Virgil's Golden Egg and Other Neapolitan Miracles: An Investigation into the Sources of Creativity

Overview

Savvy Italians will tell you that Neapolitans are considered the cleverest, most imaginative, most romantic, and the most entertaining people in the country.

The world’s finest men’s fashions are Neapolitan, Italy’s most celebrated popular songs and a high proportion of popular and operatic singers are Neapolitan—starting with Enrico Caruso. Sophia Loren and Totò are famously Neapolitan. Divorce Italian Style and Marriage Italian Style were based on plays written by the great ...

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Virgil's Golden Egg and Other Neapolitan Miracles: An Investigation into the Sources of Creativity

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Overview

Savvy Italians will tell you that Neapolitans are considered the cleverest, most imaginative, most romantic, and the most entertaining people in the country.

The world’s finest men’s fashions are Neapolitan, Italy’s most celebrated popular songs and a high proportion of popular and operatic singers are Neapolitan—starting with Enrico Caruso. Sophia Loren and Totò are famously Neapolitan. Divorce Italian Style and Marriage Italian Style were based on plays written by the great Neapolitan Eduardo de Filippo. If you check the Italian literary awards year after year, you will find an amazingly high proportion of Neapolitans walking off with the highest honors.

Naples has been a great creative center for hundreds of years. Neapolitan creativity has survived centuries of foreign occupation, widespread misery, the end of its role as a great capital city, repeated natural catastrophes, and terrible epidemics. What accounts for the creativity of Naples? The sorcerer Virgil is said to have created a Golden Egg, inside a crystal sphere, to save Naples from natural catastrophe. The egg, locked in an iron cage, was buried beneath a castle—still known as the "Egg Castle"—to give it stability and to give eternal life to Naples. Michael Ledeen suggests some surprising answers in a highly original exploration of Neapolitan life and death that ranges from religion to organized crime, war and violence. His deep affection for this remarkable city and its people is evident on every page.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Ledeen, a former consultant to the US National Security Council and the Defense Department Channels his enthusiasm for the city of Naples into a unique meditation on the origins of its creativity. His exploration touches on the city’s roots, history, religion, myths, Mafia ties, customs, and finally destiny, culminating in an exuberant celebration of its rich culture.”

Book News Inc.

“The essential thing to grasp, as Ledeen makes clear with his lively prose and encyclopedic knowledge of Neapolitan anecdote, is that Naples is not Italian at all… Ledeen argues that the fact of its continuous habitation means that Naples is almost a microcosm of European history; a unique record of a place that has received the marks of every passing political and cultural current without ever having been completely conquered by any.”

—Richard Fernandez, pjmedia.com

From the Publisher
“Ledeen, a former consultant to the US National Security Council and the Defense Department Channels his enthusiasm for the city of Naples into a unique meditation on the origins of its creativity. His exploration touches on the city’s roots, history, religion, myths, Mafia ties, customs, and finally destiny, culminating in an exuberant celebration of its rich culture.” —Book News Inc. “The essential thing to grasp, as Ledeen makes clear with his lively prose and encyclopedic knowledge of Neapolitan anecdote, is that Naples is not Italian at all… Ledeen argues that the fact of its continuous habitation means that Naples is almost a microcosm of European history; a unique record of a place that has received the marks of every passing political and cultural current without ever having been completely conquered by any.” —Richard Fernandez, pjmedia.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412842402
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/18/2011
  • Pages: 132
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael A. Ledeen is the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributing editor to National Review Online. He was an advisor to Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, and a consultant to the National Security Council and the Defense Department of the United States. His books include Accomplice to Evil and Freedom Betrayed.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Virgil’s Golden Egg

1. On Stage

2. Chaos

3. The Dead

4. Crime

5. Conclusion: Naples’ Destiny

Index

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