Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thoughts of An Italian Writer: A Eulogy to a Friend (5a)

Dr. Antonio Castaldo, Sociologist and Journalist, Brusciano, Italy.

Bruscianese Felice Giannino author of the collection of poems, songs and memoirs entitled "Land of the Artists," has passed away. Felice Giannino was one of the greatest artistic contributors of lyrics and ballads to the Feast of the Giglio in Brusciano, Italy. His were the songs that the festivity masters would turn to each year. Felice Giannino will be greatly missed by all of Brusciano.

When in 1990 Felice Giannino author of the collection of poems, songs and memoirs entitled "Terra degli artisti," "Land of the Artists," while reflecting on his Brusciano where he was born March 22, 1929, decided to have his work published, suggesting that I would write the introduction as well as ensuring the project's publication which finally, after considerable sacrifices, was recommended for large-scale distribution.

A few days ago, Pomigliano D'Arco where he lived, received the news of his death. Within me, the sadness became more intensified, because I could not help but remember the recent loss of my father, Ciro, two weeks ago, who with "Uncle Felice" shared a friendship, a life of sacrifices and triumphs and the year of birth. Now even that of death.

In moments as these the warm and affectionate closeness of relatives, friends and acquaintances, to whom a sincere thought of thanks goes, helps to soothe the pain enabling us to continue along the path of one's own existence enriched by the memory of those who left us and sustained by communal solidarity. To the Giannino family, to Mrs. Raffaella and their sons Pasquale and Roberto I express condolences on behalf of all of Brusciano.

So, exactly one month before the 135th edition of the Feast of the Giglio in Brusciano, the poet Felice Giannino passes away. Personally I want to remember him with the very words of my introduction to his book "Terra degli artisti" "Land of the Artists":

This work is the result of a meeting, between the undersigned, an individual profoundly 'compromised' with the reality of this mass-media glimpse of the millennium, and a representative of popular culture, whose ties have been removed from the consciousness of a large group of young people in the name of modernity daughter of a denied tradition.

I would like to open with a controversial nod my written presentation of the work of Felice Giannino, why then must I subject myself to "supergrasses" which for some time to this part seems to invade Italy, in the various fields of human activities or perhaps this may be the real reason: considering I have reached a maturity that allows me to understand, only now, the 'essence of a traditional form of art and popular culture so peculiar as the "Feast of the Gigli of Brusciano."

Therefore I want to say thanks to Felice Giannino, who, with his lyrics and his ballads is continuing a tradition, for the most part transmitted orally, and together with him also merits mention the masters of festivity, the cullatori, authors of lyrics and music, builders of carts and lilies and the financial backers who supplied the funds for the realization of all this. Personages who assume names, and recall of faces ,introduced in the brief "History about Brusciano," which Giannino has attached to this collection of poems, fishing in the sea of the city's historical memory as well as personal, inevitably tapping into the old days of 'Once upon a time.'

To be continued: A Eulogy to A Friend (5B)


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