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By Brice Taylor

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Sono discesi a marcire nella terra né piú e némeno che come foglie, senza lasciare storia. . C'è ancora l'al- Page 29 bero, si, ci siamo noi come foglie nuove . . E ce ne andremo anche noi. . L'albero che resterà, se resterà può anch'essere segato ramo a ramo: i re, i viceré, i papi, i capitani; i grandi, insomma . . Facciamone un po' di fuoco, un op' di fumo: ad illudere i popoli, le nazioni, l'umanità vivente. . La storia! E mio padre? E vostro padre? E il gorgoglio delle loro viscere vuote?

25), "orribili favelle" (horrible languages) beyond the pale of human, that is to say civil, social comprehension like Page 22 the tongue spoken by the prisoner and his like, ''na lingua stranba, forestiera" (a strange, foreign tongue). In immediate and sharp juxtaposition to these remarks of the servant, there follows in the next paragraph (pages 8182 of the Einaudi text) Mandralisca's own, more learned and philologically more accurate thoughts on this tongue of one of the villages of the Val Dèmone; but here too the rhetorical question that parenthetically closes the paragraph, in contrast to the Greek of its first part, seems to suggest that if the village has had a history, it has been a history of regress, a downward spiral reflected in the shift away from the island's original language, the language of Plato, of Aristotle to his "lingua stramba, forestiera" spoken by a people who are "selvaggia, diversa, curiosa" (wild, different, curious).

The same principle applies to literature and film. A case in point is the source of Alfred Hitchcock's film Sabotage. Up until now, virtually all critics have identified Joseph Conrad's novel The Secret Agent (1907) as the film's source. They have chosen to forget his 1922 play The Secret Agent, adapted from the novel, which might also have played a role. Hitchcock himself contributed to the confusion in that he never referred to the play, although he probably saw itprobably because it was too recent and, being a bad play, had only a short run.

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