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- Social Science, Regional Studies
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Sicilian proverbs, Sicilian translation, Giuseppe Pitrè, the character of Sicily, history in proverbs, morality in proverbs, learning Sicilian
A Happy Heart and One Slice Of Bread
Cori cuntenti e 'na fedda di pani
Arthur V. Dieli
Sicilian proverbs are a pathway into the reality of Sicilian culture over the centuries. They are the voices of its people that ring true from generation to generation. The proverbs are an important sub-text of their conversation. Every segment of society is represented by the truth of the proverbs. The majority of the Sicilian proverbs in this collection were recorded by Dr. Giuseppe Pitrè (1841-1916) in four volumes of his twenty-five volume library of Sicilian folklore as he traveled the island tending to the sick in all walks of life. Tending the sick was Dr. Pitrè’s occupation, Sicilian folklore was Pitrè’s literary life. In his literary life he also edited The Archivio delle Tradition Popolari with his close friend and associate Salomone Marino. This English translation of his work makes the proverbs of the entire four volumes available to the English speaking world for the first time. The translation also includes about fifteen hundred Sicilian proverbs drawn from other collections.
Arthur Dieli grew up in a Sicilian speaking household in Brooklyn. His parents were from the city of Caltagirone, now known as a great ceramic center. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served a tour of duty as an Italian translator and interpreter in U. S. Air Force Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany. He was the interpreter for the crew in Treviso, Pescara, Brindisi and Bari. He is a graduate of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, which he attended on the G. I. Bill. After a career with IBM he was working for the Watertown Daily Times in upstate New York when he was recruited by Jefferson Community College. After a very rewarding fourteen years he retired as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and has since spent his time traveling to Sicily and connecting with his Sicilian relatives and the culture of his ancestors.
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