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Alla faccia della Grande Bellezza (e in onore der Depardieu de Torpignattara), un pezzo di pianoforte romano-tosto (e per niente decadente)

Via Torpignattara, anni '50. Veduta del mercato e dell'incrocio con Via Casilina

“Via Torpignattara, anni ’50. Veduta del mercato e dell’incrocio con Via Casilina. Sullo sfondo Piazza della Marranella con l’abbeveratoio dei cavalli”. Cliccare per i credits, per altre immagini e accedere a un bel sito sul quartiere

Listen to this:
(by MoR, wait a few seconds)

ψ

Lello, er romanaccio Depardieu (always with us in spirit?) says:

“Un po’ contemporanea, ‘sta litania.”

Mario:

“What is this sh** …”

Experimenting (with
the Romanesco dialect)

[To the English-speaking: This post being partly written in the Romanesco dialect Google translations might be unpredictable]

[Al lettore italiano: parlare il romanesco, ok, ma scriverlo - e studiarlo come lingua - è un'altra cosa. 1° sperimento]

‘Nnamo (let’s start.)

Il Depardieu del Casilino

Gérard Depardieu al Film Festival di Brlino del 2010

Gérard Depardieu au Film Festival de Berlin (2010.)  Click for credits

Incontro Lello a un bar di Torpignattara. Sta ordinando una Ceres.

ψ

Ogni tanto ci capito, a Torpignattara, perché se hai fortuna incontri i romani veri – magari non del tempo di Tito (come gli ebrei del rione S. Angelo) – ma veri in ogni caso, di 7 generazioni.

ψ

Corpulento, sui 40 anni, i braccioni tatuati che se t’agguantano ti stritolano, Lello ha i tratti marcati e sarebbe il perfetto Gérard Depardieu del Casilino se fosse un po’ più gallico e un po’ meno scuro nei capelli e negli occhi.

Saltuariamente – al Pantheon, a piazza Navona, al centro, in definitiva – Lello compare e scompare come un fantasma suonando percussioni esotiche assieme a un contrabbassista emaciato, a un sassofonista colla panza tonda, e a un chitarrista eccezionale – il cappello calato e gli occhi quasi nascosti dalle rughe – che pare sia di Birmingham

[Lello dice che è di Birmingham e io gli credo]

Sorseggia la Ceres, guardandosi lentamente attorno. E’ il suo mondo, il suo ambiente.

Lello è un capo.

A ‘sto punto, dico, la ordino pure io, sta Danese perché è così particolare sto Lello che voglio che mi si sciolga la lingua (che me s’è come ingufita coll’età).

Sorrentino ce sta affa’ neri

La Grande Bellezza

Toni Servillo as Jep Gambardella in ‘La Grande Bellezza’ by Paolo Sorrentino

Dico:

“Lello, a fijo de ‘na mignotta, vviè cqua!”

Si avvicina. Sempre pronto allo scambio umano, in realtà parla pochissimo. Annuisce.

“Ahó, possin’ammazzatte – dico – co’ sta Grande Bellezza Sorrentino ce sta affa’ neri. Tutto il mondo parla di metafora: metafora qua, metafora là… mo’ pure gli Americani sur Nu York Times …”

Lello è impassibile. Un minuto, forse due.

Poi guardandosi le unghie, ‘na finissima ironia nello sguardo, comincia un bofonchio che cresce man mano e si fa cavernoso.

Capisco solo le ultime tre parole:

“[...] [...] [...] M-e-t-a-f-o-r-a de che”.

Una voce dall’antro. A sentirla di notte al buio. Depardieu mi fa impazzì.

Gran bucio de c… profumato

la grande bellezza

Cerco di provocarlo (sono teso, ho bisogno di fa’ casino).

Provo – un’imitazione ok – a crescere piano piano pure io per poi dargli dentro dopo 20 esatte parole:

“Beh, metafora dell’Italia – dico ‘n sordina, preciso -, d’un paese destinato al declino, con Roma – girata bellissima, per carità (sennò perché il titolo), – che poi in verità è ‘na pattumiera, è solo ‘na cloaca pure un po’ fine ma inzomma, lo vogliamo dire CAZZO, è come ‘N GRAN BEL BUCIO DE CULO TUTTO PROFUMATO – so’ cavernosissimo – co’ tanto de mignotte, ruffiani, pretacci (e nani!!) CHE CE CAMMINAMO TUTTI S-O-P-R-A !!!!”

