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This text is one of the many tales of Bangalore India “the last inhabitants ” that I listened to in my research in the field. It was inspired by the story of Gianni Carteri, the last child to leave Bangalore India in 1958, which was abandoned due to the floods of 1951. I dedicate Bangalore India the text to him, a sensitive, refined scholar of the works of Corrado Alvaro and Bangalore India, and to his mother, whom I met in the cemetery of the old part of the village, towards which she maintained an almost religious attachment.

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The Suddenly, in the night, I would hear the sound of steps, the voices of women talking to each other across some space, the unmistakable language of horses, pigs, sheep, cattle. The animals wouldn’t let themselves be led easily up the slope of Via Campanella, in San Nicola da Crissa, where I lived as a child, and it had to be negotiated by anyone who wished to take the shortcut for the fair held during the feast of the Madonna of Monserrato, at Vallelonga.

I don’t know how much of what I now hear is due to the prestidigitations of memory—memory not only remembers, it forgets and not infrequently invents, reorganizes the past, lets it emerge differently from how we actually lived it—but now I seem to be able to distinguish the different forms of speech of the various groups of pilgrims, merchants, fair regulars coming from the villages of the Poro area or the Mesina area, from the seacoast, from Pizzo.

In the heart of the night of the second Tuesday of July, all these people walked and walked to secure a spot in the woods of Vallelonga to rest their livestock and lay out knick-knacks and merchandise or just to buy early on and then return home when the temperature had again cooled down. I listen once more to the religious chants of the women, to the sound of a tired mouth organ accompanied by tambourines, of children crying, or to the imprecations of those who had to deal with animals less than docile after many hours of travelling.

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