Leonardo Nosatti drew from the past and present to write a critical essay acknowledged among the best student writing in NSW.
The St Patrick’s College Sutherland graduate recast characters from 1920’s literary classics in modern day society, imagining their use of social media as a way to discuss the concept of manifold self.
His essay is one of 18 pieces included in the 2018 Young Writers’ Showcase, a collection of the best English Extension 2 writing from last year’s HSC.
Leonardo said he was humbled to be included in the anthology published in July, and officially launched at the State Library of NSW on 19 August.
‘I’m very stoked,’ he said. “I was shocked when they told me I was shortlisted let alone in it, so I’m very proud of not only myself but also my teacher, the English staff at St Pat’s who supported me throughout the journey, and my parents for introducing me to this whole topic.’
Leonardo drew on Virgina Woolfe’s novel Orlando, about the cross-century adventures of a poet who changes genders and meets the key figures of English literary history, and his father’s recommendation One, No One and One Hundred Thousand by Italian author Luigi Pirandello for his work.
The story’s main character, Moscarda, discovers everyone he has ever met has a different perception of him as a person that he has of himself and sets out to destroy these ‘masks’.
Leonardo said those who read his essay should be prepared to challenge the traditional view that the self is singular.
‘At the very beginning I wanted to create a work that would appeal to all readers,’ he said. ‘I definitely look at myself and others around me differently after exploring this topic. I’m not just one singular being, but more complex than that. At the end of the day it comes down to what you want to believe and that’s where I leave my reader.’
Alongside the major work, reflection statement that reviewed his creative process, research and inspiration, including the form, purpose and language his sources used.
Leonardo advice to future English Extension 2 students and those reaching the final hurdles of producing a major work was to pick a topic of personal relevance.
“I think the most important thing is to pick something that you’re really interested in exploring in detail,” he said. “Nurture your passions and really listen to the advice of your teachers across the whole journey. Be malleable, be flexible, but stay true to your purpose and passions and what you set up to do.”