I saw this book on my last visit to Amano it was displayed at the hostess stand. I do not know where i could get a copy but maybe someone here can help. Napoli e la pizza by Giuseppe Rotolo. any help would be appreciated.
Dear Thezaman, I know the book, Napoli e La Pizza: La Storia Comincia da Qui
(Naples and the Pizza: The Story Begins Here
), which was published about four or five years ago. A friend of mine had a copy which I used to borrow. Although somewhat controversial, the book is known for its "sociological" references, viewing the phenomenon of Neapolitan Pizza as a reconciliation with the traumatic history of Naples and its longing for political independence, which was ultimately never realized. This reminds me of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who was of the conviction that "art" (in this case, the art of Neapolitan Pizza) brings about a "redemption" from life's pain and suffering. Basically, Neapolitans have, for the most part subconsciously
*, found solace in the pizza, which is fundamentally an icon and reminder of their historical identity
and the past glory
of Naples. (See http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14506.msg160278.html#msg160278
In a sense, pizza to Neapolitans is what the book The Epic of Kings
is to Persians. After the Arab Empire conquered Persia in 7th century AD, the conquerers began to systematically divest the Persians of their language, heritage, and culture. Ferdwosi (940-1020), the illustrious poet and author of the book, sensed that the Islamic civilization was eclipsing the pre-Islamic identity and glory of Persia. So, to make a long story short, he authored the book, The Epic
, which took him thirty excruciating years, in order to save the Persian language and culture. (An Egyptian scholar once remarked that a reason Egyptians speak Arabic today is because they did not have a Ferdowsi to preserve their own language!) So, today, Persians believe that true Persia exists in the book, as a home and as a source of their historical identity. I ascribe the same sentiment toward the Neapolitan Pizza.
Indeed, when we engage in the ritual of making Neapolitan style pizza, we are engaged in something more than a culinary tradition that needs to be approached with reverence and care! "The mask of Naples"—i.e., "Pulcinella"—is another integral aspect of the Neapolitan culture.
Unfortunately, I do not know where the book can be found. Please, let me know if you find it anywhere; I would like to purchase a copy. My wife, who recently came back from Naples, could not find me a copy there. Perhaps, she did not look hard enough. Maybe, we should call Amano to see if they can be of any assistance. Good night!
*Can not expect every Neapolitan consciously know about these issues. Think about how much an average U.S. citizen is cognizant of the U.S. history, its significations, and symbolic values.