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The Council of Egypt
Translated by Adrienne Foulke
RRP: GBP£ 14.95
You Save: GBP£ 1.50
Price: GBP£ 13.45
Currently Out of Stock
ISBN: 978 1 857544 34 3
Imprint: Carcanet Fiction
Published: March 1999
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Hardback
The place: Palermo, 1783. The barons reject the reforms of the principled viceroy Caracciolo, pursuing their feuds and petty plotting. Their wives indulge in forbidden French novels. And porcine abbot Vella, forty years old, is drawn like a fly to the sweetmeats of their society. How can he achieve the lavish security of an aristocrat, without any aristocratic gifts of his own?
With a novelist's invention he forges an ancient Arabic chronicle, The Council of Egypt, which justifies baronial privilege and restores power over the island to the Kingdom of Naples. In a world ripe for reform, Vella is an instrument of counter-reformation, pursued by the Jacobins, opposed by the brilliantly-drawn intellectual De Blasi. The terrible consequences of reform for the reformers themselves are among Sciascia's themes. His tone is cool, as uncompromising as his master Stendhal's. In evoking a country, its people and traditions, this is Sciascia's most vivid canvas.
'Leonardo Sciascia is so infuriatingly good that you wonder whether his Protean talents are not those of a secret
syndicate.' The Observer
'He is surely, along with Italo Calvino, Italy's finest prose writer.' The Times Literary Supplement
'He is a first-rate story-teller with a pure style which carries his narrative, sardonic wit and metaphorical undertow in its deceptive, easy flow.' The Times
Praise for Leonardo Sciascia Sicilian novelist Leonardo Sciascia died in 1989, but several of his titles are worthy of mention. The Wine Dark Sea is a collection of short stories, while To Each His Own is a quirky murder mystery and The Council of Egypt is about a Maltese monk who is asked to translate an Arabic manuscript but instead invents every word and uses the money to manipulate Palermo's aristocracy.
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