Obesssion and balance in creativity. Greeks’ and Romans’ Golden Mean (& Paolo Buonvino’s, a Sicilian composer.) Dialectics (5b)

diary

Read the original non pruned post and discussion. Draft. Pictures might be changed /added.

Notice. I’ll stop posting until April 23rd. Easter reflection (a notion you can expand chez Tarot psychologique.)

ψ

James Evershed Agate (1877 – 1947), British diarist and critic, once wrote:

“Now that I am finishing the damned thing I realise that diary-writing isn’t wholly good for one, that too much of it leads to living for one’s diary instead of living for the fun of living as ordinary people do.”

What is said above applies equally to blog-writing / writing tout court since, when dealing with passions the challenge is always the right measure.

The ancient Romans developed the fine art of cuisine so that the delights of life were augmented, but there was undeniably gluttony in some milieus.

I remember that, much younger, I stopped composing music since it had become an obsessive pastime that basically swallowed me up.

Life should be harmonious. A single part should not devour the rest (as Benedetto Croce, master of harmony, reminds us.)

Benedetto Croce

Benedetto Croce (1866 – 1952), filosofo italiano

Christopher: You wrote: “Life should be harmonious. A single part should not devour the rest”
If everyone lived according to this precept there would be no civilisation and we would all be living short and brutish lives.

MoR: “Hard to say, although my post regards happiness more than creativity in the arts & sciences. Besides, creativity seems related to both balance and unbalance (take Vincent van Gogh etc.).

You possibly suggest that big creators lived disharmony in their life. Frank Lloyd Wright devoted *most* of his time to architecture, Einstein to physics etc.

Ok, but one has to see how these people actually spent their days.

I remember a Roman top advertising agency, at the end of the 80′s, where extremely well-paid copywriters and art directors were walking around in robes and were sunbathing on an elegant terrace overlooking the Parioli district’s skyline (where the rich and famous live, or lived).

I was puzzled at first because these creativi seemed to do everything except what they were paid for. The agency’s output was though brilliant and rivalled Milan’s creativi (the best we’ve got in this country).

One often needs quiet and relaxation to produce ideas, which suggests ‘balance’.

Moving to bigger examples, Beethoven’s music conveys to me the image of ​​an unhappy person.

There are many elements of anger, of obsession, in his music. His life was almost certainly disharmonious: Beethoven’s father was an alcoholic; Karl, the composer’s nephew, whose custody Beethoven had obtained, attempted suicide. And so forth.

Johann Sebastian Bach aged 61 (1685 – 1750). Click for source

Johann Sebastian Bach aged 61 (1685 – 1750). Click for source

 

Bach’s music on the contrary (with its powerfully abstract architectures that unfold like a majestic river flowing) is much more enriching consoling, imo, and well fits the image of ​​the patient German artisan, whose methodical, quiet work was conceived as a service to God. Bach was a musician but also a good Christian, a good father, a good husband and a good teacher – which suggests harmony of life.

Which doesn’t mean many breakthroughs weren’t the product of unbalanced lives. The commonplace of the deranged genius is more than a commonplace imo, though it’s not my post’s point.

Cheri: “Your point is well taken. My grandfather always told me that moderation is the key to a balanced and contented life.”

MoR: “Hi Cheri! I like roots (as you probably like your Jewish or whatever roots), this blog being a search for roots from a past that, I believe, is still working on us Latins, though not only on us.

Enjoying the pleasures of life without excess, drinking without getting drunk, a life outside compulsions or obsessions – I am often obsessing / obsessed – is not only wise, it is part of a lifestyle, and an element of grace.

To me this is particularly evident in the French, the Latin people I possibly love most.

Neapolitan Benedetto Croce, ‘master of harmony’ …

Incidentally, the Olympian beauty seeping through his works is probably of Hellenic origin, and, like the Hellenic miracle arose from formidable difficulties (if we may compare a huge thing to a small one) Croce’s serene attitude and sharp mind came at a hard price: at 17, on vacation with his parents and his sole sister, their house being wiped out by an earthquake he barely survived and remained alone.

Claudia (my daughter): “Croce’s picture doesn’t exactly conjure up Hellenic beauty!?!?”

Potsoc: “I agree with Cheri. Many creators were, indeed, unhappy people but as many had a relatively simple and happy life. The examples given speak by themselves.”

MoR: “Someone must have already done it, Potsoc le Canadien, but it’d be interesting to systematically analyse the biographies of creators (in both arts & sciences) in search of a correlation between creative intelligence and lifestyles.

My post was more about the gratification from a life with nicely distributed, non compulsive, activities, but one can blabber a bit and wonder if Balzac, for example, was compulsive in his writing.

He may have been, but his work – so vital, energetic & rich with an immense number of vividly depicted characters – suggests a life not spent exclusively on a desk with a pen in his hand.

A correlation between scientists’ lifestyles and their innovation level seems much harder to establish. They (seem to me to) reveal less about themselves.

ALL this, in any case, is a-blowing in the wind, Paul.”

Potsoc: “I guess nobody wrote a Ph.D thesis on the subject and I will not write it.”

MoR: “Ah ah ah, right Paul :-) Getting stuffy, I know.”

Sledpress: “The need for quiet and mental space in which to be creative can’t be denied, but does that support an argument against being too obsessional as a creative person?

