chapter  2
Chaos
WithMichael A. Ledeen
Pages 22

Naples is one of the oldest European cities, and we would think that its age would convey a sense of solidity and durability. But the Neapolitans do not think of their city as solid. The creative genius of Neapolitan chaos juxtaposes and merges the two female archetypes, and tosses in an element of ancient sorcery for piquancy. Both Parthenope and Saint Patrizia are virgins and have noble ancestry. Neapolitan chaos comes from human nature as well as Mother Nature, but in both cases, the chaos stimulates the people. Naples embraces chaos, and the traditional rules of classical art are too restrictive, too orderly, for such a people. Naples' seemingly chaotic life conceals a surprising harmony, albeit a very dynamic and kaleidoscopic harmony. Neapolitans revel in their ability to navigate their chaos, and while they laugh a lot, there is a deadly serious side to their evasion of orderliness from on high.