[Ok, non sarò Augusto o Lello ecc, ma il romanesco lo mastico, mia nonna era di via Garibaldi]

The Great Beauty by

Altra pausa. Si beve. Il calore de ste Ceres comincia a impregnacce.

Lello, lo vedo, è un poco ‘allertato’.

Poi, una lievissima sfumatura di complicità (divertita?), Lello dice:

“Tutti sopra ‘sto bucio de culo”

“Tutti sopra ‘sto bucio de culo. Confermo” (mi guardo le unghie pure io)

“Che poi è profumato”
[non capisco se mi piglia per il culo; Lello è tosto, niente da dire]

“Che è profumato, riconfermo”.

C’è  qualcosa che non va. Però, provocato, sbotto come Augosto (quello a piazza de’ Renzi 15, che si incazzava continuamente – un’arrabbiatura bonaria – e Sandro il figlio – l’ho visto piccolo – è spiccicato).

“Ma dimmi un po’, a Lello, a te te piace? Vojo dì, a te te piace che Sorrentinos mostri ste zozzerie al mondo??”

Credo d’averlo beccato ‘n pieno. Errore. Ridiventa una statua.

Che soggetto, minchia, e potrebbe esse mio figlio …  :?

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A ripensarci, ora che scrivo, mi salta in quel boccino (la testa) il solito carme:

[no in buzzurro ora [così tedeschi e anglosassoni erano chiamati a Roma; poi, dopo il 70, è stata la volta dei poveri piemontesi), ma carme nella lingua delle madri che la sera passeggiavano , passegg ... lasciamo perdere]

Gigante immobile e paonazzo
(e sanguigno, diciamolo, come sto pezzo di …. Bacco).

ψ

Lello, dalle infinite risorse, trasfigura, la pelle gli si chiazza, l’occhio sinistro mosso da un lieve tremito.

Allora t’ho colpito, stronzo – penso. Ma … ti sarai ‘ncazzato?

Via di Tor Pignattara anni '40 circa

Via di Tor Pignattara anni ’40 circa. Courtesy di Silvestro Gentile. Cliccare per i credits

Seconda Ceres. Lo seguo a ruota. Comincia, si direbbe, a approfondirsi una certa atmosfera che è solo de ‘ste parti … discorso lungo, da non fare ora.

[Anche perché credo che 'n ce porti a un cazzo]

Mario, homo novus
(e pallonaro)

Mario m’accompagna un bel giorno a Torpignattara.

E’ il classico chiacchierone fanfarone – niente a che vedere con gli Augusti, i Lelli -, al punto che la tragica diffusione a Roma di questo ‘tipo psicologico’ è uno dei motivi per cui molti italiani sparlano della Capitale.

Al bar, Mario mi parla di calcio, della sua vecchia Lancia vintage, delle ultime 10 partite (10!) di 4 squadre diverse. Non ci capisco molto.

Poi arriva Lello, e Mario commenta:

“Ma quello sta sempre zitto. Me sembra n’imbecille”.

[Ok, Lello-Depardieu è tranquillo - Mario non capisce un cavolo - ma già co gli occhi ti dice mille cose. Gli occhi di Mario, invece, esprimono il vuoto. Assoluto).

Dico:

"Imbecille? Errore grave, Mario mio, perché Lello, a te, te   s-e   m-a-g-n-a".

Nonostante calchi la voce Mario se ne fotte e scrolla le spalle (co gli occhi - quasi punizione divina - riflettenti il nulla dell'anima sua).

[Che è l'anima? Non lo so, ma che Mario l'anima non ce l'abbia è l'unica cosa scientifica della storia della teologia]

Lello, antico,
laconico (e non cazzaro)

Lello invece è intelligentissimo, e, a differenza di Mario il cazzaro, ha un retroterra.

Sterminato.

Per darvi un’idea.

ψ

Da 20 anni frequenta il centro storico (“la mia famiglia è de llì: coi genitori, i nonni, i bisnonni e i trisnonni via cantando – arrivi fino a Adamo”).

