Salvatore Niffoi

The sea as a scary border

Speak of the limits of an island and one immediately thinks of the sea, first and only border. Several writers have wanted to analyze the relationship of Sardinia with its borders, that form not only a geographical boundary, but also cultural and historical. It also represents a necessary step towards a new future (as in Il quinto passo è l'addio of Sergio Atzeni), a necessary elsewhere (as in Oltremare of Mariangela Sedda), a source of livelihood (in Il mare intorno of Giulio Angioni) or a kind of temple to fear and respect (as in the contribution of Michela Murgia in the collection Carta de logu). This and more is the sea for the Sardinian writers, until the denial of this (as in the text by Marcello Fois In Sardegna non c'è il mare).

Salvatore Niffoi gives an overview of the border closely related to the nature of his characters, which are all (or almost) from the inland areas of Sardinia, Barbagia, a sort of island within the island, where the crossing of familiar territories already represents a break with their own personal tradition.

Considering the ten novels published by the author to date, we will analyze the view of the sea horizon as frightening, but also as a divide, not only physical but also social: those who cross the sea, come back (if they return) completely changed, and, most of the time, without the principles considered positive by the residents of the communities.

Salvatore Niffoi

Niffoi is an Italian writer,born 1950, in Orani. He is a representative of the so-called Sardinian Literary Nouvelle Vague, or Sardinian Literary Spring, i. e. the Sardinian narrative of today, which was initiated by Giulio Angioni,[1] Salvatore Mannuzzu and Sergio Atzeni, following the work of individual prominent figures such as Grazia Deledda, Emilio Lussu, Giuseppe Dessì, Gavino Ledda, Salvatore Satta. His prose is mostly a mixture of Italian and Sardinian.

Niffoi lives in Orani, a small village of Barbagia, in the province of Nuoro, where he was a middle school teacher until 2006. He started his career as a novelist in 1997, with his first work, Collodoro. In 2006, with the novel La vedova scalza he won the Campiello Prize.