I can only write fiction (or songs, or music) when I’m in an obsessional fugue, and it is bitter for me, because I want to have at least something of a life otherwise — probably few people are willing to have their spouse or friend snarl “GO AWAY!” should they be so unfortunate as to come ask about dinner or the water bill when one is creating.

But if I put the chisel down, it’s cold when I pick it back up, and what I wrote mocks me. (Blog posts and so on don’t count; those are five finger exercises.) I can’t start the fire again if I’ve let myself be jollied into putting it out so as to make nice on the rest of the human race. And if I don’t create something, who cares if I lived? It won’t matter.

I’ve already lost the thread of so many good ideas (maybe not lightning genius, but worth something) that I could spend the rest of my life in mourning, and for what in the end? People who really were only bored or wanted me to do them something. I vote for the obsessed people, myself.”

MoR: “You say, Sled:

“I can only write fiction (songs, music) when I’m in an obsessional fugue, and it is bitter for me, because I want to have at least something of a life otherwise …”

“If I don’t create something, who cares if I lived? It won’t matter”

Well, if creation & obsession necessarily go together with us, and creativity is our top priority, let us embrace obsession, why not.

Besides, obsession, as far as I can tell, may produce compellingly emotional results etc.

As for my experience, the insignificant (though much important to me) things I have written or composed were produced in both situations: within a quiet, balanced routine of life; or via obsession, pain, sacrificing the rest.

I sometimes think that, had I more discipline, I’d be able to kill two birds with a stone and reach a synthesis.

Paolo Buonvino 001

What I mean, I’m witnessing an example of creative discipline in my neighborhood, where a certain Paolo Buonvino is leaving a couple of blocks away from my home (it, en wikies.)

Italian from Sicily, conductor, composer of film scores, Buonvino’s music is very good, Sicilian-sunny and appreciated. I exchanged a few words with him. He gave me some inspired advice on related-to-music stuff. Flavia and I have visited him once at his home.

In short, he’s the classic example of one who, compelled to compose scores at appalling speed, is nonetheless able to enhance productivity by finding the right breaks, walking about the rione, enjoying something at a bar (an ice-cream, a coffee, a cake) or relaxing on a park bench.

You see him around, always relaxed, a mobile at his ear, talking quietly with loads of people (this amazing ease in human relationships being typical of many Italian from the Mezzogiorno.)

So Buonvino, despite high productivity rates, manages to live quite well. A gift from heaven? Hard to say but some creative discipline should be taught when very young, I believe.”

Sledpress: “There is a trapdoor when someone has asked a creative person to produce something. I say this from experience.
Somehow it frees you to be both creative and human. I don’t know how this works. Only that knowing someone *wants* what you can create substitutes for the energy that otherwise only comes from obsession and a sort of rage against the people who don’t understand why you are working so hard to produce a composition or poem or story, however minor.”

Potsoc: “I moderate a group called “Imaginations”, each week we meet around a theme, different each week, and we write a short piece on the week’s theme that we will read to the group the following week. It’s much fun…and work but we all enjoy it and it has been going for most of ten years with a core of 5 steady participants and another 5 or 6 that come and go.”

MoR: “Sledpress, Paul, you two imply that creating for someone ‘waiting’ for your production can release the pressure?

I agree, an act of communication, then, almost always good. When I was writing the Manius so-to-say novel my motivation were you, the bloggers of my circle, ‘waiting’ (so I felt) for each new installment and the resulting fun, as Paul says, the jokes that we shared etc.

When a publisher told me one day that he was interested, the magic vanished. I tried to continue, but felt only the obsession (plus depression for my failure, lack of discipline.) I quit writing.

Potsoc: “Being approached by a publisher is an altogether other proposition, I agree. Sharing with friends is just plain fun.”

Sledpress: “Yes! You are touching on something that I meant.
If a publisher dangled money in front of me I might still be motivated. Because money is something squeezed out of one’s bloodstream (unless one is one of the one-per-cent who wallow in it), so it is like enthusiasm.

However the biggest fun was an experience like yours, of people hanging on for the next installment to find out what happened!!!

Stephen King writes of something like this in his classic novella “The Body” which became the film Stand By Me.

The pathetically young kid with the gun in this clip — earlier the film shows him telling stories around a kids’ camp fire with everyone asking him what comes next, what comes next. King later called this “the *gotta.*” “I gotta find out what happens.”
I miss having people who cared about that, which happened to me for five minutes.”

MoR: “You’ve said, Sled:

“the biggest fun was an experience like yours, of people hanging on for the next installment to find out what happened!!!
I miss having people who cared about that, which happened to me for five minutes.”

When was that and where? Can we reach it?”

Sledpress: “Oh, that was my silly detective novel, an inner circle read every chapter as I wrote it — the way Dickens used to work, releasing installments before the story was all set down. Then as I wrote, with caricatures of everyone who is politically active around here, I looked forward to the public consternation it would cause, another incentive.

And oh yes, I made it look as if the author was a local newspaper editor who had been a real jerk to me a couple of times — it was easy to lift little quirks of style from his editorials. People pestered him about it for years.

It got one good review even. A lot of it is free.

Along the way it let me say and even discover a lot about my outlook on the whole *res publica*, the “public thing” that constitutes local political life, which both attracts and repels me — so many people trying to be important, yet actually doing important things despite their flaws. It is really the only thing I ever finished.

Everything else I ever did disappointed me and I threw it over or put it in the drawer, but I had people asking for this, so I had to finish it, amateurish as it may be. I wrote like hell for two months and was burned-out for two more but I wish I could do it again. Only I’m afraid to yell GO AWAY at the few friends I really have.”