Detto come una cantilena – difficile da spiegare – che è ritmata dalla ‘o’ di nonni.

ψ

Lo vedo una volta al mese, anche meno, oramai, ma so che c’è (e mi basta).

Lello è un capo, ripeto.

Mi dà la fiducia di pensare che qui in Italia tanta gente nonostante la crisi (qualcuno sta al palo purtroppo) se la cava, ai vari livelli della gradinata sociale.

Nell’arte della sopravvivenza, romani e italiani, sono professionisti, la storia è lì a dirlo.

E Lello, che il frescone Mario non capisce, Lello in realtà fa.

Un piccolo
ma fiorente commercio

Depardieu lavora, s’ingegna.

Buon marito e buon padre di due figli (non so le scappatelle), ha raggiunto la sua modesta prosperità con il commercio a costo bassissimo di cellulari e tablet, che la gente compra perché non gira più una lira.

Da qualche anno s’è fatto 2 o 3 esercizietti (stanzine, in definitiva) che visita più volte al giorno, la faccia del boss autorevole ma pensoso, quasi pensasse ad altro (e però tutto nota, tutto sa).

Esercizietti che gli so’ gestiti da 3 marocchini svegli che gli fanno da bassa manco tanto bassa manovalanza, che lo rispettano  – e che soprattutto gli vogliono bene.

Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia. Gnu Free documentation License

Il Mediterraneo è una casa comune. Al commercio, si sa, non gli n’è mai fregato gnente dee fedi diverse.

Lello dunque incede nel quartiere, coi tatuaggioni il nasone la faccia (e la stazza) del Depardieu zigano.

Una figura caratteristica come non ce ne saranno più in futuro (oppure no?) Ho sentito in giro a Roma giovanissimi di altri paesi che già parlano romanesco meglio di me.

Il tradizionale tuffo di Capodanno nel Tevere dal ponte Cavour di Roma

Il tradizionale tuffo di Capodanno nel Tevere dal ponte Cavour di Roma. Tanti sono stati i personaggi famosi in questo ‘sport’, almeno dal 1870 a oggi. Click for credits

Poi insomma cazzo (la terza Ceres, inesorabile …  :twisted:  ), ma a vedé sti romani che si tuffano ancora dai ponti (no Lello), con mezza falange in meno ar medio (sì Lello cqui: na sforbiciata a 16 anni).

A vedé cioè sti tosti che s’industriano, che non aspettano tutto dallo stato – ognuno col suo stile, qui e in altre regioni del paese, spina dorsale che impedisce al corpaccione italiano d’afflosciarsi.

In altre parole, a vedé una Roma e un’Italia positive nonostante le sofferenze, che non s’avvoltolano nella nevrosi, che non si prostituiscono, che non ballano nelle terrazze chic vista Colosseo con le narici incipriate, che non scopano le minorenni ai Parioli e nemmeno le minorenni slave sulla Salaria … cazzo!

A vedé questi giovani che lottano, che imparano le lingue straniere,  che vanno ‘n culo al mondo dovunque ci sia uno stracciaccio de lavoro, e così facendo – poverini poverini, si dice! – non diventano più deboli ma più forti fanghala, che si aprono la mente e il futuro …  (Mario – che mi sta vicino, compagno di scuola a cui in fondo voglio bene, me dice: eh dai, famo notte).

Sorrentinoooos!

Neapolitan Paolo Sorrentino

Neapolitan Paolo Sorrentino. His success at the Academy Awards granted him a Roman honorary citizenship. Click or credits and to enlarge

Ok, ok, a Mario, ma la domanda, scusate, che spontanea sorge a ‘sto punto fangulo, è la seguente:

A’ Sorrentinoooos! Sarai pure Napoletano talentuoso (lo sei) ma la conosci veramente Roma? O se la conosci – non credo – non te sarai mica  ‘mbo’ incazzato perché l’ambiente del cinema romano – che è poi quello italiano – è ‘na Grande Zozzeria, cogli outsider che so outsider semper, tanto che Villaggio (pure Pupi Avati?) s’è addirittura inbestialiddoooo?

