A cultural holiday: "LA PERLA NERA", LITERARY GUIDE OF PANTELLERIA
Pantelleria is an island that by nature invites relaxation, silence, and immersion in meditation and reading. What could be more beautiful than lying in the shade of a cannizzo, on the terrace of a sea-view dammuso, reading a good book, perhaps right on the island? An example is "La Perla Nera. Guida Letteraria di Pantelleria" by Luigi Olivetti, with a preface by Giulio Sapelli: a new perspective on the island, a journey of knowledge that the author, cosmopolitan and traveler, publisher and bookseller, poet and writer, has accomplished over many years of research and study, collecting and commenting on literary texts on Pantelleria, accompanied by 163 extremely evocative and representative images.
LA PERLA NERA. GUIDA LETTERARIA DI PANTELLERIA: WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT
Much more than a simple anthology, the book aims to testify to the literary history of the island, chosen by many authors as a source of inspiration and as a place for artistic creation. With its magical atmosphere, its wild landscapes, where nature still has a primitive, mysterious and ancestral aspect, Pantelleria can be easily defined as a natural work of art that has become the subject and object of literary writing over the centuries.
That's precisely why the succession of texts is not random but the result of careful construction aimed at contextualizing them and pairing them with the landscape in which they were born. In this way, words blend with places, giving a vivid, evocative and certainly original portrait of an island that is never the same and surprises even those who have known it for a long time.
The preface by Giulio Sapelli
Also of great impact is the preface by Giulio Sapelli, who quotes "La vida es sueño" by Calderón de la Barca to underline the multidimensional nature of Pantelleria.
Its ruggedness is by no means a metaphor for simplicity. Its nature is the triumph of environmental, biological, and vital complexity, and diversity is the mark of the manifold of its deep voices that begin with the winds and end where a term can never be found: in its archaic and secret seas.
And again: “For this is Pantelleria: unity of the multiple and diversity of the paths that meet where the sun sets and men rest after toils and passions, in endless continuity. If you want to understand what the symbol is, the relationship with the cosmos and with oneself, you must go, come, return to Pantelleria.”
The author's introduction, Luigi Olivetti
On the other hand, the author of the book writes: “In our imagination, Pantelleria is the distant and mysterious island where natural elements rage, where everything is absolute and extreme: the light, the sea, the silence. A place from which you would want to escape or never leave, the Homeric Ogygia that envelops you with its ancient charm, a land where the rhythm of modern man dilates, merging into a primitive breath. [...] Pantelleria has been sought, discovered, loved, studied and visited by explorers, scientists, writers and artists who have been attracted by its landscapes and its inhabitants, who have described it in their travel diaries, novels, songs or poems. For this reason, the idea of creating the first literary guide to Pantelleria was born, describing the island through the numerous artistic texts scattered over time, forming a conspicuous anthology divided by topics.”
The book concludes with three short appendices: one dedicated to the Madonna della Margana, the protector of the island of Pantelleria; the second is a collection of some poems and songs about Pantelleria, while the third is composed of Pantelleria proverbs.
This work is also for those planning a holiday in Pantelleria to discover the island from a different perspective, not necessarily purely historical or geographical, but through the testimony of how places, peoples, and cultures that created the stratifications of the Island were able to intersect and transform into authentic literary inspiration.