Between Salt Water and Holy Water A History of Southern Italy

Between Salt Water and Holy Water  A History of Southern Italy

Radical excesses in Naples—and peasant takeovers of land in Sicily and elsewhere—worried the elites. ... He believed his kingdom safe from outside threats, protected—as the king allegedly put it—between salt water and holy water.

Author: Tommaso Astarita

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393254327

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 850

"Lucid, evocative and richly detailed."—Jay Parini, author of The Apprentice Lover Both the Romans and the Greeks were attracted to the dramatically beautiful coasts and fertile plains of the region later known as "The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies." In fact, all myriad influences that shaped modern civilization in the Mediterranean come together in Southern Italy and Sicily. The world's first secular university was founded in Naples. Many of the elements of Italian culture as we now know it in the rest of the world—from comic opera to pizza—were born in the South. Art and music flourished there, as did progressive ideas about education, tolerance, and civic administration. Native Neopolitan and distinguished scholar Tommaso Astarita gives us a history both erudite and full of personality—from the freethinking, cosmopolitan King Frederick who conferred with Jewish and Muslim philosophers (and dared to meet with the Sultan) to the fisherman Masaniello who inspired artists and revolutionaries across Europe. In the medieval South, Jews, Muslims, and Greek and Latin Christians could practice their religions, speak their languages, and live in mostly peaceful cohabitation. From the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, Naples was on par with Paris, one of the largest and most cultured cities in Europe. During the Enlightenment, southern Italy captured the European imagination, and many people traveled far and wide to enjoy southern Italy's ancient ruins, beautiful landscapes, sweet music, and magnificent art, marveling at the lively temperament of the southern population. The drama and beauty of the region inspired visitors to claim that one had to "see Naples, and then die." Yet negative images of the Italian South's poverty, violence, superstition and nearness to Africa long fueled stereotypes of what was and was not acceptably "European." Goethe noted that he had gladly studied in Rome, but in Naples he wanted "only to live," for "Naples is a Paradise: everyone lives in a state of intoxicated self-forgetfulness, myself included. From the Normans and Angevins through Spanish and Bourbon rule to the unification of Italy in 1860 and the subsequent emigration of vast numbers of Southern Italians, Between Salt Water and Holy Water captures the rich, dynamic past of a vibrant land.
Categories: History

The Empire of Stereotypes

The Empire of Stereotypes

Astarita,Between Salt Water and Holy Water, 198–200, 205–18, 229, 233; Lepre, Storia del Mezzogiorno d'Italia, II, 93–104. On the decadence of Naples under Spanish rule, as manifest in its excessive size, parasitical economy, ...

Author: R. Casillo

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9781403983213

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 379

View: 170

This book places Germaine de Stael's influential novel, Corrine, or Italy (1807) in relation to preceding and subsequent stereotypes of Italy as seen in the works of Northern European and American travel writers since the Renaissance.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Befriending the Commedia dell Arte of Flaminio Scala

Befriending the Commedia dell Arte of Flaminio Scala

Tommaso Astarita, Between Salt Water and Holy Water, 97. Stefonao Carboni, Venice and the Islamic World, 828–1797, 72. Astarita, Between Salt Water and Holy Water, 98. Ibid., 182. Robert C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters, 23–4.

Author: Natalie Crohn Schmitt

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 9781442648999

Category: Drama

Page: 328

View: 447

Schmitt demonstrates that the commedia dell'arte relied as much on craftsmanship as on improvisation and that Scala's scenarios are a treasure trove of social commentary on early modern daily life in Italy.
Categories: Drama

Impressions of Southern Italy

Impressions of Southern Italy

This aide is quoted by therepublican Vincenzo Cuoco, inhis Saggio Storico sulla Rivoluzione di Napoli (1800), and inturn quotedin Astarita, Between Salt Water and Holy Water, p. 255. The story of Nelson, the Hamiltons, andthe Neapolitan ...

Author: Sharon Ouditt

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781134705139

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 222

View: 384

Naples was conventionally the southernmost stop of the Grand Tour beyond which, it was assumed, lay violent disorder: earthquakes, malaria, bandits, inhospitable inns, few roads and appalling food. On the other hand, Southern Italy lay at the heart of Magna Graecia, whose legends were hard-wired into the cultural imaginations of the educated. This book studies the British travellers who visited Italy's Southern territories. Spanning the late eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, the author considers what these travellers discovered, not in the form of a survey, but as a series of unfolding impressions disclosing multiple Southern Italies. Of the numerous travellers analysed within this volume, the central figures are Henry Swinburne, Craufurd Tait Ramage and Norman Douglas, whose Old Calabria (1915) remains in print. Their appeal is that they take the region seriously: Southern Italy wasn't simply a testing ground for their superior sensibilities, it was a vibrant curiosity, unknown but within reach. Was the South simply behind on the road to European integration; or was it beyond a fault line, representing a viable alternative to Northern neuroses? The travelogues analysed in this book address a wide variety of themes which continue to shape discussions about European identity today.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Napoli New York Hollywood

Napoli New York Hollywood

Tommaso Astarita, “The Grand Tour Heads South,” in Between Salt Water and Holy Water: A History of Southern Italy (New York: Norton, 2005), 229. 34. See Sebastiano Martelli, “Premessa,” Oltre la Serenissima: Goldoni, Napoli e la cultura ...