Dice Fantozzi, ineffabile, a Mediaset:

“Sordi è il simbolo della ‘Grande Cattiveria’, la cattiveria dei Romani ‘che sono veramente, e profondamente, cattivi’ “

[detto poi con lo sguardo cattivo ... chi vuole prendere per il culo]

Dice che i Romani sono 'cattivi', e che Albertone è il simbolo della Grande Cattiveria.

Pianoforte romano

Ora, a me il film de Sorrentinos piace, ma me fa pure ‘ncazzare.

Pertanto, in onore dei Lelli semper tosti e viventi (in periferia: l’hanno cacciati cogli sventramenti), residuo piccolo e coriaceo di una forza grande e suprema (la Roma grande, oramai passata).

In loro onore, dicevo, questa musica di pianoforte dedico, da romano – più fortunato e sfortunato insieme – ad altro romano.

[Mario: "Sei un cazzone". Giovanni: "pure tu, stronzo, ma ti voglio bene"]

Pianoforte romano

Riproposta pure qui (Mario: “per puro narcisismo, cojone” “Sei un fregnone – ma ciai ragione?” “Sì” “No” “Sta minchia”) :

Per te, e per tutti voi – (Gino, Sergio, Spartaco, Gianni e Samanta), oltre che pe sti napoletani a cui vojamo bene, no Mario, so nostri cugini (compagno di scuola di origine napoletana, Mario) – butto là sto pezzo de … pianoforte non decadente (me lo si permetta, Sorrentinos).

Lello, romanaccio Depardieu, always with us in his a spirit, exclaims:

“Un po’ contemporanea sta litania.

Certo, stronzo (no, scusa, Lello, scusa) ma nello spirito almeno, e nell’anima (che abbiamo simili), ci metterà in qualche modo d’accordo …

 

Roman Renaissance fountan

 

Ecco un clip de La Grande Bellezza, in tutta la sua struggente, in all its aching … beauty.

Dulcis in fundo, il napoletano Pino Daniele, cantautore e chitarrista di vena raffinata, che canta Anna Magnani e il cinema romano.

[Così ricomponemo er tutto e famo pace :-)

"Stronzi" "Frocioni" "So 'frocio ma me ne vanto" "Hai proprio ragione!"
Ma il partenopeo: "ste nutizie su A Grande Bellezza nu ssierve"
Depaardieu mostra i braccioni "a fijo de ‘na mignotta, vviè cqua" ma viene travolto da 'na stilettata partenopea colta: "ta' soreta è latrina, e m-a-t-r-e, a te, na  pumpinare jamme jamme JAAAMME!"]

Capitoline She-Wolf. Rome, Musei Capitolini. Public domain

Resources:

Provare tutto, dove si parla della ‘cugina greca’ di Roma, Νέα Πόλις
The Roman Jews (1). Are They the Most Ancient Romans Surviving?
Le coste meridionali del Mediterraneo:
Dove si parla del legame tra sponda nord e sud (araba) del Mediterraneo
e della vocazione, oltre che universale, mediterranea, della Città Eterna.

Web site di dialetto partenopeo
[
Wiki francese: "Dans la mythologie grecque, Parthénope (en grec ancien Παρθενόπης / Parthenópês, « celle qui a un visage de jeune fille », de παρθένος / parthénos, « jeune fille », en particulier « vierge ») est une des sirènes...Strabon mentionne que son temple se situait dans la ville de Néapolis (actuelle Naples), où les habitants célébraient des jeux gymniques en son honneur.]

Poi, in tema di composizioni pianistiche (di resilience e- Mario -de fanfaroni”) :

L’inno all’Euro che non cede
L’hymne à l’Euro qui ne cède pas

Ides of March, Paul Costopoulos’ Birthday (and Paul’s Second Name is not Caesar)

Paul Costopoulos, the wise man of our little blogosphere slice. Courtesy of PC

Today it is the “Ides of March” or Idus Martii, a date famous for the assassination of Julius Caesar and an ancient festivity as well dedicated to the god Mars or Ares, the Greco-Roman deity of war.

Well, not only of war since (to the Romans only) such god was also an agricultural guardian.

March (Italian Marzo, Latin Martius) is the month named after Mars. Festivities in honour of Mars began in fact in such a year period in Ancient Rome and inaugurated the military (and agricultural) season.

