David Kerekes is well-known to horror and exploitation film scholars for his work with Headpress, not to mention books like Killing For Culture, but his latest book shows a different side of the author altogether. It’s entitled Mezzogiorno and it finds Kerekes blending fiction with folklore in an exploration of life in southern Italy. Read on for all the Neapolitan novel details, including a breakdown of its chapters and a link to a PDF sample of its first chapter…
Mezzogiorno: Life. Death. Southern Italy by David Kerekes is a work of fable and fact, spanning three generations of southern Italian family life. Set amidst a landscape of peasant riots, vicious landlords, religious festival, feuds, the collapse of the Fascist party, and the tarantella — a world lost to the changing face of the twenty-first century.
“Europe ends at Naples and ends badly.
Calabria, Sicily and all the rest belong to Africa.” Creuzé de Lesser, 1806
No geographical map distinguishes Montefalcione as being different from any number of isolated mountain villages in southern Italy. It has ancient customs and its own saints and feast days, like other villages.
Yet Montefalcione in Campania is the setting for a unique meditation on family and the Italian Diaspora, reconstructing three generations of village life through myth, superstition, and the anecdotal history of the author’s own family.
The drama unfolds amidst a landscape of peasant riots, vicious landlords, religious festival, feuds, the collapse of the Fascist party, and the tarantella — a world lost to the changing face of the twenty-first century.
By David Kerekes, co-author of Killing for Culture and See No Evil.
List of characters
When entering the village of Montefalcione
Italy Iantosca 1955
The tradition of the chicken
Bread & labour
A slight earthquake
The evil eye
A dozen ricottas
A fight at the wedding
The drowning of Martignetti’s wife & daughter
The election day quarrel
Natalina falls ill
Zi Minuccio, the agent for the village
A toast to Saravatico
Bibliography & Sources
About the author