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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Edgewise Press is proud to announce the publication of Seeing Naples: Reports from the Shadow of Vesuvius, a book of travel writing inspired by Daniel Rothbart’s experiences as a Fulbright scholar in Naples during the early 1990’s. The work combines personal narrative with stories from the city’s history, ancient and modern, that speak to Neapolitan values
and culture.

The exotic, bustling train station of Napoli Centrale offers a springboard into the city of Naples. Fishmongers, black marketers, and clergymen mingle in open-air markets of lower Naples beneath fluttering laundry. Expeditions to the island of Capri and Matera, a stone-hewn city in mysterious Basilicata region, follow. Printmaker Giorgio Corazza, foundryman Gennaro Esposito, and welder Egidio Balestrieri open their shop doors, sharing perspectives on life, art, tradition, and craftsmanship. Excursions include a visit to the Chapel of Sansevero, where Raimondo di Sangro, an eighteenth-century alchemist prince, transformed fabric into marble sculpture. A last stop, at the Reggia di Caserta, or the “Versailles of Naples,” reveals sprawling baroque water gardens and the disquieting story of their creation.

Seeing Naples revisits another astute observer of the city, Vittorio De Sica, who filmed the city’s buildings and alleyways in the early 1950’s in his classic movie, The Gold of Naples. The film is composed of comic and dramatic vignettes featuring performances of Sophia Loren, Totò, Silvana Magnano, and De Sica himself, along with scores of local extras. It deals with topics of personal power and obligation, self-presentation, gambling, sex, money, love and death, often as played out in public settings, and is pictured in beautiful stills from the movie and the stories retold briefly by the author.

Central to the book are Rothbart’s conversations and interviews with remarkable Neapolitans and the photographs that accompany them. His discussions about art and history with scholar Riccardo Notte, son of artist Emilio Notte, record anecdotes about the Italian Futurist movement as seen by Emilio. The book also interprets dramatic historic narratives linked to the sights of the city, such as the life of Masaniello, a seventeenth century fishmonger, who led a people’s rebellion against the Spanish, developed a taste for power and privilege himself, and was assassinated in the Church of the Carmine. The book recounts a history of the Jews in Naples, describing an interview with Guglielmo (originally Wilhelm) Reiter, a holocaust survivor whose early adult life was one of flight and repeated near capture by the Nazis, and whose life after the war was drastically and sadly changed.

In his foreword to the book, Wayne Koestenbaum observes, “Rothbart’s narrative of Naples bears the freight of a melancholy intrinsic to the act of paying attention to a city that is older and wiser than we will ever live to be.” In Seeing Naples, there are fascinating and somehow cyclical tales of glory, oppression, occupation, revolt, canny adaptation, art and triumph, as Naples and her people persevere and thrive.

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REVIEWS


RADIO

Seeing Naples at Hudson Hall, Daniel Rothbart in dialogue with Joe Donahue, The Roundtable, WAMC National Public Radio, Albany, NY, April 3, 2019.

Daniel Rothbart – Seeing Naples: Reports from the Shadow of Vesuvius, Daniel Rothbart in dialogue with Gabrielle Euvino and Linda Saccoman, Tutto Italiano!, Ulster County Italian American Foundation, Radio Kingston, WKNY, March 24, 2019.


BOOK LAUNCHES

Présentation du livre Seeing Naples | bibliothèque Louis Nucéra

Présentation du livre Seeing Naples | bibliothèque Louis Nucéra

Présentation du livre Seeing Naples: Reports from the Shadow of Vesuvius | En présence de l’auteur Daniel Rothbart (artiste plasticien) exposé jusqu’au 1 er juin 2019 à la galerie Depardieu à Nice | Préface de Wayne Koestenbaum | Publié par Edgewise Press

Intervenants : Christian Depardieu (Galeriste), Richard Milazzo (Chercheur indépendant et non indépendent), Raphaël Monticelli (Écrivain et non écrivain), Jacques Simonelli (Chroniqueur d’art), Sylvie Tafani (Fondation David Tafani)

En partenariat avec la Galerie Depardieu

Seeing Naples Book Presentation | Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House

Seeing Naples Book Presentation | Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House

Readings from and a panel discussion on the book Seeing Naples was hosted by Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House on April 6, 2019. The panel discussion included Daniel Rothbart, Wayne Koestenbaum, and the co-publisher, Richard Milazzo. Special thanks to Francine Hunter McGivern, Tambra Dillon, Caroline Parkinson, Claudia Cinquegrana and Sage Carter. Videography by Ben Fundis.

 

Presentazione del libro Seeing Naples: Reports from the Shadow of Vesuvius di Daniel Rothbart

Presentazione del libro Seeing Naples: Reports from the Shadow of Vesuvius di Daniel Rothbart

Il libro «Seeing Naples», pubblicato da Edgewise Press, è stato presentato durante una tavola rotonda tenutasi al Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte il 4 ottobre 2018. Alla tavola rotonda di cui sopra hanno partecipato: Sylvain Bellenger, Mary Ellen Countryman, Gaetano Daniele, Domenico Ciruzzi, Lucia Valenzi, Francesco Lucrezi e Riccardo Notte. L’evento è stato coordinato da James Anno.

museocapodimonte.beniculturali.it/presentazione-del-libro-seeing-naples-reports-from-the-shadow-of-vesuvius-di-daniel-rothbart/

 

Seeing Naples Book Launch | The Drawing Center

Seeing Naples Book Launch | The Drawing Center

Seeing Naples was officially launched at a panel discussion at the Drawing Center, on April 17, 2018. The panel discussion included Daniel Rothbart, Wayne Koestenbaum, and the co-publisher, Richard Milazzo. Also present were co-publishers Howard B. Johnson and Joy L. Glass. Produced by Brett Littman, Executive Director of the Drawing Center. Videography by April Maxey.

http://www.drawingcenter.org/en/drawingcenter/20/events/439/past-public-programs/1889/seeing-naples/

FROM THE MAYOR OF NAPLES

Luigi De Magistris, Mayor of Naples, bestowed the coveted Patrocinio or cultural endorsement of the City of Naples on Seeing Naples in an act of law dated June 25, 2018.

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