Thursday, May 2, 2013

New Sicily Travel Ebook

Available for Kindle and Android, Tim Cawkwell's travel book gives impressions of an encounter with some of Sicily's famous sites, such as Monreale, Palermo, Segesta, Trapani, Scopello (Erice is shown here). But it is more than a travel book, since these encounters prompt wider reflections on the pleasures to be found in history, on the torments of the Mafia presence, on the idea of the Englishman abroad, and on Sicily as an 'island of the mind'.

The journey takes in Giuseppe Di Lampedusa's The Leopard, Roberto Rossellini's film Journey to Italy, Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris, Gavin Maxwell's Ten Pains of Death, Peter Robb's Midnight in Sicily, the photographs of Letizia Battaglia, ER Dodds's The Greeks and the Irrational. The essay takes as its framework the way a visit to Sicily healed Tim Cawkwell's diagnosis as suffering from inflamed arteries in the head. This leads finally to a consideration of Beethoven's last five piano sonatas heard throughout the visit as consolatory and healing.

This essay, which includes a number of photographs as illustrations, is an arresting mixture of the factual and the thought-provoking. Although Sicily in all its richness and pleasures is the immediate subject, Tim Cawkwell ranges beyond the geographical island to touch on profound questions about human existence.

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