Wednesday, May 20, 2015


One of my big struggles for every trip is paring down the stack of books I'll be carrying along, ignoring rational baggage weight and time allowances.  So, I'll have some novel I've been wanting to read, and couldn't with all the papers to grade, and some new chunk of theory (these days, more Graham Harman and Bruno Latour), but then, some books focused on the trip itself. 

For Italy, I offered a class on Leonardo Sciascia , which, alas, no one took.  He's a (the?) major Sicilian writer, and I much admire his novels, and love his collection of stories, The Wine-Dark Sea, which offers an upclose look at village life in Sicily.  Great stuff!  Beyond just good stories, though, there is a sharp critical eye.  Sciascia has been called "The conscience of Italy. Defiant by definition" (read more in this Best of Sicily article).
A book I've started, but will continue on the plane, is Peter Robb's Midnight in Sicily: On Art, Food, History, Travel and la Cosa Nostra .  This offers a fairly contemporary look at life on the island.

But on the bus, I'll be carrying along the too-weighty, but full-of-good-stuff, Sicily: Three Thousand Years of Human History -- because there's a lot more to the history and culture of this place than pizza and godfather films.

And beause we want to be able to figure out what all this stuff is...

later, bob
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