“If I could I would like to finish my career sitting in a square to tell stories and at the end of my ‘cunto’, pass through the audience with the flat cap in hand”. These are the words, repeated several times, with which Andrea Camilleri he imagined writing the word “end” to his story as a novelist, actor, playwright. Words that sound ironic and mocking today that the “father” of Inspector Montalbano died after a month of hospitalization due to cardiac arrest, which came after a bad fall at home that had caused his femur to break.
The commissioner Montalbano of Vigata this year has “completed” twenty-five years since its first appearance in a book, The shape of waterand twenty from the first television episode, played by Luca Zingaretti.
From The shape of water the last two episodes
I am over one hundred books written by Andrea Camilleri, including novels, collections, essays and writings for the theater. But it is certainly Salvo Montalbano that the public is most fond of, since the release of that first “chapter” of what has since become a sort of saga, The shape of water, precisely. It was 1994, the publisher was the same Sellerio who recently republished all the stories that see him as the protagonist, in a special edition, entrusting the introduction to other great contemporary writers (from Michele Serra to Simonetta Agnello Hornby, from Andrea Vitali to Maurizio de Giovanni and many others). In all 26 novels to get to the last book, The Alcyon’s cookreleased a few days ago, for a total of 25 million copies sold.
From books to TV with Zingaretti
With his writing that does not disdain the use of Sicilian dialectthe unique ability to portray characters, characters, even charms, the real challenge (won) by Camilleri was to participate in the TV transposition of his books, helping to give life – a second time – to Montalbano, interpreted in a unique way by Luca Zingaretti on the small screen and able to always set audience records, even in the summer reruns. The last two episodes of the fiction are now awaited, also signed by Alberto Sironi.
At 93 he wanted to go back to the theater
Before falling and being hospitalized, Andrea Camilleri was working on his never dormant passion for the theatre. The writer, but also actor, director and teacher (he taught directing at the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome) made his debut in the artistic world, in fact, as theater director in 1942, at just 17 years old. In less than a month, next July 15th, the staging of Self Defense of Cainwritten by Andrea Camilleri himself and which he himself would have told, for the first time at the Baths of Caracalla, speaking of the first assassin in the history of humanity, a symbol of Evil.
Camilleri, the difficult debut, then success
Despite being the most famous (and best-selling) writer in Italy, Camilleri’s debut wasn’t easy: The course of things it was the first work of the writer, born in Porto Empedocle in 1925; released in 1978 was a real fiasco. In 1984 the meeting with the publisher Sellerio, who never left, from which it sprang The forgotten massacre. But it is only ten years later that the beginning of a moderate success arrives, while in 1998 Camilleri becomes a best seller, also thanks to the TV drama about his best-known character, whose end in 2006 the writer had already decided: «I wrote the end ten years ago… I found the solution I liked and I wrote it straight away, you never know if Alzheimer’s will come” he said at the time, only to add later: “He can’t fall into a ravine as Sherlock Holmes and then reappear in other guises. Montalbano does not die”.
From theater to comics, from social networks to politics
The passion for the theater had also re-emerged last year, when in June 2018 Camilleri he had acted at the Greek Theater of Syracuse Conversation about Tiresias, his monologue on the life of the blind soothsayer. To the ability to tell and make his characters “human”, Camilleri added his character at times angular, almost “comics”he who had always said “no” to that world, except in 2013, when up baby mouse a story appeared starring Salvo Topalbano, a parody of Salvo Montabano.
And the image that appears on the site looks like a caricature Vigata.org, the only one “related to me and partially authorized by me” by his own admission. “It’s been around for years, it’s organized by third parties, I know who they are and they’re serious people” he comments on the home page, from which you can browse through interviews, news and curiosities about the writer. A man who for his novels has never avoided drawing inspiration from reality and current events, and has spared no arrows on contemporary society, especially in the world of politics. Son of Giuseppe Camilleri, who participated in the march on Rome, he had enrolled at a very young age Italian Communist Party and he has never made a secret of his leftist ideas.