Thursday, February 12, 2009


142 days ago

This has to be my mantra until I manage to finish my thesis. I just saw my dear professor, Carmen, today, she's in Uruguay until next September on a sabbatical year and summoned me to write a max until her departure on October 11.

I got a new book, “Identidad y globalización en el Carnaval” - an adapted PhD thesis by Isabel Sans that I have to read quickly and my super-mom discovered a fantastic Italian tradition that might be related to the murga. The cantastorie (literally storysinger or storyteller ) is a traditional artist, whose origin goes back to the Middle Age, or even the age of Homer, who used to sing in public places, then - about legendary love stories or war deeds; now - addressing contemporary issues and happenings. Apparently there aren't many left.

Anyway, the cantastorie attitude towards "news" is very similar to the murga. I contacted this one (I love the "Mafia della tradizione" song) who's also an anthropology professor in Messina and, amazingly enough, he sent me a very nice answer, saying he agrees with me about similarities between the two cultural phenomena. I found out this way that there's a Carnival character in...Sicily, called Murgo, the Sicilian who comes back from America with his pockets and hat full of money. I thought this might be a reverse phenomenon, like a Sicilian who returned from Uruguay bringing also the notion of murga with him. Anyway, the cantastorie also offered to send me his book - Italians are such amazing people! At least I have met very few of the mascalzone and truffatore kind.

So...cutting off on outings, poor me, and read read read, write, write, write, like Lenin said "Study, study and keep studying!" At least I got to see one of my fav indie rock groups last night in concert. Enjoy some here.

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