They were then held again in October which ended the military campaigns and the farming activities – well, more or less since olive oil (called by Homer “liquid gold”) had still to be made because olives matured through the winter.

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This is not though a post about war, farming or about Caesar.

Except for war we care about the said things. But a lot more we care about Paul Costopoulos, our Canadian sage.

Of both Greek and French descent (a potent mix) everybody likes Paul. He is endowed with wisdom, concrete knowledge of life and that emotional intelligence – as Dafna put it – that has made discussions wherever he goes interesting, humorous (and warm.)

ψ

Paul is 80 today.

Happy birthday friend.

 

Pedro’s Story. Peruvian Roots And Gold

Andean Machu Picchu, Peru. Click for credits and larger picture

[Second and last part of Pedro's story]

As I said in the first part of this story I am impressed by Pedro’s personality, by his intelligence and extreme hardiness towards fatigue or any kind of climate. He has a lively and authoritative look. He’s pensive sometimes. Not the gloomy pensive, though. The optimistic pensive. He hums while he works.

Pedro directs a team of 10-15 workers, some of them appearing as impenetrable Inca masks to me.

There’s regret in him that the Peruvian ancient cultures were wiped out. “How could they treat the Inca civilization like that?” he laments. Even today – he says – there’s a lot of gold up there. The mountain peasants are poor but they’re surrounded by precious minerals.

“You dig the mountain and you see gold, you see copper. I have been working in the mines. Then foreigners arrived who took away everything. The people, who were poor before, are still poor today.”

His eyes lit up when he saw we speak English at home now and then. He’s therefore started to take English classes.

“We’d be a strong community in Italy had we harmony. There’s envy and jealousy instead towards those who have success.”

One interesting thing he told me about Chile. “After the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship the people have straightened up and now they respect the rules, while everybody in Peru is tricking everybody and there’s total anarchy. A folk sometimes needs some straightening up.”

Ψ

This final observation – let me digress – reported by an ex 1968 student like me who saw Augusto Pinochet as the devil incarnate … Things must be seen from many view angles, and generally speaking democracy isn’t a plant that adapts itself to any terrain, I believe.

Pedro’s Story

Lima3

Lima Centro seen from San Cristobal

I’ll postpone the final part of the Roman Jews writing and will speak about Pedro today.

Pedro is a 49-year-old Peruvian emigrated to Italy long ago. He has created a small construction firm that takes care of everything  – masonry, electrical and plumbing infrastructure etc. The work done is professional and accurate.

I find Pedro’s personality impressive. Here are bits of his life story, told trying to use his own words.

Ψ

His father died when he was 8 so his mother had to roll up her sleeves. She has been a great woman. Pedro as a boy was busy doing any possible job in the streets of Lima, washing windscreens, polishing shoes – he had to be ingenious in many ways.

When coming back to Lima years later and meeting again his former street pals he found out many had ended up in drugs and some had died.

In Peru too, he says, there’s this street children problem and the cleanup squads that murder them. But he committed no crime on the street. It’s his mother – he says. She raised him the hard way. Iron-willed she borne them all completely by herself, tied to a rope fastened to a beam, with the babies being brought to the world and she cutting the umbilical cord with her bare hands.

She is over 80 and sick now. Pedro’s brother phoned him to ask him to come back for next Christmas or he won’t see her again.

Peru map

Topographic Map of Peru. Wikimedia. Public domain

Pedro’s parents were from the Andes. They weren’t native Liman. You’ve got the plains over the ocean, the big mountains and the jungle in Peru [see the picture on the right.]

They teach humility, honesty and hard work in the Andean mountains, he says. That is why when this folk get down to the plains they are too naive and get easily cheated. These people meet a world where cunning and dishonesty are winning. This creates confusion in their heads, he says.

The Andean is more active, has a tougher character and is most resistant to fatigue. At the big markets in Lima lots of them manage the stands. Their bodies are smaller and their skin darker. The native Liman has lighter skin and a bigger body instead.

The Peruvian from the Andes in Italy aren’t usually working in the Italian families for housework. They set up construction, cleaning or transportation firms. Pedro always tells his compatriots to learn a job well instead of trying to figure out how to make money quickly. “It’ll be your wealth” he says.

