Bartolo Cattafi and His «isole lontane»

Nadia Rosso


Great traveller and tireless observer, the Sicilian poet and writer Bartolo Cattafi was trying to escape from his land for his whole life, which was conducted paradoxically autour de sa chambre, but also travelling through islands and continents, where he found inspiration for his poetry and prose.

For this reason, his literary contribution, which never betrayed his poetic nature and reporter character, gives an added value to the modern ulyssic dimension. The latter considers travelling as an essential life step and it is closely related to the concept of attachment to its own land. These two perspectives, often met in his different «isole lontane», define the career of this singular migrant figure. Initially he moves to Milan to fulfil the need to find a job. Later he will find in his own Sicily the harmony and the serenity he has been looking for in the course of his travels.

The writings collected in 2008 and object of this study reveal interesting affinities to those published in the “Mondadori” series edited by his good friend Vittorio Sereni and that explain part of the works belonging to the Sicilian author, clarifying his topoi and obsessions.


Travel; Limit; Life; Destiny; Sicily

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