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21 March 2024

La mia isola è Las Vegas

Every month newitalianbooks asks a translator to suggest a book he or she would like to translate. This month, Maria E. Brunner presents:


Vincenzo Consolo, La mia isola è Las Vegas, Milan, Mondadori, 2012


In the writings collected in La mia isola è Las Vegas, Vincenzo Consolo seeks to interpret Italy’s politically upright conscience in the fight against the Mafia. ‘One is not born in a certain place by chance, with impunity, without being marked in the soul’, was the Sicilian author’s mantra. Literature is a weapon that, in Consolo’s eyes, can change the world. He wants to write ‘militant prose’, like the requiem Dies irae in Palermo. In Le lenticchie di Villalba, the author recalls his encounter with a local boss, who had tried to bribe him with sweets and a brotherly kiss on the cheek, and the rigorous ethics of the father who, although aware of the economic loss he would suffer, refuses the Mafia’s protection. So the father says to his son: ‘Do you see? In these countries there are people who command more than carabinieri. When you go back to school, you will write about it in an essay’. But the author not only paints a bleak picture of society. He also evokes the possibility of a better world: Consolo wants to shake people’s consciences and show his ‘matria’, mother earth and motherland together, not only as a land haunted by misfortune, but also in all its breathtaking beauty.


Maria E. Brunner 


Maria E. Brunner is a university lecturer, writer and translator. She has translated Paolo Rumiz, Vincenzo Consolo and Maddalena Fingerle


Title: La mia isola è Las Vegas

Author: Consolo Vincenzo

Year: 2012

Publisher Mondadori