Poetics and Literature of the Sicilian Diaspora Studies in Oral History and Story Telling

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This study incorporates over forty oral histories of Sicilian emigrants to North Italy, Germany, South Africa, and America, collected upon their return in 1988 to their hometown of Trappeto, a village of about 3,000 inhabitants in Palermo Province. The documents are analyzed as subjective/objective, or inter-subjective sources for understanding of a people's emigration. The multi-disciplinary approach includes anthropological, folkloric, poetico-literary, historical and sociological aspects. It reveals a still-vital Sicilian culture. As contribution to the work of conservation, the Trappetese oral histories are transcribed verbatim, translated faithfully, and printed in the final chapter.


"This volume is a testament to solid scholarship that presents keen insights into humanity and displays Vitiello's tremendous talents as a writer. . . . Vitiello uses his knowledge of anthropology, history, sociology, political science, linguistics, folklore studies and literary criticism to create a truly inter-disciplinary approach to his subject. . . . The result is a most interesting and never-before-done ethnographic account of Sicilian culture. . . . it is a must for all libraries and is certainly worth owning for those doing research on the Sicilian diaspora." -- Fra Noi

"In this significant volume of ethnohistory, Justin Vitiello offers the wisdom that may help us live through the tramonto (sunset) of dominant western civilization and to glimpse the first morning light of a just world. . . . Listening to the stories, Vitiello discovers a major Sicilian belief, one now being rediscovered by postmodernists - the colors of truth are many." - VIA: Voices in Italian Americana

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