MoR: “Wow. Quite a good review. I’ll read the book as soon as I can, or rather buy it (I also missed your poems over at your blog: my next comment)
In the meanwhile, a portion of the review, to the benefit of readers:

“Is this story (MURDER ACROSS THE BOARD by *******) of local interest? Sure. But the writing here is so good it is irrelevant. This is just as good a murder mystery as you will find anywhere, with a compelling story and clever writing to match. The story is truly twisted [...] and the murder-mystery here is fun and energetic. No one is who they seem in this fast read, and as the story unfolds, the plot rolls along like a freight-train. What may have started as a goof on some friends or a dig at local politics has turned into a clever, engaging page-turner.”

Sledpress: “Mind you, another reader said it was cliched and awful. Then again, the point was to throw every trope of gritty detective stories into a story about local politics. Looking back I thought it needed tightening, but I’ve always hugged that one rave review to my heart.
I’m editing the pseudonym in your comment just because it really did piss off a number of people, one of whom is a habitual troll, and I’d prefer they didn’t find this blog too easily.”

Sledpress: “Oops, I was on a dashboard when I wrote the above reply and thought we were talking on my page. Oh well — if you wouldn’t mind “asterisking” the author name. Trolls shouldn’t find you either. ”

MoR: “Well, there are good and there are bad reviews, always. Who the hell cares?
I have ‘asterisked’ the author’s name, as you asked me.
And, tell this troll I am ready here waiting.”

A conversation with Carla Shodde, from Australia, on Religions, Romanness & Interlingua (Modern Latin?) – Dialectics (4)

Even the German Women were terrific fighters

Even the German Women were terrific fighters

Are the Germans ‘Always’ There?
(Why not man)

[See btw the clip at the head of the previous post]

ψ

Carla Shodde from Australia has some German DNA among the rest. A ‘budding Classicist’, as she phrased it, she is probably more than that.

We had a good dialogue at her place (see below. Here the original, not pruned, one.)

ψ

Another conversation had occurred here with Sledpress (another German, from US Virginia, this time,) which will be published as Dialectics 5, the last cherry on the pie in some way.

Why cherry on the pie?

Because Sled is a valuable writer (I have a notebook with many of her sentences since I am an aspiring non mother tongue writer in English,) she has been very much present in almost ALL discussions here and elsewhere, she being a valuable polymath (with high-level musical knowledge also,) capable of talking about everything (as our blogosphere small slice attests) … but most of all:

She has a VERY BAD temper ;-)

Which of course (any passion being powerful) is a big part of her charm and her being very good: as a writer, dialectic commentator, friend, musician (and real soul.)

Why We Love The Germans

At this point, after Easter Monday (when the exchange with The Virginian and other stuff will be already here), given the present crisis of the Euro zone, we think it’ll be high time to say aloud (from us, from many other Italians):

“Why we love the Germans and will continue to love them!”

In the meanwhile: Carla Shodde.

Impiety Among Philosophers

Found In Antiquity Carla Shodde

Carla thus presents her work and studies:

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” – Cicero, Ad Brutum. Carla recently finished first-class Honours in Classics, writing a thesis on accusations of impiety among philosophers in Greece and Republican Rome. She loves ancient art, ancient history, theology and pretty much anything to do with the Romans.”

 

Uncial sample

Courtesy of Carla Shodde’s Web site soon in our blogroll. Click to enlarge and for source file

 

MoR:Great post. About to repost the other one, I might repost this one as well, though I’m not sure, I am overwhelmed by business, family (my strength,) and my mentor’s ‘an article a day in languages that are not your own’ rule.

You are a scholar, a beginning scholar, perhaps, but hats-off scholar nonetheless. Ciao

[PS: hai per caso qualche stilla di sangue italiano? Carla è un nome italiano]“

Carla Shodde: “Thanks so much for reblogging the other post! You can reblog whatever you like, when you want to. :) And thanks for the encouragement, I would love to cultivate scholarship in Classics.

And actually, I don’t have any Italian blood, but my parents named me after my German great-grandfather Carl. They thought I was going to be a boy but when I was born a girl, they named me Carla. Italian is a beautiful language though and I wish I knew more.”

MoR: “Sorry I’ll be the usual Italian chatter-box. My thoughts come in floods, am too tired to prune and I proceed from chaos to order – my cognitive style, aspiring towards dialectics.

This exchange in fact, should you say yes, I’d love to publish over at my blog as Dialectics 4.

I’ll prune my texts of course but not much, this being the MoR plus I’d love you to reply extensively (in case you can and want) – the exchange of ideas resulting hopefully more stimulating for readers.

This being fussily said o_O  …

 

Roman Bona Dea (Good Goddess)

Roman Bona Dea (Good Goddess)

I)

Carla: “I would love to cultivate scholarship in Classics”

The personal opinion of a dilettante is that ‘you can’ lol become what you want if you really want it. You have ‘la stoffa’ (what it takes.)

You are creative, have passion but most of all you have discipline. Talent without discipline is zero.

A scholar I have not become (just a quirky researcher) for lack of guidance since I was abandoned to grow by myself like a weed (and am still, in the good sense though I hope, 1. Christianity and religions plus 2. intellectual curiosity helping.)

A Master Shows

I found the latter (2) after an encounter at 24 – id est a Master and inspiring polymath to whom I owe a lot and whom I call Magister διδάσκαλος, here.

