The daily work of stemming hell according to the deputy prosecutor in Sicily Andrea Apollonio


By John

«If I ever get used to this daily anatomy of misery, of instincts, to this raw human relationship, if I begin to see it in its necessity and fatality, as it cannot be of a body that is so made and different, I will have lost that feeling, hope and more, which I believe is the best part of me.” So thinks, in the words of his beloved Sciascia of «Cronache scuola», the deputy prosecutor Salvatori, protagonist of «Hell will not prevail» (Rubbettino) by Andrew Apolloniusfrom Puglia and deputy prosecutor in Sicily, on his second novel after «The bourgeois art of proletarian warfare» (Rubbettino 2018), and already the author of numerous essays on the mafias (including «History of the sacred crown united» and «I pastures of paper”, both for Rubbettino).
«Believing that evil can cease is a completely unreasonable claim», Salvatori knows this well, he knows that in that “resinous” area in which he operates, Nebroid Sicily, the “pasture mafia” is prolific and enriched (the only useful reference , as we read in the novel’s warnings, in a story in which every reference to facts, things or people is purely coincidental), yet he feels all the anguishing weight of being powerless in the face of a full-blown reality: the mafia bourgeoisie, the heart black of the mafia. Because he doesn’t believe in the “grey area”, “it’s just the name we give, without knowing it, to our inability to discern between good and evil”. And the victim of evil is that emaciated and emaciated woman who in the incipit of the novel appears before him after being summoned by the police: the bruises on her arms and cheeks speak for themselves, but she, a widow, who “gets by” on a pension alone with his son with mental problems, he doesn’t speak, he certainly doesn’t intend to report his son. And Salvatori, a recent father, is heartbroken as he says goodbye to her, overwhelmed as he is by a painful humanity incapable of looking after itself, by family situations too complex to be described in a report, in an investigative document.
However, he does not want to drown in the “sea of ​​objectivity” (this time it is “his” Calvino in “A sea of ​​objectivity”), and in the face of other evil, reiterated with the arrogance of the powerful, he cannot make the flow flow uninterrupted of what exists and passively suffer it. Therefore, when a breeder disappears, and a municipal official falls from the fourth floor of a hotel managed by a nun, the icy mother Berenice (another homage by Apollonio to the Sciascia of «Todomodo»), sister of the attorney general Ficarra, who died in his read a few days earlier, Salvatori understands that those apparently unrelated facts make up a single mosaic of evil in which the interests of the “pasture mafia” and the connivance of powerful figures including the late Ficarra converge.
But the occult and collusive system cannot be easily dismantled, there are shadows of crimes into which one cannot even start an investigation, one must be satisfied with some victory of the State over some people; evil, as Mother Berenice told him, cannot be distinguished from good. However, although he is tempted to leave, Salvatori continues to do his job, until “when there remains, among a thousand, only one possibility of doing justice”.