The censured novel Conversazione in Sicilia, by Elio Vittorini, published in four episodes in 1918/1939, is the basis for this account of a man returning to Sicily for a visit to his mother. This is a journey of initiation, “a voyage in fourth dimension through his infancy”, he says. Not only to re-live words, people, places, sounds, sensation, and odor of his seven years, but mainly to understand himself. He re-encounters his mother whom he has not seen for 15 years, ever since she left for the North of Italy.
Through her, he attempts to glean answers to questions and facts that still trouble his memories, such as the image of his dead father. In this return, he also comes face to face with reality, corruption, and treachery, that differ from his memories as a child with a mother, lost between abstract fury and an awareness of his incapacity to comprehend the human condition.
Review (also discussing Costa’s film of the making of Sicilia): link
+ Sicilia! the play, in Theater Francesco di Bartolo of Buti, the 6th of April 1998