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Abstract

The recent death of Gregory Nunzio Corso has led Raffaelle Cocchi to a long reflection on the poetics of the last exponent of the beat generation, the one who proposed to «create new words for new ideas». And in actual fact, as Cocchi stresses, «Corso considers language the most precious of all metals for its suppleness and malleability and... he constantly studies its possible combinations». The writer has followed Corso’s literary activity for over thirty years and provides us with first hand testimony, describing his various meetings with the poet and presenting unpublished passages from the letters he sent him. This is supplemented by analysis of the texts and the Italian and American criticism until the moment of his death, last January. A useful list of web sites accompanies the internet version of the essay.
            Mauro Reginato and Tiziana Barugola focus on a chapter which only recently has attracted the attention of emigration researchers, that of the emigration overseas from San Marino. The emigration from San Marino fits into that from Europe and Italy at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. After some comments on the history of the small republic the authors present a statistical demographic analysis, in particular of the emigration from San Marino to Latin America. The sources used, the counterfoils of the nulla osta (no impediment to emigration) requests from 1880 to 1921, have enabled them to reconstruct the dimension and typology of the emigrant groups, as well as the main destinations of the emigration overseas. Brazil takes first place, followed by Argentina. The essay presents the first results of a larger scale research project being undertaken by Italian and Brazilian researchers.
            Joseph Conforti, the American sociologist, looks at an extremely topical subject, by proposing to contextualise the mafia phenomenon in contemporary America. A further aim of the essay is to refute the Italian = mafia stereotype reiterated by the media, intervening with arguments from the social sciences. The conclusions he reaches are both comforting and disconcerting. The decline of the traditional Sicilian mafia is due, according to the author: to the aging of its members; to the transformation of the areas where it operates, like gambling, now legal; to the changes in the credit system which led to its defeat, during the Giuliani administration, in the construction and garbage collection sectors; or to the loss of the heroin market which has passed into the hands of other criminal organisations. If we leave the Italo-American setting, however, the picture remains dramatic: the Italian decline has been accompanied by an increase in the United States of organised crime on the part of other ethnic mafias.

 

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