[Earlier this month we posted an announcement about some new books on Southern Italy scheduled for release in 2011. We would like to add Virgil's Golden Egg by Michael A. Ledeen to the list.]
Virgil’s Golden Egg and Other Neapolitan Miracles
An Investigation into the Sources of Creativity
Michael A. Ledeen
An imaginative and original interpretation of Neapolitan culture and history that explains Naples’ unique contribution to Italian and world civilization.
Cloth. 176 pp. 5 ½ x 8 ½ inches
$39.95(s) / £35.95 / $C47.95
Rights: World First publication
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. “These exuberant people cannot be easily governed, either in daily activity or in the life of the spirit. They are extremely playful and do not readily accept the restraints of social niceties, or even law. They break a lot of rules, despite the best efforts of the meddlesome bureaucrats who are suffocating the rest of Europe in a welter of regulations. The EU really has no chance to win this contest; the Neapolitans have outmaneuvered rulers as different as the spanish monarchy and Benito Mussolini’s fascist state.” —from the book
Of Related Interest:
D’Annunzio: The First Duce
With a new introduction by the author
Michael A. Ledeen
Paper. 235 pp.
About 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 also a previous advisor to Secretary of State Alexander Haig as well as a consultant to the National Security Council and the Defense Department of the United States. Some of his numerous books include Accomplice to Evil: Iran and the War against the West and Freedom Betrayed: How America Led a Global Democratic Revolution, Won the Cold War and Walked Away.
To Order: 1-888-999-6778
(Reprinted from Transaction Publications online Catalogue 76, spring/summer 2011)