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A complex game of liberation and domination: Il Gattopardo, Sicilian oblivion, and Simonetta Agnello Hornby

Gregoria Manzin, Mark Nicholls, Annamaria Pagliaro


This article stands as a preamble to the collection of essays contained in the present issue of Spunti e Ricerche. The 60th anniversary of the publication of Il Gattopardo (1958) offered the occasion to call on scholars for a discussion on Sicily as a locus to explore trans-historical issues of political and social cohesion. The novel and Visconti’s film were not the sole focus of the resulting 2018 symposium; they were equally deployed as an opening into a broader discourse on Sicilian matters. This contribution examines Simonetta Agnello Hornby’s novel La Mennulara, in its three versions: the original debut novel (2002), the expanded edition (2019), and the graphic novel created by Massimo Fenati (2008). It serves to highlight how the narrative work of Agnello Hornby, as a contemporary Sicilian writer, exemplifies the intertextuality and importance of place of the Sicilian literary discourse: her continuation and rupture with the celebrated Sicilian historical novel speaks for a culture of resilience and resistance; a place where the tension between domination and liberation never fade from view.

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Spunti e Ricerche. Rivista d'italianistica.
ISSN (Print): 0816-5432.
ISSN (Electronic): 2200-8942.