This chapter describes the ethnographic chaos in which the Neapolitan is embroiled in a constant melodrama of personal sovereignty. Conversant to its Italian roots, the word “imbroglio” signifies great confusion and entanglements and complicated situations—a definition that aptly describes the performance of personal sovereignty. Even the anecdote regarding an ironic but fitting description of a counterfeit article as an authentic Neapolitan fake illustrates the complex reality of what it means to perform the art of making do. This chaotic atmosphere and its affective-aesthetic effects leave little room for a singular, definitive “truth” to emerge, as any such conclusions arising from the chaos is bound to appear counterfeited. Underlying truths regarding representations and performances of personal sovereignty simply do not matter as much as the affective and aesthetic facts that an outsider would be engaged with when facing displays of personal sovereignty.
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