The former (1) came after some study of the Ancient Roman religions (I liked that post of yours where you criticize those who consider the Ancient Roman religion void of emotions, of mysticism, simply formulaic (a total moronity imo.)

Via some study of cults, gods, goddesses and the mysteries etc. I realised how Roman Christianity was, plus Christianity was one of the several mysteries too (you might not agree here.)

A powerful blend, the ancient Roman religion – no need to tell you – which together with Christianity can provide strength and consolation. I am more Christian than Pagan, incidentally; although we ALL here, and elsewhere – eg some areas of the Roman Empire’s ex provinces – are (one may like it or not) a bit pagan.)

Let me add it is so refreshing to see a young woman – the age of my two daughters – so very ‘well’ doing what she does, and a real polyglot too (mandarin, wow, and German; Latin and Greek being of course necessary.)

 

Interlingua at Austin, Texas

Jardin de Ninos Interlingua Spanish Immersion, Austin, TX. Click for credits and source

II)

Carla: “Actually, I don’t have any Italian blood, but my parents named me after my German great-grandfather Carl. They thought I was going to be a boy”

Italian is bastard Latin so I don’t think you’ll have difficulties though my advice, you being a polyglot, is considering Interlingua instead.

Interlingua (official web site) is not artificial like Esperanto. It is ‘biological’; and, most importantly, it was conceived by solid scholars as a modern form of Latin.

For which purpose? [one might ask] English is already the lingua franca of a vast portion of the world.

A Fascinating vacation.
No ‘Direct’ contact with natives?

Ok, but take a woman from New York for example (all English speaking people we Italians btw call ‘Anglo-Saxons’, even those not wearing furs anymore – the others having passed away many centuries ago (stole this from an English guy living in Milan).

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro. Click for credits and source file

Now it turns this woman and her husband are planning a long trip to, say, Brasil, Spain, Italy and have desire to get to know the natives in a non-mediated-via-English way, ie, a more direct, ‘cultural’, way.

[As a side note, English is not much spoken the more ancient the country is (apart from India, naturally) : Romans for ex. have this couldn’t-care-less attitude thinking they are so darn universal – and they are, accepting everybody with open heart but at the same time being scared by other cultures plus also feeling superior but behaving like provincials who think they are gas nobles, or gods.]

In any case the said couple has only one solution: even if the trip will occur in 3 years (yes, they plan years in advance, the Americans lol) they nonetheless must frantically TOIL eg learn Portuguese on the first year, Spanish on the second year, and Italian on the third.

It can be done, but it’s a hard path especially until the half of it, then Latin underlying the 3 languages will make things easier.

[Getting Big Deal Man, I know ^^'  ]

Interlingua: Many Languages
at the Same Time

There is another exciting solution: learning Interlingua. It’ll take 2-3-4 months in the worst cases (or just a few weeks,) after which the couple will be able to understand and talk directly (via Interlingua) to Brasilians, Spanish and Italians, who will 70%  understand them even if they never heard of Interlingua before.

 ψ

Carla Shodde: “That’s really interesting – I’ve never heard of a language called Interlingua before, but it is nice that it uses Latin-based words to connect various Romance languages together.

I’ve been fantasising about learning early Germanic languages like Anglo-Saxon, so that I could possibly connect English and German together at their Germanic roots. A friend of mine is learning Gothic and is really enjoying the language. I’d love to read an Anglo-Saxon gospel book some day.

MoR: “By studying several cults & gods goddesses and the mysteries etc. I realised how ‘Roman’ Christianity was”

I am Christian, and I find the study of pagan theology fascinating. I believe in one God, as did the fathers of the Church, and I do not worship other gods, as it would be a deep betrayal of the sanctity of God.

While I am not a pagan, I still find pagan Roman theology interesting, both as a counterpoint for early Christian apologetics and as a subject in its own right.

“Christianity was not
a mystery religion”

Regarding Mystery Cults: I follow the most recent and well researched wave of scholarship, which concludes that Christianity was not a “mystery religion” in the same vein as, say, the Mithras cult.

“The evidence we have been examining suggests that there was little contact between Christianity and mystery cults at any time. This contrasts with a long-established scholarly tradition that tried to find considerable influence of mystery cult on Christianity. Often the debate was as much to do with contemporary concerns as with the distant past. So, for example, it suited Protestant polemicists to argue that the ‘primitive Christianity’ of the early church was corrupted by the incorporation of rites and doctrines drawn from non-Christian mystery cults… And it suited critics of Christianity as a whole to claim that many elements of Christianity, including the sacramental rituals of baptism and holy communion, were taken over directly from Mithraism.” – Hugh Bowden, Mystery Cults of the Ancient World, Princeton University Press (2010) p.207

“Pagan Theology: Overlooked”

I like studying pagan theology. I think it has been so often overlooked in modern studies of Roman paganism. Instead of viewing religion as a religion (i.e. a proposed way for reasonable humans to interact with a divine being or beings) people want to see religion only as a coded way of expressing sexism, elitism or some other secular or political goal that reflects narrow-minded modern concerns. I find it very surprising that some prominent scholars who study Roman religion have openly said they are contemptuous of all religion. Little wonder that it so commonly said that Roman religion was invented for the sake of empty traditionalism alone, or that it was a tool to manipulate the unthinking masses. I think Roman religion, at least in philosophical texts and grave inscriptions, meant much more to the people than just empty rituals.”

