“Naples forged my nervous system in a feverish body that was attune to the
tensions of the city from an early age. Until I was eleven, I lived in the working-class neighborhood of Montedidio, and this area shaped my world of sound as the air was filled with shouting, insults, shop noises, songs, and arguments. It was the cacophony of an excited crowd that never slept: adults talking in the Neapolitan dialect about aerial bombardments, earthquakes, the eruptions of Vesuvius—from the most tragic in 79 CE, which buried Pompéi and Herculanum, to the most recent in 1944. And they told stories about the ghosts that stalked Naples in voices that have left an indelible impression on me.”

Napoli by Erri De Luca


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