VESUVIO. AN ANTHEM
A Screenplay Is Never Made only of Words
In Memory of the Victims of Mount Vesuvius’ Eruption in 1906. An Appendix
It was an old street-sweeper, who let me notice this monument, who, while lamenting about the children’s and elegant women’s prepotency of his town, knew everything about the monument’s background, as I read it later in some history-books: That it used to stand right at the place, where the old Oratorium of the Holy Spirit had been rising, which, collapsing with the terrible mount Vesuvius’ eruption in 1906, killed more than hundred people, who had taken refuge inside there. That it it had been transported to Ottaviano’s and S. Giuseppe’s common graveyard in 1938, because of the erection of another monument to the soldiers fallen during World War I; and, finally, returned to S. Giuseppe’s centre a few years ago, but was erected again at the place, where the Oratorium should have been reconstructed, but never was: “The inscription is barely readable today, but this is an eminently historical document of our town. Look at all the graffiti! But it aren’t the immigrant’s kids. It are our own boys. Those scoundrels!”
Postcard, entitled: “S. Giuseppe Vesuviano. Memorie’s Park. Monument to the Victims [of Mount Vesuvius’ Eruption in 1906]”. Propriety of Giuseppe Carbone.
“IN – S. GIUSEPPE VESUVIANO – MOUNT VESUVIUS’ EXTERMINATION – DURING THE NIGHT WITHOUT – DAWN ON THE 8TH OF APRIL 1906 – TORE DOWN – THE ORATORIUM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – AND THOSE DEVOTEES – FLED TO SUPREME REDEMPTION – WERE PITIFULLY DESTROYED // BE THIS STONE – SACRED MEMORY OF THE UNHAPPY-ONES // 31ST OF AUGUST 1913”.
“ERECTED BY THE AMERICAN COMMITEE – LED BY W.R. HEARST AND C. PALMIERI”.