Answer to a complex question:
Found in the Holy Week?

MoR: “Well, gosh, wow. This will keep my brain juices working for a while I’ll admit. Not for long though. And I always (90%) come back. I spot some German determination. Schodde —> Schotte? Good. I’m a Bach wrestler since I was 19 :?

MoR: “Dear Carla, I like dialectics, as you & others know too well, id est Diskurs als argumentativer Dialog so my lateinisch discursus feedback, LOL, will be:

The answer to your very-German reply is to be found, in my view, in the Holy Week (Ἁγία καὶ Μεγάλη Ἑβδομάς) where Christians celebrate the events related to the last days of Jesus – passion, death and resurrection, among the rest.

Last Sunday I was feeling tense, tired. Therefore for some weird reason I randomly chose a Church (every 5 meters we have one in Rome) and had the luck to find a real shepherd speaking from ‘a heart’ and from a sound-theological-knowledge (as far as I can tell) brain, as well.

I’ll say I was moved to tears twice but since I never believed in signs, in the past, it is unlikely I will believe in them, in the future.

Jesus carrying the cross. Click for credits

Jesus carrying the cross. Click for credits

Regards from Rome.

Giovanni

Sex and the city (of Rome) – or (of Albion?). Season II. 2

Stonehenge

[Draft, incomprehensible perhaps, havin' just fun writing ]

 

Massimo: “Master, am I ready now?”

Giorgio: “Not yet”

Massimo [read about him when much younger Giorgio 'discovered' him (διδάσκαλος btw always hid his capabilities by looking naive: one among many tricks he had / has. Or was / is he really naive?] :

“One thing διδάσκαλε. Why have you skipped the ‘secret of the secrets post’? Will you mean that readers can rest also on Saturday?”

Giorgio, an inscrutable look in his eyes: “This is not important. Do you know who I really am μαθητής?”

In Britannia, oceani insula
cui Albion nomen est …

Manius like a numen from another universe was piercing the scene through the mist of his mind. Much to his surprise he became capable of ‘sensing’ the pupil (μαθητής) giving his Master (διδάσκαλος, Didaskalos) an ancient look that made Britannicus of the Papirii – seasoned soldier of Rome – shudder.

He could also perceive Massimo kneeling on one knee and uttering, gravely:

“O ancient-wisdom philosopher, o supreme mathematician & guide of my troubled life. I am so confused διδάσκαλε. It suddenly turned that …. (he looked kind of embarrassed now) it turned that I was unbeatable, Master, yesterday morning, on the A.S. Roma‘s soccer field. What the hell is going on διδάσκαλε? Doesn’t that reveal I a-m ready???”

 

Massimo being strong willed was no match at all for Giorgio, who ignored him, unemotional, expressionless.

It looked as if he had forgotten his pupil, absorbed as he was in his constant daily writing on his notebooks (he had a full collection of them …)

 A soldier quakes

In another time, another place a strong and iron-willed soldier lost his sight and began to quake as if possessed by demons [καὶ λέγουσιν Δαιμόνιον ἔχει ...] His head was exploding.

With an immense effort – due to the brutal training typical of any Roman army of any time – helped just a little bit by his three timid-but-perfectly-fit slaves (they were strictly forbidden to help: a black man, two female slave musicians) – the soldier of Rome succeeded di stendersi a terra, aspettare che il dolore finisse e poi lentamente, sollevando la testa verso la luna piena, recitare debolmente, ma fermamente, la seguente preghiera, che lo portò alla calma … all’amore divino …

Full moon rising from the ocean. Click for credits

Full moon rising from the ocean. Click for credits

 

Tu Luna,
luce feminea conlustrans cuncta terrarum,
iam nunc extremis subsiste,
et pausam pacem, Regina, tribue.

You Moon,
Who with your female light illuminate all lands,
Please help me in this time of adversity
And grant me, Queen, dulcis peace, and rest.

 

Ancora dolore e poi di nuovo calma e un senso di amore nuovamente a pervaderlo, che però in questa fase buia durava in effetti poco e quindi pregava spesso e ancora più spesso beveva (l’orrenda, densa birra dei barbari anglosassoni).

La vita era schifosa e bella, allegra e triste, lancinante e vibrante. E poi arrivavano quelle visioni, come in una nebbia, che oltre ad ossessionarlo gli facevano letteralmente scoppiare l’encefalo.

Dopo che Cinzia, l’unico vero amore della sua vita (Manius dei Papirii era monogamo, costume forse succhiato dalla poccia materna – parola etrusca – cioè dalla madre, nativa di Roma, madre romana dall’Urbs del mondo intero), da quando cioè Cinzia, beh, il dolore era stato talmente forte che – come Orazio, Virgilio Catullo (i sacri autori) e come soprattutto Cesare, il padre di tutto e facitore della potenza romana – da quando in sostanza Cinzia preferì un semplice retore a un filosofo pitagorico (lui) Manius si era dato agli amori facili con schiave e schiavi.

Altro precetto, oltre la tendenza alla monogamia, di sua madre – donna forte e santa che si concedeva pochi vizi (qualche droga bizantina, qualche massaggio persiano alle terme) – era che la ‘familia’ andava meglio se il paterfamilias era come – e qui giù con espressione ineffabile e Rasna – era come dire un tronco (raffinato termine dal double entendre, altra espressione, questa, dal patois gallico). Un tronco, cioè il pater, che teneva solo la casa eretta in piedi dando gioia a lei (double entendre) e a tutta la maison.

