12 Pages

The Sicilian Folk Tales of Giuseppe Pitrè

ByJoseph Russo

The tales collected by Giuseppe Pitrè were told in several differentSicilian dialects and by many different tellers, so we cannot, strictlyspeaking, discuss their language and style as one uniform phenomenon. There are, however, many features of language that deserve comment so that the reader may appreciate the remarkable artistry of those who preserved these tales in their memory and recited them for Pitrè and his collectors. The tellers of these tales were non-literate, and so their style is oral rather than written. It is fluent, lively, straightforward, highly idiomatic, and often playful, a perfect medium for these flavorful stories.