Author: Giuliana Muscio

Publisher: Fordham University Press

ISBN: 9780823279401

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 384

View: 540

Napoli/New York/Hollywood is an absorbing investigation of the significant impact that Italian immigrant actors, musicians, and directors—and the southern Italian stage traditions they embodied—have had on the history of Hollywood cinema and American media, from 1895 to the present day. In a unique exploration of the transnational communication between American and Italian film industries, media or performing arts as practiced in Naples, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, this groundbreaking book looks at the historical context and institutional film history from the illuminating perspective of the performers themselves—the workers who lend their bodies and their performance culture to screen representations. In doing so, the author brings to light the cultural work of families and generations of artists that have contributed not only to American film culture, but also to the cultural construction and evolution of “Italian-ness” over the past century. Napoli/New York/Hollywood offers a major contribution to our understanding of the role of southern Italian culture in American cinema, from the silent era to contemporary film. Using a provocative interdisciplinary approach, the author associates southern Italian culture with modernity and the immigrants’ preservation of cultural traditions with innovations in the mode of production and in the use of media technologies (theatrical venues, music records, radio, ethnic films). Each chapter synthesizes a wealth of previously under-studied material and displays the author’s exceptional ability to cover transnational cinematic issues within an historical context. For example, her analysis of the period from the end of World War I until the beginning of sound in film production in the end of the 1920s, delivers a meaningful revision of the relationship between Fascism and American cinema, and Italian emigration. Napoli/New York/Hollywood examines the careers of those Italian performers who were Italian not only because of their origins but because their theatrical culture was Italian, a culture that embraced high and low, tragedy and comedy, music, dance and even acrobatics, naturalism, and improvisation. Their previously unexplored story—that of the Italian diaspora’s influence on American cinema—is here meticulously reconstructed through rich primary sources, deep archival research, extensive film analysis, and an enlightening series of interviews with heirs to these traditions, including Francis Coppola and his sister Talia Shire, John Turturro, Nancy Savoca, James Gandolfini, David Chase, Joe Dante, and Annabella Sciorra.
Categories: Performing Arts

Gangster Priest

Gangster Priest

13 Nelli, From Immigrants to Ethnics, 20, 22; Tommaso Astarita, Between Salt Water and Holy Water: A History of the Italian South (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005), 288; Schachter, Italian South, 32, 106, 107–8, 113; Foerster, ...

Author: Robert Casillo

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 9780802091130

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 600

View: 568

Widely acclaimed as America's greatest living film director, Martin Scorsese is also, some argue, the pre-eminent Italian American artist. Although he has treated various subjects in over three decades, his most sustained filmmaking and the core of his achievement consists of five films on Italian American subjects - Who's That Knocking at My Door?, Mean Streets, Raging Bull, GoodFellas, and Casino - as well as the documentary Italianamerican. In Gangster Priest Robert Casillo examines these films in the context of the society, religion, culture, and history of Southern Italy, from which the majority of Italian Americans, including Scorsese, derive. Casillo argues that these films cannot be fully appreciated either thematically or formally without understanding the various facets of Italian American ethnicity, as well as the nature of Italian American cinema and the difficulties facing assimilating third-generation artists. Forming a unified whole, Scorsese's Italian American films offer what Casillo views as a prolonged meditation on the immigrant experience, the relationship between Italian America and Southern Italy, the conflicts between the ethnic generations, and the formation and development of Italian American ethnicity (and thus identity) on American soil through the generations. Raised as a Catholic and deeply imbued with Catholic values, Scorsese also deals with certain forms of Southern Italian vernacular religion, which have left their imprint not only on Scorsese himself but also on the spiritually tormented characters of his Italian American films. Casillo also shows how Scorsese interrogates the Southern Italian code of masculine honour in his exploration of the Italian American underworld or Mafia, and through his implicitly Catholic optic, discloses its thoroughgoing and longstanding opposition to Christianity. Bringing a wealth of scholarship and insight into Scorsese's work, Casillo's study will captivate readers interested in the director's magisterial artistry, the rich social history of Southern Italy, Italian American ethnicity, and the sociology and history of the Mafia in both Sicily and the United States.
Categories: Performing Arts

Sacred Waters

Sacred Waters

She saw a fish jump from the water and land on a stone at her side—the heat of the sun grilled the fish. According to another local legend, ... Between Salt Water and Holy Water: A History of Southern Italy. New York: W.W. Norton.

