Writing and death sentences - Roberto Saviano, Salman Rusdie

Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 03:31 pm
Have any of you been following the Saviano story? He's an italian writer who has to live in hiding because of threats due to his Camorra mafia expose in his book, Gomorrah. Yikes. I supppose it goes with the situation, but it must be very chilling for a young man.

from OnlyinItaly.com, a blurb about Rushdie and Saviano - the news item is first and the OnlyinItaly commentary second, in red. OnlyinItaly is, ahhhh, a news buffoonery website, sometimes actually serious. Or, it is probably always serious, but with an sometime overlay of clownishness.

Link to OnlyinItaly Saviano article

Quoting the Saviano piece -

Rushdie: I'm In Less Danger Than Roberto Saviano

Paris - October 16, 2008 - The Camorra death sentence on Gomorra author Roberto Saviano is a greater threat than an Iranian fatwah, Salman Rushdie said Friday.

"The Mafia poses a much more serious problem than the one I had to face," said Rushdie, who was condemned to death by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989.

"Saviano is in terrible danger, worse than me," he said.

The Anglo-Indian novelist, in Paris to promote his latest book The Enchantress of Florence, said he met Saviano in New York in April. He said the FBI believed Saviano's life to be in danger in America too, given the transatlantic reach of the Italian Mafia. Rushdie supported Saviano's desire to leave Italy but said he would have to choose a foreign haven carefully.

"Without doubt, he'll have to leave Italy but he must choose his future destination very prudently," Rushdie said.

Saviano said this week he wanted to leave Italy after two years in witness protection, to "get his life back" and start writing again.

The Italian government has urged the writer to stay in the country as a symbol of the anti-Mafia fight and sources close to the writer say he has not fully made up his mind. Earlier this week the media reported a Camorra bomb plot to slay the writer by the end of the year but the informant who reportedly gave the tip-off subsequently retracted.

Saviano's 2006 expose' Gomorra, which has been turned into a film bidding for the Oscars, has enraged the Camorra.

On a serious note, after reading the chilling book "Gomorrah", it becomes impossible to see Italy, and the world market, in the same way again.

The Camorra of today:
- They hide weapons in former military barracks in Eastern Europe,
- sell toxic waste,
- launder money through diamonds,
- make deals with South American and Nigerian drug cartels,
- siphon off European Union farm subsidies,
- and set up legal fronts like clothing stores, bars and tourism outfits all over Europe.

"Porca vacca", Naples is so tense you begin to realize that if you throw a rock from your Naples hotel window there's a possibility you'll start a gang war.

"Without doubt, he'll have to leave Italy but he must choose his future destination very prudently." Saviano would be in less danger if he goes out for a tea with his pal Rushdie in a cafe in Iran.

Here's an earlier article in BBC News -
BBC News Link - Italy's Dead Man Walking

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Cliff Hanger
Reply Wed 29 Oct, 2008 05:29 am
Ooo. This is grim, interesting too, but grim.

Surely this Saviano fellow knew what he was getting into when he wrote the book?

I don't agree with the "stay in your country as an act of defiance" route. He ought take advantage of the advances in technology-- whether it would be plastic surgery-- or finding a location where he will be able to evade the long arm of the Mafia.
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