From Sicily to Spain, from Spain to Sicily: Leonardo Sciascia as a Travel Writer
The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War represented a pivotal moment in Leonardo Sciascia’s ideological development, as it pushed him towards an anti-fascist passion that would make him an engagé writer over the years. In fact, the news of Lorca’s assassination and Ortega y Gasset’s volumes had a lasting influence on the writer: he began to read Spanish and about the Spanish world, thus discovering Spain and its language, literature, and culture. In fact, it was a rediscovery, since, in the eyes of the Sicilian author, the common Arab domination and the long Spanish hegemony in Sicily had already connected the island and the peninsula in an intricate web of “similarities.” The present article aims to examine the distinctness of Sciascia’s Sicilian-Spanish imaginary that is present in the reports that he published after his numerous trips to the Iberian land starting in the 1950s. After having often been dismissed as paraliterary, those works will be analysed as travel writing so as to better appreciate them. Ore di Spagna, the volume that collects most of those journalistic articles, will be considered as one of the best examples of reporting in the 20th century, far beyond the boundaries of essay production.