Antonino Bufalo the town rhymer of Palazzo Adriano

Feb 08, 2017 611

For the upcoming after dinner lecture at the 2017, February meeting of the Italian Club, Professor Anthony Perrone will revisit the world renowned Sicilian town of Palazzo Adriano. The main purpose for revisiting it is now just for having been chosen as the central setting for Giuseppe Tornatore’s Academy Award winning movie, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, nor for having been one of several Sicilian towns where elements of Albanian culture have been kept alive for the last five centuries, rather it is to introduce the Italian Club audience to a century old literary work in manuscript from of inestimable literary and historic value, until recently considered irretrievably lost by some, benignly neglected by others and with a direct connection to Italian American community of St. Louis.

This manuscript of four hundred plus brittle pages of legibly handwritten hendecasyllable verses, grouped in royal octave stanzas, written in archaic Sicilian dialect, is a professionally bound volume that has never been printed, nor published. Its author, Antonino Bufalo (b. 1854, d. 1929) was a farmer by birth, a provincial road inspector by profession and a self-taught poet by avocation from Palazzo Adriano. Like a classical poet from antiquity he chronicled with a keen sense of observation, intuitive interpretation and lyrical inspiration, events that unfolded in his town, in his personal life, in Italy and the world at large, spanning a period of approximately thirty-five years, from the early 1890’s to the mid 1920’s.

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