Mezzogiorno: Life. Death. Southern Italy.
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A work of fact, fiction, fable and folklore spanning three generations of southern Italian family life. "Europe ends at Naples and ends badly. Calabria, Sicily and all the rest belong to Africa." - Creuzé de Lesser, 1806 No geographical map distinguishes Montefalcione as being different from any number of isolated mountain villages in southern Italy. It has ancient customs and its own saints and feast days, like other villages. Yet Montefalcione in Campania is the setting for a unique meditation on family and the Italian Diaspora, reconstructing three generations of village life through myth, superstition, and the anecdotal history of the author's own family. The drama unfolds amidst a landscape of peasant riots, vicious landlords, religious festival, feuds, the collapse of the Fascist party, and the tarantella - a world lost to the changing face of the twenty-first century.
says Giuseppe. “I want my son, Carminuccio.” “He’s not here.” “Either open up or I’ll bang the door down.” Concertinella opens the door. “You see, there’s Giuseppe pushes his way through the woman and through the door at the back of the tavern to find his son playing cards at a table with Antonio Sanduccio. “Sei pronto?” says the old goat. “Here you are. Are you ready?” There is not a reply because Giuseppe doesn’t wait for one before he brings his stick down hard on the table and orders
was the butcher for thirty years and believes himself to be very well respected and trusted. He is Vicenza Minella’s grandson, a lady with horses. Giuseppe Ciampa from Bacirolli is the uncle of the tobacconist, his neighbour. He’s only a small chap. He used to have a wife, you know, near the cemetery. They used to have land there. “What about this new era?” interjects Franco Baracca, snapping the mayor from his pliocene grin. Between the very rich and very poor there exists a small layer of
republic by a narrow margin and they argue and argue; they are fighting, they are arguing in Montefalcione this night. One casualty of the fighting is a man from the comune, the local council. Everyone is bitching at Sinneco because of the election result and ultimately strip him of his clothes in a rage. He’s one of the comune. People are taking it out on the comune but it has nothing to do with the comune, because the comune haven’t said they don’t want the Christian Democrats to win, says
recede into faraway night. A man soon joins her in the carriage, whose conversation and focus is not upon the landscape, slippers or shoes. Instead, his unwarranted attention and fidgety hands drive the poor girl from this carriage into the next, where a group of sympathetic football supporters — the lost, last few of a dismal Manchester United away game with Charlton Athletic — take Assunta into its care. Assunta ends her journey at Manchester’s Waterloo Road station, the final stop, whereupon
European powers. The south of Italy, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, is under Bourbon rule. Insurrection erupts in the north and the south in favour of a united Italy, but these are thwarted in 1831 with the intervention of the Austrian army, who march across the Italian peninsula and arrest many of the revolutionary leaders. When revolution breaks out again, in 1859, it is a much different picture. The resurgence here lasts for ten years and takes place amid two Italian wars of independence