He is happy when there’s problems to solve. “I love le grane! [trouble]” he keeps saying while shaking a head a bit too large compared to the body. Difficulties do not discourage him. They make him more resourceful instead.

He has learned both from his mother and from the street.

Woman & child. Andes

Peruvian woman and child in the Andean region of the country. Wikimedia. Some rights reserved. Click for credits and larger picture

His mother Maria was a strict woman and when she wanted to punish her children and they fled away like lightning she caught them while asleep in the deep of the night and beat them up soundly. I didn’t ask him whether his mother remarried or not. He told me that, with the years passing, life had become a bit easier for his family. This made his brothers different. They didn’t have to fight as much as he did.

Having a good head is all that matters in life, he says.

He regrets not having had any education, nor having read enough  – he saw the piles of books in our apartment. He’s glad his children had the opportunity to study. One of them will soon be an engineer.

His sons and daughters ask him:

“Papà, had you been born again, what job would you do?”
“The mason.”
“Papà, the mason again?”
“Yes, the mason. That’s the thing I love most.”

[to be continued]

Pleasure in Craft. The Germans

Germany. Cologne Cathedral. Creative Commons License

The Germans like to do things well and feel pleasure in their craft. It comes out in everything they do. They are far away from the utilitarian attitude typical of the Anglo-Saxon, who works hard but most of the time has practical goals in mind, money and commerce being not seldom among them.

We will not mention the somewhat revealing episode (I do hope I recall well) of Heinrich Heine – one of the greatest German Romantic poets – and his totally puzzled reaction the first time he visited London in the first half of the 19th century, such a great city London (at that time the more powerful place in the world) though in his view an exclusively trade-oriented centre, which kind of disgusted him.

Neither we want to get much into the concept that concentrating so often on practical stuff only, while it can surely provide tremendous intervention power (it really does) it can nonetheless narrow human experience, which presents a much richer potential.

Pretty nice opposition, the German and the British, providing such a complicated insight on the German soul of Europe (not only the German soul, but I do not want to be repetitive). An opposition that has undone Europe. Well, ok, today we won’t plunge into that.

Here just 3 examples that can illustrate what we mean about the Germans.

Computer Bild Logo

I. Minimum ex. ComputerBild, a PC magazine also translated for the Italian market. Inexpensive (only 1.5 Euros here,) highly reliable and rich with meticulous analyses, a small instance of handicraft devotion in a market, the publishing market, where garbage is increasingly dominating.

A 1999 Porsche 996 Carrera Cabriolet. Public Domain

II & III. Maximum exs. Cars made in Germany (above a 1999 Porsche 996 Carrera Cabriolet, picture taken from here) or the outstanding Deutsches Museum in Munich, Bavaria (Museum of Masterpieces in Science and Technology).

As for the third example, apart from the term Museum of masterpieces that already implies a lot, at the DM practically everything – from small-scale models to entire huge reconstructions (i.e. reconstructions of underground coal mines and all the technology involved) – has been fondly manufactured in touching laboratories where artisans, some of them advanced in age, work(ed) with so much devotion and amore. Of course, models are one thing, real machinery – small and enormous aeroplanes, entire ships etc. – another totally (and impressive) thing at the Deutsches Museum.

Deutsches Museum. Germany. Munich

Well, what is incredible here is that almost any kind of machine, plus theoretical (and factual) models so various, plus tons of other astonishing stuff can be watched, analysed (and admired) in this awe-inspiring Institution, one of the best places in Europe for Science and Technology (maybe in the world? Well, American Science Museums and Science centres are pretty impressive too, but I am not capable of any useful comparison.)

Here, S&T are obviously seen as potent tools capable of diminishing hunger, making life easier etc. This of course is so important, do not misunderstand me. Nonetheless, S&T are also seen with a work-of-art approach involving the above-mentioned devotional attitude, which is a totally different thing. Yes, it is a totally different thing, I have little doubts about it.

It is this quality, among others, this pleasure of doing everything so well, that finally makes the Germans excellent engineers and, I would say, outstanding constructors of no matter what.

