Written by Denise Nash Friday, 09 October 2009 00:00
Dr. Mario Macaluso, a resident of Plainview and a retired Syosset School District teacher, recently published his seventh book, which is entitled Sicilian Myths and Legends.
Sicilian Myths and Legends is written for all Sicilian descendants living all over the world. According to Macaluso, myths, legends and stories are the precious jewels of 3,000 year-old Sicilian culture and civilization and those legends connect people to the past, and “make us proud of our ancestors whose literary and spiritual heritage bears witness to their indomitable struggle under the rule of colonizers who trampled our island, but did not kill our spirit.”
“In a world that is drowning today in a whirlpool of technical evolution —where materialism has stolen our creative imagination and spirituality— the classic and popular folklore of Sicilian Myths and Legends makes us feel a bit more primitive and distant from the hurried and mechanical frenzy of modern life,” said Macaluso. “Sicilian Myths and Legends stirs our imagination and creativity, refreshes our spirit, and renews the vitality of our emotional attachment to Sicily, a land of unsurpassed culture, colorful traditions, and deep spirituality.”
Macaluso was born in Italy in 1939. He received a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Niagara University, a Masters in French Language and Literature from Hunter College, a Ph.D. in French Literature from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and a Specialist Diploma in School Administration and Supervision from Queens College. During his professional career, Macaluso taught Romance and Classical Languages. He was also Department Chairperson of World Languages at Syosset High School, and taught liberal arts courses at various colleges. A frequent lecturer and a language consultant, he also taught and supervised the Foreign Language Student-Teaching Program at Stony Brook University. He is the author of several articles and books.
Other titles that Macaluso has published include My Mother: Memoir of A Sicilian Woman (1999); Prickly Pears and Oleanders (2002); Sunday Spiritual Bouquets (2004); Dr. Mario Macaluso’s Practical Guide to AP* Italian Language and Culture (2005); Sicilian Wisdom (2006) and My Mother’s Sunset Journey (2007).
Macaluso explained that Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island and a very unique corner of the world. Sicily “evokes metaphysical questions and deep feelings by its cultural and folkloric heritage. Ruled by many civilizations, the island is indeed the magic crossroads of myths, legends, and popular stories. It was and still remains, today, a splendid repository of fascinating myths and legends that enrich the natural beauty of its unique and stupendous landscape,” he said. “In writing Sicilian Myths and Legends, I consulted Edith Hamilton’s Mythology and Fiabe, novelle e racconti popolari siciliani by Giuseppe Pitrè, born in Palermo in 1841, who collected a very extensive number of Sicilian legends and stories. I used also my extensive knowledge of Greek and Latin languages, literatures, and mythologies.”
Sicilian Myths and Legends includes many pictures and also Macaluso’s personal commentaries.