say what they are about and what works they offer. Although they are all anonymous, Those critical and explanatory notes bear the stamp of Sciascia, who never compromises in criticizing or praising the readings he made, whether they are in favor of Celerio or not.

edition of this unique book (Leonardo Scacia, writer and editor. Happiness in making books) He was responsible for the Italian writer and professor Salvatore Silvano Negrohas an introduction by Giovanna Giordano It was translated into Spanish by Celia Filipito. just us Gabriel Ferrater In Spain, who also wrote such texts for six From Carlos BarralSciascia was recounting his impressions to an audience that showed as much interest in those texts as in the books themselves that I carried to the back page. He never signed those reviews, which he wrote and rewrote (The edition attests to these omissions), but one look was enough to know that this essential man of twentieth-century Italian history had put his reading wit there.

Salvatore Silvano Nigro, book editor. / file, archive

whatWhy was Sciascia so generous?Why did you dedicate yourself so much to the culture of reading about others? We asked the editor of this selection, which is now appearing in Spain, over the phone. Salvatore Silvano Negri, well versed in Dante, Manzoni, Bassani or Lampedusa, says that “Leonardo was A talented man is a great human being. He was kind and generous. So, apart from being a great writer, he looked up Sellerio in the books he picked later. He also maintained relationships with other publishers and with agents thanks to his competition which, in Sellerio, defined the editorial style & rdquor;

According to Negri, Sciascia “selected books according to a precise process, which also related to his way of being. He was a debater, as was his friend Pier Paolo Pasolini. So Leonardo chose books based on his own political and cultural battles. In this way, the books selected in a certain way were part of a project similar to those that animated his own literature.

In that list of titles which appear in the Spanish version of the book, among the many he chose for Salerio, and which he deposited his way of reading on the plates, Oscar WildeAnd the StendhalAnd the Alberto MoraviaAnd the Hector BianciottiAnd the Benedetto CroceAnd the Bernardino de SahagúnAnd the Jesualdo BufalinoAnd the Mary McCarthyin addition to his own books, which sometimes appeared with anonymous reviews, some of them, such as the book he devoted to edition Moro case There were ironies about those who rushed to say that this book, for example, was good without finishing it.

Negri highlights the freedom with which Sciascia chose one or the other. Like Pasolini, “Leonardo was a very generous man as a reader. They both recognized the versatility of writing, They were aware that writing could be different from their own and have literary value This, for example, Sciascia admitted. From this point of view it was completely objective.

To reach this selection of Sciascia more devoted to the work of others, Negri had a goal in mind: “To reconstruct Leonardo’s work as an exercise in gratitude towards Sellerio and to make clear that this publishing company is also connected to Sciascia. He was the soul of the publishing house. That is why what he did There is also a tribute to the role Celerio has played in the context of contemporary culture in Italy.” Spain was also in his literary heart, “from his youth”, and this is reflected in the Spanish books he chose, such as those previously mentioned by Savater and Vázquez Montalbán. His travels through Spain (such as the one he took when he became interested in our youngest philosophers in the early 1980s) was a tribute to the imprint of Unamuno (one of his great references) which he followed with great avidity.

And who was Sciascia’s great Italian repertory? “Italo Calvino. loved it. He was a great friend of hers. He is considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Before any of his books were published, he gave them to Calvino to read. Another allusion was, he used to say, Pasolini, although there was some distrust of him, because at that time his dear friend was overly bound by the reality of those years. In any case, he admired him, he was his friend; They moved away from each other and then approached again& rdquo;.

Sciascia liked the craft publishing house. Publishers Today Industries. He liked the book publishing houses he ran. Today, managers run everything that is published.”

Salvatore Silvano Negro

Sciascia left, and his legacy remains, among his books and those he chose is that of the great Sicilian writer. How is the Italian publishing industry now, Salvatore? “Since those days, everything has changed a lot in this sector. Sciascia loved the craft publishing house. Today’s publishers are industries. He loved the book-run publishing houses. Today it is managers Those who manage everything that gets posted. It has happened everywhere. In Italy too. Many are published in Italy. Publishers have no time to select a line, no research, no time to think of an idea for new literature: they publish anything, especially books for immediate consumption. A book published in Italy today could spend a week in a bookstore. Then it is destroyed by the constant news that it falls under the same fate & rdquo;.

Salvatore Silvano Negri told us that he seems to be talking about Spain. From the whole world rather.

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