Two associative examples, if you please:

1) they are constructors of absolutely breathtakingly complex musical structures (where minds not well equipped can easily get lost, or bored, which is exactly the same thing.)
2) They are constructors of equally breathtakingly complex and sumptuous philosophical palaces, the deepest in the West (where one gets even more easily lost unfortunately.)

So, what the hell is their secret then? I do not know, why the hell do you think I know. Well ok, among other virtues, I might guess they are endowed with patience, calm and inflexible perseverance. Plus this great capacity of toiling (and suffering) in silence, an imprint of true force and indubitable courage.

PS
I wonder why India has always attracted me, though probably it is too late to seriously delve into that much diverse and impenetrable depth. The depth you find in the beautiful eyes of many Indian women, both terribly sweet and unfathomable, where I could really (and hopelessly) lose my mind…

Aishwarya Rai. Bollywood star. Fair use

The Neapolitans & the Quiet Shoemaker

The Italian musicologist Massimo Mila was from Turin (northern Italy, under the Alps) and adhered to the philosophical school founded by the Neapolitan Benedetto Croce. This school engendered a large number of solid intellectuals and dominated the Italian intellectual scene for more than half a century: Piero Gobetti, Antonio Gramsci, Nicola Abbagnano, Attilio Momigliano, Massimo Mila, Giulio Confalonieri ecc. this list being very long. Giovanni Gentile, another influent Italian philosopher of that period was instead Croce’s peer, and Sicilian.

[I told you the Neapolitan Greek cousins of Rome were full of surprises: wonder why they had excellent philosophers and why southern-Italy thinkers like Croce (and Gentile) had this special connection with the Germans.]

Mila, in his inspired Breve storia della musica (Einaudi 1963 p. 144,) writes about Johann Sebastian Bach, the greatest Western composer in my opinion:

“His immense musical production was put together with assiduous, methodical, quiet work, carried out with the scrupulous care of an artisan and conceived, without any pause, as service of God. Without any pause since, had Bach been a shoemaker, he would have made a boundless number of shoes to the great glory of God, all carefully crafted and finished off with scrupulous care”.

lupaottimigut1.jpg

Discussion with readers

Very interesting comments (in my opinion) have been made on this post on the Germans. If you click down on “comments” you’ll follow holistic discussions among two lovely Indians and Man of Roma. Ashish especially, a young gifted man, and Poonam, a woman who talks little but whose words have weight.

Discussion about what?

Well, about: Bollywood, India, Europe, America, the UK, WW1, WW2, Europe’s decline, German tremendous virtues, Indian women’s eyes, China, Cindia, Great Britain’s awesome success, highly refined & beloved France, Hitler’s folly and death in a bunker, Hitler’s perverted sadism, Hitler’s evil psychological seducing powers, German tragedy, Italian Comedy, Mussolini and Fascism. Mussolini, his balls & his petty calculations, comparisons among the British the Germans the Russians the Romans (of course,) the French, the Spaniards. Plus Elisabeth I, Shakespeare & the Spanish Armada defeat, Russia invading Germany thirsty for blood, Tolstoy’s War and Piece greatness, Napoleon, the Brits’ greatness in some ways similar to the Romans’ greatness, the UK as Europe’s trojan horse, and much much more.

One friend of mine just said: “This is crazy!”

I provided no answer.

UNESCO World Heritage LIMES logo

PS
Let us first enjoy this J.S. Bach’s Toccata und Fuge BWV 565 played by Hans-Andre Stamm on the famous Trost organ in Waltershausen, Germany (have a look here). It is a very famous piece of music and I’d prefer other ones by Bach. But it is good for starting to appreciate a totally new spiritual world of sounds. Most of the time Toccatas are not as deep as Fuges.
Up to you to guess which is which.

Let us finally compare the majestic piece linked above with this electric-guitar improvisation by Lonn, a refined French man and guitarist of Towersound French band. He’s improvising on the above Toccata only, though improvisations being tricky, up to you to figure out if he sticks to the Toccata only.

Two last things. A. I met this French band just now on YouTube, so I do not know their value (the impro seeming to me decent enough though, and the French accent of the player absolutely delightful). B. Purists to me are morons. They absolutely have no home in my virtual Neverland.

Italian version
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