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Castellinaria and Other Sicilian Diversions   By: (1851-1928)

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CASTELLINARIA AND OTHER SICILIAN DIVERSIONS

BY HENRY FESTING JONES

[Picture: Title page]

LONDON: A. C. FIFIELD 1920

First Published . . . 1911 Re issued . . . 1920

AL CARO COMPARE ALBERTO AUGUGLIARO DI MONTE ERICE ALLA CARA COMARE GIUSEPPINA AUGUGLIARO E A TUTTI GLI AMICI SICILIANI CHE GAREGGIANDO IN CORTESIA OSPITALITA AFFEZIONE HANNO FATTO DELLA LORO ISOLA UNA SECONDA PATRIA PER L'AUTORE RICONOSCENTE

PREFACE

It is probable that every book contains, besides misprints, some statements which the author would be glad to modify if he could. In Chapter V of Diversions in Sicily it is stated that the seating arrangements of the marionette theatre in Catania would be condemned by the County Council, which I believe to be correct, but, on visiting the theatre since, I find I was wrong in saying that there are no passages; I did not see them on my first visit because the audience hid them.

Again, in Chapter XVI it is stated that Giovanni Grasso enters in the third act of La Morte Civile , whereas he enters in the second act. I have since seen the play several times, and, though it is tedious, it is not so much so as to justify a spectator in thinking any of its acts long enough for two.

In Chapter IV I say that the Government makes an annual profit of 3,000,000 pounds sterling out of the lottery, but I do not say whether this profit is gross or net. There is a paragraph in the Morning Post , 12 September, 1911, which states clearly that never since the union of Italy has the State lottery been so productive as in the present year of Jubilee; the gross yield has been 3,715,088 pounds, and the net gain, after deducting commissions and prizes, 1,489,180 pounds.

In Chapter XV it is stated that the words of the play in Signor Greco's marionette theatre in Palermo are always improvised except in the case of Samson . This is incorrect. The words of the long play about the paladins are improvised, but they have in the theatre the MSS. of several religious plays by the author of Samson , who was a Palermitan, Filippo Orioles. All who are interested in the legends, folklore, popular entertainments, superstitions, and traditions of the people of Sicily are under deep obligations to Giuseppe Pitre, of Palermo, Professore di Demopsicologia, for his numerous volumes treating of those subjects. In Spettacoli e Feste Popolari Siciliane he gives the little that is known of Filippo Orioles, who died in 1793 at the great age of one hundred and six years. The subject of the most famous of his plays is the Passion of Jesus Christ, and its title in English signifies The Redemption of Adam. It has had an immense success throughout Sicily; it has been copied in MS. many times, printed continually, performed over and over again in theatres, in churches, in the public squares, and in private houses. It was written for living actors, and Signor Greco considers it too long for a performance by marionettes, so when they do it in his teatrino they treat it even more freely than our London managers treat a play by Shakespeare... Continue reading book >>




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