Musings on Montalbano

A tweet that was sent out by Luca Zingaretti shortly after the death of Andrea Camilleri:

And in the end you caught me off guard again and left us. Despite the increasingly tragic news, I hoped until the last that you’d open your eyes and address us with one of your sentences, all to be listened to, all to be preserved. And so for the Montalbano of fiction comes the sad moment of remembrance, the moment to look for words to explain who Andrea Camilleri will be forever for me.

A master first of all, a man faithful to his always loyal thoughts, always on the side of the truth that he told us and our country. We will miss you. That is inevitable and necessary because of your artistic, cultural, intellectual and above all, human stature. Your words will always remain with the same simplicity and with the immense generosity and wisdom with which you shared them, having the free and superb mind that you did. But above all I will miss you because in all these wonderful years in which my life crossed with that of the commissioner, you have been my friend. It was a strange feeling to know that one stroke of your pen was enough to change my life.

I lived next to you, in the world you had created, which belonged to you because a writer can only bring himself back into the things he writes. And I learned a lot. Respect for people - all of them, and for weak people. Because your commissioner is like that. Was it this that made me love you? No. I already loved you from our days at the academy, when you didn't treat us as students, but rather as colleagues.

I learned that the value of people has nothing to do with what they earn, with the positions they hold, with titles that adorn their surname: people give themselves worth by what they are. Now you leave us and leave me with an unbridgeable sense of emptiness. But I know that every time I say, even to myself, "Sono Montalbano!” wherever you have gone you will smile slyly, perhaps smoking a cigarette and winking at me as a sign of understanding, like the last time we met in Syracuse. Goodbye master and friend, let the earth be light to you!

Your Luca