E l’amata sposa, virtuosa e traendo dal tronco forza, ci costruiva – si ripeté per farsi coraggio pensando a Iside – ci costruiva attorno la casa, come aveva fatto Ulisse, un Ulisse femmina (o androgino ermafrodito: concetto complesso esoterico, dai risvolti misticamente vibranti).

Infine, cherry on the pie (stava imparando l’anglosassone?) e altro precetto e aforisma (ne sentirete parecchi) di quella santa donna, tipicamente romano nella sua praticità e eticità al contempo, era che gli schiavi qualunque fosse il loro sesso dovevano innamorarsi del Pater (anzi “andavano acquistati – diceva la donna mentre pregava i Lari – proprio con questa tendenza nel loro Geist (Aenglish?), tendenza d’amore servile ma amore non the less verso il capo sommo e sacerdote supremo familiare.

“Tutto sarebbe andato meglio, better still (Aenglisc ancora dannazione!), veramente meglio” gli aveva ripetuto più volte in un latino quasi ciceroniano (era poliglotta Mutti, parlava una decina di lingue usate in giro per l’impero ivi compresi 3 dialetti gallici appresi ad Augusta Taurinorum prima del divorzio con il provinciale montanaro (suo padre, ma di prische virtù che a Roma, diciamolo pure – pensò Manius – si cercavano con la torcetta).

Precetto, diceva la dolce bella madre ricamando sonoramente sull’idea (aveva la passione della lira e della poesia, e a Torino aveva appreso l’arpa celtica da una schiava gallica con cui amava celebrare, assieme ad altre donne, il culto santo della Dea Bona: Bona, diciamolo, nozione sacra e veramente misterica (oltre che romana) per cui una donna bella a Roma era detta Bona), precetto poi che assicurava (se ne era accorto anche a Roma con il nuovo Pater di sua madre) che le casa funzionasse liscia come l’olio spalmato sul corpo bello, possente e attraente dei gladiatori.

 

ψ

Questo Manius pensava pregando di nuovo in ginocchio la Juno della madre.

Poi scuoteva la testa e pensava:

Ma che ‘familia’ è la mia ormai? Vivo qui, intrappolato in una torre, giocattolo di questi lerci tedeschi di cui si sente il puzzo già a quattro milia passum (e che disprezzo dal profondo dell’inner Geist.)

Perché non lo uccidevano per Bacco? Ne avrebbe portato almeno una ventina con sé nell’Ade (Manius era addestrato come il pitagorico Milone) ma almeno poi avrebbe finito la sua vita fallita e svilita per gemere tra le ombre sotterranee (ancora più infelice, non importa … ma – si chiese angosciato – c’era solo l’Ade o qualcos’altro? Scacciò il pensiero con rabbia, il Magister non lo voleva ricordare poiché anche Cinzia era stata sua allieva e nel giardino della bella domus subalpina di *** si erano dati il primo, dolcissimo, profondo, bacio d’amore.”

Scese dal piano di avvistamento all’aria aperta a quelli inferiori, protetti da occhi indiscreti.

Perfetti, nel corpo e nello spirito

I suoi schiavi erano perfetti, nel corpo e nello spirito, allenati da lui come lui a sua volta era stato allenato (e iniziato) dal Magister, provinciale forse ma di una certa fama ad Augusta Taurinorum, dove viveva ancora suo padre risposatosi con una ricca vedova, di razza celtico ligure (il padre) – un romano provinciale d’altri tempi che gli aveva trasmesso valori d’altri tempi, discendete di quei galli togati del Nord ovest, al confine con la Gallia Grande e un tempo comata (ma ora totalmente romanizzata che però si ostinava scioccamente ad adorare non si sa cosa di mistico in quel bel vulcano del massiccio centrale, il Puy de Dôme, nel territorio degli Arverni, il popolo del valoroso Vercingetorix.

ψ

Depressso, Manius Lentulus chiamato Britannicus scese i rozzi gradini con spiritualmente spossata lentezza.

Voleva una notte d’amore con uno dei servi. Gli altri due sarebbero rimasti in piedi in funzione cubicolare, attorno cioè al giaciglio (se serviva qualche bevanda, un massaggio, se serviva protezione da un attacco improvviso, giaciglio (spartano) dove il paterfamilias – con potere di vita e morte come ai bei tempi della Roma bella sacra santa – cavalcava (o veniva cavalcato, cives ormai allo sbando e senza dignitas), cavalcava, e veniva cavalcato, per tutta le santae ore della notte. Stava lasciandosi andare, lo sapeva, ma non certo gli faceva difetto il vigore, di razza romanao pura, da parte Mutti, e montanara taurina (più tosta, i romani de Roma inesorabilmente decadevano) da parte di Pater.

Ne vigore mancava ai suoi servi, atleti perfetti, come lui …

Manius era in realtà – pensò (ma qualcuno osservandolo inosservabile non era d’accordo) una nullità. Privo ormai della Venus urania si dava come logica conseguenza, quasi teorema spirituale, alla Venus carnalis.

Essere amato teneramente, rifletté con tristezza, era meglio di niente.

Anche se va da sé che non poteva amare degli animali parlanti, ma averne affetto come per un pet o puer, oh questo sì, oh veramente sì, lui lo poteva, eccome se lo poteva, perché era questa la sua familia, non un gran che – i suoi compagni di scuola, pensò, un riso amaro sulle labbra, avrebbero sghignazzato frasi scurrili (compagni in realtà sublimi, ma il sublime e lo scurrile non si fondevano forse in unità superiore, neo platonicamente?)

