Menocchio was certain that at death man reverted to the elements of which he was composed. But an irresistible yearning drove him to picture some sort of survival after death.

A riveting reconstruction of the thought-world of a particular, early-modern, Italian peasant who had fashioned for himself an unpopular popular cosmology.

The victory of written over oral culture has been, principally, the victory of the abstract over the empirical.

As with language, culture offers to the individual a horizon of latent possibilities—a flexible and invisible cage in which he can exercise his own, conditional, liberty.