A Writer’s Dilemma: Silvio Berlusconi versus Roberto Saviano

Roberto Saviano, the author of the novel Gomorrah, is asking himself whether he should stay with his publisher Mondadori or look for another publisher for his next novel. The problem is that Mondadori is owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the man who has accused him of doing public relations for the Mafia.

If Saviano stays with Mondadori he is assured of a large public. Another publisher would certainly not do as well for him.

Gomorrah deals with the Camorra, the crime syndicate based in Naples that is larger than the Mafia but less known. Its revenues in one year are said to be as much as $250 billion – five times as much as Bernard Madoff took years to steal.

The film Gomorrah, co-written by Saviano and based on his novel, has been nominated for the Golden Globe.

In the paper Repubblica of April 21, Benedetta Tobagi appeals to Saviano to stay with Mondadori: “If you believe in the political role of writing and assume responsibility towards your readers, publishing under the best possible conditions for as broad a readership as possible ceases to be a personal decision. Is it really better for writers to abandon the publishing house in droves? Can’t more be achieved by staying and writing? Authors are not publishing house employees…. Staying means sticking to one’s cause, assuming responsibility and defending colleagues who are being attacked.”

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2 responses to “A Writer’s Dilemma: Silvio Berlusconi versus Roberto Saviano

  1. Robert Koch

    A genuine problem. Is Roberto Saviano really friendly to the Camorra ? I have read about them, a very vicious organization. The question is how serious is Berlusconi in his pursuit of non-Camorra Naples ? Does Saviano write favorably of them ? When I find the answers to these questions I have a better basis for my opinion.

  2. Saviano despises the Camorra.