Platonicamente ma alla romana si intende (questa cosa dello scurrile e del sublime).

Sebbene in crisi profonda Manius Papirius Lentulus era ancora un soldato: amava la cultura greca ma solo se filtrata dall’urbs.

“Perché – l’encefalo esplodendogli, e si trovava misteriosamente, e fisicamente, di fronte ad un uditorio di Augusta – l’atto sublime dell’osanna – disse calcando la voce, la gente lo guardava attonita – alle pompae triumphales dei bei tempi, verso quei condottieri  vincitori osannati e elevati quasi a dio su terra,  andava controbilanciato, per arrivare alla mediocritas – qui la voce si fece sghignazzo possente mistico -  con i l-a-z-z-i della soldatesca!!”

Il pubblico sobrio della città di Torino era esterrefatto.

ψ

Sublime e scurrile, ripeté debolmente.

Giunto nella stanza principale prese la mano di uno dei suoi schiavi.

Il buio del locale appena illuminato da una torcia non fece distinguere se la mano presa con tenerezza (la stessa che provava per i i cani e gli esseri inferiori della natura) fosse di pelle bianca o nera ….

ψ

 

 

Related posts (see also links above) :

Sex and the city (of Rome). Season II. 1

You may like Sex and The city (of Rome.) Season I:

Sex and the City (of Rome). 1
Sex and the city (of Rome) 2

Sex and the city (of Rome) 3
Sex and the city (of Rome) 4
Sex and the city (of Rome). A Conclusion

Also:

Caesar, Great Man (and Don Juan)

Silvestri, Berlusconi and the Emperor Tiberius

How to write Greek Uncial

Man of Roma:

Found In Antiquity Carla Shodde

For lack of time I’ll reveal tomorrow the secret of secrets.

(How to Learn Ancient Greek in 7 days)

ψ

I will thus reblog Carla Shodde‘s fantastic post.

Mario: “A lose lose situation then”
“Not at all. It will allow readers to rest on the Seventh Day, according to Universal Good and Justice”
Fulvia: “I don’t get it”
30-year-old Samnite Youth: “Daje Fulvia, you’ll get ahead one day by just watching Carla Shodder writing in Greek Uncial ca. 350 CE.”

*Fulvia is staring*[Just ancient craftiness, her inner soul is void, blank void]

 

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

 

Originally posted on Found in Antiquity:

Have you ever wondered how to write in one of earliest Ancient Greek calligraphic scripts? Wonder no more! I’m happy to present the first video I’ve made for Found in Antiquity, so that you can see first hand how to write the alphabet in Greek Uncial.

What exactly is Greek Uncial?

Greek Uncial hails from the first few centuries of the Common Era. Unlike Ancient Greek cursive, Uncial is surprisingly readable even if you’re mostly used to reading modern Greek letter forms. While most of the surviving examples were written on parchment, Greek Uncial started life on papyrus and was generally used for literary texts like Homer’s Iliad (below).

2nd century AD, Greek Uncial on papyrus. From Thomson, An introduction to Greek and Latin palaeography (1912), p142.

2nd century AD, Greek Uncial on papyrus. From Thomson, An introduction to Greek and Latin palaeography (1912), p142.

It is an understated script. There are very few serifs or extra decorations. Its minimal aesthetic makes this script look very clean and…

View original 1,251 more words

France, Italy and the Legacy of Rome

Man of Roma:

Ce poste n’est pas daté, j’espère, et en tout cas il exprime l’amour des Italiens pour les Français.

Originally posted on Man of Roma:

The Roman Empire at its peak. Rome, via dei Fori Imperiali

Rome’s legacy is greater than we think – “language, literature, legal codes, government, architecture, engineering, medicine, sports, arts, etc.” – and the Roman Empire has been a powerful myth in the course of the centuries.

After Rome’s fall in 476 CE, the Holy Roman Empire, thus called since 962 CE, started to develop in 800 CE when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne in Rome as ‘Emperor and Augustus of the Romans’.

This Empire – Frankish, Germanic and later Austrian, dissolved in 1806 only – considered itself as the heir of the “First Rome” (the Western Roman Empire,) while the Hellenized Eastern Roman Empire, Byzantium, was called the “Second Rome” and remained unconquered until 1453 CE.

When also Byzantium (Constantinople) fell, even the Islamic conqueror, the Ottoman Mehmed II, thought he was continuing the power of Rome and tried to “re-unite the Empire” although his march towards Italy was…

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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 col cappello calato gli occhi quasi nascosti dalle rughe che pare sia di Birmingham

[Lello dice che è di Birmingham. 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 mi s’è come ingufita coll’età).

Sorrentino ce sta a fa’ 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 a fa’ 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 se 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 me fa impazzì.

Gran bucio de c… profumato

la grande bellezza

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

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!!) – parossismo – CHE CE CAMMINAMO TUTTI SOPRA!!!!”

[Ok, non sarò Augusto Lello ecc, ma er romanesco lo mastico, mia nonna era de via Garibaldi]

The Great Beauty by

Altra pausa. Si bbeve. Er calore de ste Ceres comincia a impregnacce.

Lello, lo vedo, è un poco ‘allertato’

Poi, ‘na lievissima sfumatura de complicità (divertita?) Lello disce:

“Tutti sopra ‘sto bucio de culo”

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

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

“Che è profumato. Riconfermo”. C’è  qualcosa che non va.