Author: Celeste Ray

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000025088

Category: Social Science

Page: 398

View: 671

Describing sacred waters and their associated traditions in over thirty countries and across multiple time periods, this book identifies patterns in panhuman hydrolatry. Supplying life’s most basic daily need, freshwater sources were likely the earliest sacred sites, and the first protected and contested resource. Guarded by taboos, rites and supermundane forces, freshwater sources have also been considered thresholds to otherworlds. Often associated also with venerated stones, trees and healing flora, sacred water sources are sites of biocultural diversity. Addressing themes that will shape future water research, this volume examines cultural perceptions of water’s sacrality that can be employed to foster resilient human–environmental relationships in the growing water crises of the twenty-first century. The work combines perspectives from anthropology, archaeology, classics, folklore, geography, geology, history, literature and religious studies.
Categories: Social Science

The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen

388. Astarita, “Between Salt Water and Holy Water” (manuscript). Doria, Strade di Napoli, 292–93. Palmer, Age of the Democratic Revolution, II:386. Doria, Strade di Napoli, 165–66. Orloff, Mémoires historiques, II:195 (qu.), 214–16.

Author: Richard Stites

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199978083

Category: History

Page: 439

View: 852

The Four Horsemen narrates the history of revolution in Spain, Naples, Greece, and Russia in the 1820s, connecting the social movements and activities on the ground, in the inimitable voice of a renowned historian.
Categories: History

The Limits of Empire European Imperial Formations in Early Modern World History

The Limits of Empire  European Imperial Formations in Early Modern World History

In a recent historical survey, Between Salt Water and Holy Water, Tommaso Astarita emphasizes both the advantages and disadvantages of Spanish rule in the early modern period. On the plus side, the. 2 I borrow the phrase from Parker's ...

Author: William Reger

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317025337

Category: History

Page: 414

View: 568

This volume, published in honor of historian Geoffrey Parker, explores the working of European empires in a global perspective, focusing on one of the most important themes of Parker’s work: the limits of empire, which is to say, the centrifugal forces - sacral, dynastic, military, diplomatic, geographical, informational - that plagued imperial formations in the early modern period (1500-1800). During this time of wrenching technological, demographic, climatic, and economic change, empires had to struggle with new religious movements, incipient nationalisms, new sea routes, new military technologies, and an evolving state system with complex new rules of diplomacy. Engaging with a host of current debates, the chapters in this book break away from conventional historical conceptions of empire as an essentially western phenomenon with clear demarcation lines between the colonizer and the colonized. These are replaced here by much more fluid and subtle conceptions that highlight complex interplays between coalitions of rulers and ruled. In so doing, the volume builds upon recent work that increasingly suggests that empires simply could not exist without the consent of their imperial subjects, or at least significant groups of them. This was as true for the British Raj as it was for imperial China or Russia. Whilst the thirteen chapters in this book focus on a number of geographic regions and adopt different approaches, each shares a focus on, and interest in, the working of empires and the ways that imperial formations dealt with - or failed to deal with - the challenges that beset them. Taken together, they reflect a new phase in the evolving historiography of empire. They also reflect the scholarly contributions of the dedicatee, Geoffrey Parker, whose life and work are discussed in the introductory chapters and, we’re proud to say, in a delightful chapter by Parker himself, an autobiographical reflection that closes the book.
Categories: History

In Search of Elena Ferrante

In Search of Elena Ferrante

Tommaso Astarito, Between Salt Water and Holy Water: A History of Southern Italy (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005), 243. 7. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, journal entry (3 March 1787), in Italian Journey [1786–1788], Trans.

Author: Karen Bojar

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9781476633626

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 222

View: 157

Elena Ferrante—named one of the 100 most influential people in 2016 by Time magazine—is best known for her Neapolitan novels, which explore such themes as the complexity of female friendship; the joys and constraints of motherhood; the impact of changing gender roles; the pervasiveness of male violence; the struggle for upward mobility; and the impact of the feminist movement. Ferrante’s three novellas encompass similar themes, focusing on moments of extreme tension in women’s lives. This study analyzes the integration of political themes and feminist theory in Ferrante’s works, including men’s entrapment in a sexist script written for them from time immemorial. Her decision to write under a pseudonym is examined, along with speculation that Rome-based translator Anita Raja and her husband Domenico Starnone are coauthors of Ferrante’s books.
Categories: Literary Criticism