Orality, Literacy, and Historiography in Neapolitan Vernacular Urban Chronicles of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries *
This chapter explains a research perspective to investigate the interaction between orality and writing, the Neapolitan chronicles are interesting for two reasons: due to linguistic and narrative solutions adopted by the chroniclers; due to the modes of reuse and reworking of a large array of texts. It highlights the modes of use and reuse of a large collection of texts, originally conceived as both oral and written, which were available to the chroniclers through the three media of script, print, and speech. A further noteworthy typology of source is offered by cantari and popular poems. Linguistic analysis is to be systematically associated with historical analysis. Through analysis of chronicles' narrative structure demonstrate that the chroniclers mixed different narrative styles and textual models. Thus, not only do their historiographical projects behave as mediators between urban strata and levels of political communication, but they serve as collectors of written and oral narrative traditions that implied different spaces, audiences, and modes of use.