The Moro Affair; And, the Mystery of Majorana

Leonardo Sciascia, Author Carcanet Press, $16.95 (175p) ISBN 978-0-85635-700-8
Published together in one volume, each of these short books is a close examination of evidence pertaining to two dramatic events in modern Italian history, one a mystery, the other a national tragedy, with the author providing his own theories and philosophical meditations. In 1938, a young Sicilian physicist named Ettore Majorana (regarded by Enrico Fermi as a genius of the first order) disappeared after sending a suicide note closely followed by a telegram begging the recipient to disregard it. Sciascia's theory, based on flimsy evidence, yet not in the least implausible, is that Majorana ""turned away in dismay and horror'' and retired to a monastery after foreseeing that the nuclear research in which he was involved might lead to the destruction of mankind. In 1978, Aldo Moro, Italy's prime minister, was kidnapped by the Red Brigade, held for several weeks and executed by a ``People's Court.'' Sciascia (Sicilian Uncles analyzes letters from Moro and Majorana, the reminiscences of family, friends and colleagues. Though he does not ``solve'' either case, he clarifies the components of each, arguing that Moro was indirectly a victim of his own political party, and, in the case of Majorana, that the mystery belongs in the realm of universal mythology. (April 8)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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