Monday, December 18, 2006


I have started reading another Andrea Camilleri, The Voice of The Violin; and also have Excursion To Tindari, and Rounding The Mark on the to be read list.

Sicily, beautiful women, and fantastic food make an interesting combination. Perhaps that should be fantastic women and beautiful food, but I am sure you get my drift.

I am finding the character of the bumbling policeman Catarella a little disconcerting, because Stephen Sartarelli has translated what I presume is a Sicilian dialect, and made Catarella sound like Chico Marx.
Marx used an Italian accent for his on-stage character; stereotyped ethnic characters were common with Vaudeville comedians, and all the Marx brothers sometimes performed "dialect characters" early in their careers, but Chico was the only one to continue this into their films.
The obvious fact that he was not really Italian was referenced twice on film. In their second feature,
Animal Crackers, he recognizes someone he knows to be a shady character, impersonating a respected art collector:
Chico: "How did you get to be Roscoe W. Chandler?"
Chandler: "How did you get to be Italian?"
Chico: "Never mind — whose confession is this?"
A Night at the Opera, which begins in Italy, his character, Fiorello, claims to not be Italian, eliciting a surprised look from Groucho:
Driftwood: "Well, things certainly seem to be getting better around the country."
Fiorello: "I don't know: I'm a stranger here myself."
[from Wikpedia]

At the moment Montalbano is on the track of the killer and the book is full of interesting suspects, but no Groucho or Harpo.
"as first course, he served him a large dish of macaroni in a light sauce dubbed foco vivo or "live fire" [olive oil, garlic, lots of hot red pepper, salt], which the inspector was forced to wash down with half a bottle of wine. For the second course, he ate a substantial portion of lamb alla cacciatora that had a pleasant fragrance of onion and oregano. He closed with a ricotta cheesecake and a small glass of anisette as a viaticum and boost for his digestiev system."
It is a hard life in the Italian police, no "bacon butties" for them.


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