Arts and Entertainment

Adam Foulds’s last novel, The Quickening Maze, was a truly superb study in madness and early psychiatric methods, combining the intellectual and the visceral in often startling ways (few will forget his description of the “dismantling” of a deer). In this latest work, he retains that powerful blend and focuses on another kind of madness: the madness of war.

State handouts for Mafia men of honour

IN 1991, an agricultural labourer, Vito Vitale, met with an accident on a Sicilian farm and was awarded a disability allowance by the state pension fund. On 14 April, seven years and many monthly payments later, the reclusive "invalid" was arrested.

Obituary: Professor Henry Blumenthal

HENRY BLUMENTHAL was a leading British scholar in the area of Neoplatonism, one of a small band of pioneers, including his friends John Rist and Denis O'Brien, who emerged from Cambridge in the early 1960s as students of F.H. Sandbach, so eminently broad-minded that he let them pursue such an odd bird as the philosopher Plotinus.

Passport: Mark-Anthony Turnage - Palermo's catacombs were amazing: mum mified Italians

TRUE to the spirit of classical music, Mark-Anthony's passport shows a preponderance of stamps for Italy.

Hockey: Giles' penalty enables England to scramble draw against Italy

A Calum Giles penalty corner conversion seven minutes from time saved England's blushes as they drew 3-3 with Italy in Catania, Sicily, yesterday in the second of their two-Test series. The two sides drew by the same score on Saturday.

Hockey: England draw after disastrous start

hockey

Obituary: Danilo Dolci

Danilo Dolci, educationalist, campaigner, writer and poet: born Sesana, Italy 28 June 1924; twice married (two children, five adopted children); died Partinico, Sicily 30 December 1997.

Nato base in Sicily gave contracts to Mafia

Warrants have been issued for 21 suspects who allegedly worked to ensure that millions of dollars in contracts for a Nato air base would go to companies controlled by the Mafia, authorities said yesterday.

Theatre: `Where, might one ask, have all your nuances gone, Harold?'

In Sicily, they believe that upping the cultural temperature is one way of keeping the Mafia at bay and the tourists at play. The latest arts festival in Palermo has a high British content, including contributions from Peter Greenaway, Richard Long and Harold Pinter. John Francis Lane saw the Italian production of Pinter's `Ashes to Ashes', directed by the author with, perhaps, an unintended irony.

Visual Arts: Taking a walk on the wild side of Sicily

Richard Long walks for Art. Across the Sahara, the Himalayas, the Scottish highlands. And now the innocent abroad has tramped through the Mafia lands of Sicily, creating mud drawings and stone sculptures, to become a local hero. Jonathan Jones falls in step.

HOW WE MET; SIMON CALLOW AND SNOO WILSON

Simon Callow, 48 (right), was born in London, and educated at Queen's University, Belfast and the Drama Centre in London. He is best known as an actor, on stage and in films such as 'A Room with a View'', yet he has also directed numerous plays and operas, and written acclaimed biographies of Orson Welles and Charles Laughton. He is 48 and lives alone in London. The writer Snoo Wilson, 49, was born in Reading and educated at the University of East Anglia. He was a BBC TV script editor in the Seventies, has taught script writing at the National Film School, and is the author of three novels and numerous plays for TV and theatre (including 'HRH', currently being directed by Simon Callow). He is married with three children and lives in south London

Passengers set to sue over airline `riot'

An airline which turned all 187 passengers off a plane for alleged riotous behaviour was last night facing the prospect of legal action from 150 of them, who were demanding compensation and an apology.

Airline ditches rioting passengers

A pilot flew out to Sicily with an empty aircraft yesterday after all 187 passengers were unloaded because their behaviour was so riotous it was too dangerous to take off.

Do you prefer your Sicily with or without mobsters?

In Sicily local politicians are up in arms over the fact that German tour operators are now selling Mafia tours to holidaymakers. Basically, this involves shipping in tourists specifically to see Mafia-related sights, including not only locations of prominent Mafia killings but also mocked up displays of Mafia get-togethers, no doubt with the odd sadistic beating thrown in for added realism.

Time the great healer

THEATRE: Ghosts / The Winter's Tale; Lyric Hammersmith

Books: Artichokes with the Godmothers

Mafia Women by Clare Longrigg, Chatto & Windus, pounds 16.99
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