I came across an interesting essay by Benedetto Croce called I 'Rinaldi' o i Cantastorie di Napoli in his La Critica. Rivista di Letteratura, Storia e Filosofia [Journal of Literature, History and Philosophy], 34, 1936. What follows is my translation plus an introduction and a few explanations for those who may know as little as I did before I started this. My comments are in square brackets and in a bold, smaller font than the surrounding text and are marked 'ed.note' [ed. note: Just like this!] For reasons of formatting, I have renumbered Croce's original footnotes and put them at the end of the entire essay in a smaller font. The numbered links in the text are in line and not superscript.
[ed. note]: Introduction. Rinaldi is the plural of Rinaldo, the Italian name for Renaud de Montauban, the fictional hero and knight in a 12th century epic poem in Old French. The tale was popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. Rinaldo is an important character in Italian Renaissance epics, including Orlando Innamorato by Boiardo and Orlando Furioso by Ariosto. In Neapolitan and Sicilian story telling, since much story telling has had to do with medieval chivalry, the name Rinaldo became the eponym for the itinerant story teller, himself, the cantastorie—lit. 'story singers'. The story singer, the cantastorie is a 'Rinaldo'. Story tellers have been popular for thousands of year across all human cultures; importantly, this oral tradition before the age of literacy was the transmitter of culture down through the generations. The image, right (below), was not in the original Croce journal article. It is part of a collection of drawings of largely extint 19th-century professions. It is labelled Il Cantastorie, "C. Martorano inc." and "F.P. Diresse."] The English translation is mine. jm