Cacopardo leaves Sicily for new adventures: a yellow-tinged story of the writer-judge

Photo of author

By John

The secret as a family paradigm and much left unsaid in the plots of history flow on the tracks of a narrative that is both individual and collective, in continuous cross-reference between private and public. Domenico Cacopardo Crovini, the magistrate writer with many cultural and artistic souls, returns to talk about men and misdeeds, good and evil, in his latest novel «Pas de Sicile. Return to Candora” (Ianieri Edizioni, pp.229, euro 18.00). A text that surprises already from the title: a purpose that seems without appeal. In reality it announces the writing of the change, of the narrative detachment from Sicily, the land of the heart, for the new setting in the Po Valley.
From the sea of ​​Sicily to the waters of the Po the leap is large, but functional to reconnect with the Emilian origins on the mother’s side (the father was Sicilian from Messina), and pay homage to the Crovini family (included in the signature of the work), important in formation of his critical thinking. Cacopardo then returns to the Emilia of his youth, to the imaginary town of Candora, to fascinate once again with his punctual, cultured, ironic narration, full of color and anecdotes, which delves into crime without lingering in macabre details and rather delivers to reader the analysis of consciences.
Having set aside Italo Agrò, the leading role passes to the retired magistrate Domenico Palardo, alter ego of the author himself, who from an illustrious lawman will transform into a detective writer animated by an unshakable passion for the truth. Appointed by the Municipality of Candora (evocative of the candor of its inhabitants) to coordinate the celebratory volume for the hundred years of the Constitution of the Municipality and to write the opening essay on Siro Sieroni – a character who with his companies had favored the development of the town – the man will come across unspeakable secrets and unresolved events of the entrepreneur’s family, which will become the starting point for an intense investigation, in which the entire village community and Sieroni’s illegitimate son will be involved.
A detective story to all intents and purposes, in which however the author, rejecting the classic stereotypes on crime, offers the reader elements of judgment to penetrate the facts and go beyond; overcome them, therefore, to finally arrive at the awareness that the past is always around the corner, in those unresolved aspects that ask for truth and completeness. In fact, a Bergsonian sense of time runs through the entire novel, both as “life time” of the author himself – who doubles, becoming both interpreter and narrator – and as “past time”, of History, unchangeable and no longer curable.
Investigating the one he should pay homage to, Palardo learns his ignominy and falsehood; but to unmask them he must put together a new puzzle. The author thus lets himself be guided by his internal time, “time of consciousness”, to take from the memories of life in Emilia suggestions and atmospheres that can give character to his characters, in a narrative project that together with beauty and progress brings out the ugly and the decadent, even the horror. The dive into the past in fact redesigns the features of an Italy crossed by racial laws, a great crime in history; while a crime in today’s plot brings out ancient grudges in the relationships of the Sieroni family. Two parallel tracks, on which the magistrate, thirsty for truth and justice, will compose, together with the epilogue, his sentence of condemnation towards any atrocity, of the individual and of History. Beyond the time of its occurrence and without appeal.