Description : Offers information and insights The many available scholarly works on Italian Americans are of little practical help to the undergraduate or high school student who needs background information when reading contemporary fiction with Italian characters, watching films that require a familiarity with Italian Americans, or looking at works of art that can be fully appreciated only if one understands Italian culture. This basic reference work for non-specialists and students offers quick insights and essential, easy-to-grasp information on Italian American contributions to American art, music, literature, motion pictures, and cultural life. Spotlights the uniquely Italian in American Life This rich legacy is examined in a collection of original essays that range from portrayals of Italian characters in the films of Francis Coppola to Italian American poetry, from the art of Frank Stella to the music of Frank Zappa, from a survey of Italian folk customs to an analysis of the evolutionof Italian American biography. Comprising 22 lengthy essays written specifically for this volume, the book identifies what is uniquely Italian in American life and examines how Italian customs, traditions, social mores, and cultural antecedents have wrought their influence on the American character. Filled with insights, trenchant observations, and ethnic facts and fictions, this volume is a valuable source of information for scholars, researchers, and students interested in pinpointing and examining the cultural, intellectual, and social influence of Italian immigrants and their successors. Includes an Extensive Lexicon of Important Terms This informative lexicon provides definitions of Italian terms that are central to the Italian American experience and that serve as indexes of the Italian American worldview. Whenever appropriate, the editor refers readers to a source in which the meaning of the term is more fully explored. Excerpt from a sample Lexicon entry: alfresco:adv., adj.: outdoors, literally "in the cool," meaning fresh air: an Italian phrase now used in English as in the expression "diningal fresco". Conflating the idea that Italian cuisine is admirably suited to be eaten in the open air and the image of the Mediterranean climate,al frescohas become a signifier of the pleasurable way in which Italian life is conducted. Excerpts from the book: "Madonna fully plays out the Madonna/puttana (and its darker variation, Madonna/dominatrix) identities and her own internal division between sacred and profane; when she is good she is very bad, and when she is bad, she is very good."-from "Madonna: The Postmodern Diva as Maculate Conception" by Fosca D'Acierno, "I hate the hoity-toity view of art which is pretentious, airy, and filled with moral meanings. Most critics and scholars have no direct contact with artists; they would be uncomfortable with them. They pretend to talk about works of art, but in fact they are quitedifferent from artists in personality. I have repeatedly said that the artist has more in common with the car mechanic -- getting yourself dirty -- which is why I have enormous rapport with artists."-from "Italian Catholic in My Bones: A Conversation with Camille Paglia" by Camille Paglia and Thomas J. Ferraro * "If a piece of bread falls to the floor, it should be kissed and blessed with the sign of the cross. Bread should not be wasted, nor should one pierce it with knife or fork. Bread should be one of the first items brought into a new home, and keeping at least a crust of this food staple in the cupboard warded off famine."-from "Bread and Wine in Italian-American Folk Culture" by Frances M. Malpezzi and William M. Clement
Description : How does ones heritage impact creativity? Breaking Open explores the deep connection between prominent Italian American women writers, their heritage, and their writing. In-depth discussions of these writers' family traditions and memories of growing up in an American culture as an Italian child, including the difficulties of dueling dialects and dual cultures, explain how their unique cultural connections have impacted their work. For many of these writers, there has been a distinctive separation between their involvement with their families, immersed as they were in the culture the immigrants brought to this country, and their eventual rise to positions of prominence in academic or literary circles in the United States. While reading Breaking Open, readers are encouraged to determine for themselves whether or not this is the case. In trying to establish a unified identity, Italian American women writers face conflicting home values, those steeped in the traditions of the Italians (immigrants) and those values emerging out of a sense of what it means to be Italian-American. These differing views are further confounded by the beliefs of the overarching American society. As writers, they discuss the ways these conflicts are represented in their works and discuss the ways their childhood memories of immigrants and their practices have been a strong foundation for their creativity. In addition, five scholars in the field of Italian American literature critically analyze works by many of the creative writers in this anthology and discuss the future of the field.
Description : Italians first settled in the Newark area in the 1880s. Italian Americans of Newark, Nutley, and Belleville shows these immigrants and their families from 1900 to the 1950s. The street peddler, the barber, the baker, the undertaker, the macaroni maker, the concert musician, and more are portrayed here in the grace and dignity of their work. Outings to the shore or Branch Brook Park balanced hard work and long hours. Family gatherings, weddings, first communions, and processions for the feasts of St. Gerard, St. Rocco, and St. Bartholomew were all a part of the life of the family and the vibrant Italian neighborhoods. More than 200 vintage photographs from family albums tell these stories.
Description : The entire Italian American experience—from America's earliest days through the present—is now available in a single volume. • Hundreds of annotated entries give brief histories of the people, places, and events associated with Italian American history • A-to-Z organization within five thematic sections facilitates ease of use • An extensive collection of primary documents illustrates the Italian American experience over the course of American history and helps meet Common Core standards • Sidebars and an array of illustrations bring the material to vivid life • Each entry includes cross-references to other entries as well as a list of suggested further readings
Description : At the close of the nineteenth century, Louisiana's ports hosted an influx of Italian immigrants. Like so many immigrant communities before, acclimating to their new home was not easy. Though the Italian contribution to Louisiana's culture is palpable and celebrated, at one time ethnic Italians were constantly embroiled in scandal, sometimes deserved and sometimes as scapegoats. The new immigrants hoped that they would be welcomed and see for themselves the "streets paved with gold." Their new lives, however, were difficult. Italians in Louisiana faced prejudice, violence and political exile for their refusal to accept the southern racial mores. Author and historian Alan Gauthreaux" "documents the experience of those Italians who arrived in Louisiana over one hundred years ago..
Description : Raised Italian-American remembers the history, stories, traditions, and values of growing up in an Italian neighborhood. One of my fondest memories as a child was to take a ride and view the beautiful nativity scenes that were erected throughout the neighborhood each Christmas. The popularity of these large statues, they are called presepi in Italy, started in Italy in the 17th century when it was fashionable to find them in palaces and homes of wealthy citizens. The newfound enthusiasm of erecting a presepi during Christmas may be contributed to Saint Gaetano who openly encouraged people to create the presepi as a sign of devotion. It wasn't until the later part of the 19th century that these presepi became a part of family traditions in nearly every home in Italy. This set is a beautiful piece of art and is a prized possession of the families that own them. I know that Phyllis' grandmother cherished her presepi until the day she died and the family still think fondly of their grandmother every time they see it at Christmas time.
Description : The influence of Italians in American cuisine, industry, sports, entertainment, and language is profound. Using photographs to illustrate more than a century of Italian experiences in the United States, the author provides an intimate and informed glimpse into the history of prejudice, hardship, celebration, and success faced by this rich Mediterranean people. A celebration of common men and women alongside notable Italian American celebrities and public figures, this book is a cultural photo album.--From publisher description.