Ma sentendomi provocato sbotto, incazzato come Agosto (quello a piazza de’ Renzi 15, che si incazzava davvero, non era un fintone, e Sandro il figlio, l’ho visto piccolo, è come lui)

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

Credevo d’avello beccato ‘n pieno. Erore. Ridiventa ‘na statua. Che soggetto, minchia, e potrebbe esse mio figlio …  :?

ψ

A ripensarci, ora che lo scrivo, mi salta in quer boccino er solito carme:

[no 'n bbuzzuro stavolta, ma carme nella lingua delle madri che la sera deambulav... lasciamo perdere]

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

ψ

Poi d’un tratto, uomo dalle infinite risorse, Lello trasfigura, la pelle je se chiazza, l’occhio sinistro mosso dan lieve tremito.

Allora t’ho colpito, stronzo. ma te 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 na certa atmosfera che è solo de ‘ste parti … discorso lungo, da non fare ora (anche perché credo che ‘n ce porta 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 co gli Augusti, I Lelli -, al punto che la tragica diffusione di un simile ‘tipo psicologico’, qui, è uno dei motivi per cui molti italiani … sparlano di Roma.

Al bar 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 sarà tranquillo - Mario non capisce un cavolo - ma già con 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, t-e  s-e  m-a-g-n-a".

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

[Che è st'anima? Che ne so. Ma che Mario l'anima non ce l'abbia mi sembra l'unica verità scientifica della storia della teologia]

Lello, antico,
laconico (e non cazzaro)

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

Sterminato.

Cerco di darvi un’idea.

ψ

Da 20 anni frequenta il centro storico (“la mia famiglia è de llì: co’ ggenitori, e i nonni, e i bisnonni, e i trisnonni -e via cantando- ci arrivi fino Adamo”).

Detto come una cantilena, difficile da spiegare, che è ritmata dalla ‘o’ di nonni (da dove viene? Mah).

ψ

Lo vedo ‘na 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 (qualcuno al palo c’è, purtroppo) nonostante la crisi se la cava, ai vari livelli della gradinata sociale.

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

E Lello, che il frescone e fannullone Mario non può capire, Lello in realtà fa.

Un piccolo
ma fiorente commercio

Lello lavora, s’ingegna.

Buon marito e buon padre di due figli, ha raggiunto la sua modesta prosperità con il commercio di cellulari e tablet a costo bassissimo, che la gente compra perché non gira più ‘na 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 (è però nota tutto e 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 je 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 niente delle 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 vede’ sti romani che se tuffano ancora da’ ponti (no Lello), con mezza falange in meno ar medio (sì Lello, cqui: ‘na sforbiciata a 16 anni).

Aaa vede’ cioè ‘sti tosti che s’industriano, che non aspettano tutto dar stato, ognuno col su’ stile, qui e in altre regioni del paese, spina dorsale che impedisce che il corpaccione italiano s’afflosci.

In altre parole, a vede’ na 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 nemmerno le minorenni slave sulla Salaria … cazzo!

A vede’ sti ggiovani che lottano, che imparano le lingue straniere,  che vanno ‘n culo ar monno dovunque ci sia ‘no 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 infondo voglio bene, me dice: daje, 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 Marioo, ma la domanda scusate che spontanea cazzo ce sorge a ‘sto punto fangulo è la seguente:

A’ Sorrentinoooos! Sarai puro Napoletano talentuoso (lo sei) ma la conosci veramente Roma? O sella 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 (puro Pupi Avati?) s’è addirittura ‘nbestialiddoooo?

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 ... who's kidding who]

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

Pianoforte romano

Ora, a me il film de Sorrentinos piasce, ma me fa puro ‘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 (passata, gone, dead).

In loro onore dicevo ‘sta 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

Ripropossta pure qui (Mario: “per puro narcisismo, cojone” “Sei un fregnone – ma ciai raggione?” “Sì” “No” “sta minghiaaa”) :


Per te, e per tutti voi – (Gino, Sergio, Spartaco, Gianni e Samanta), oltre che pe’ sti napoletani a cui vojamo bene, no Mario? So’ i nostri cugini) – butto llà ‘sto pezzo de cazzo de pianoforte non decadente (me lo si permetta, Sorrentinooos).

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

“Un po’ contemporanea, ‘sta litania.

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

 

Roman Renaissance fountan

 

Ecco un clip del La Grande Bellezza, in tutta la sua struggente (in all its aching) … beauty bellezza.

Dulcis in fundo Pino Daniele, napoletano 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 raggione" Ma il partenopeo "ste nutizie nu ssierve" Depaardieu mostra i braccioni "a fijo de ‘na mignotta, vviè cqua" ma viene travolto da' stilettata greca colta ... "ta' soreta è latrina, e matre, a te, na  pumpinare jamme jamme JAMME!!"]

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

Locking Horns with a Young Roman

Originally posted on Man of Roma:

Locking Horns. Fair use

In an earlier post we had said that our writings are finding free inspiration in the technique of dialectics which involves a dialogue we carry out 1) within our mind, 2) among minds (mostly through books) and 3) with readers.

As far as point 2) since we are not important persons, hence not in a position to recreate at our place a circle with top intellectuals, this virtualSymposium is what is left to us.

Which involves a certain number of virtual guests, a virtual guest being “a quotation or just a reference to a book passage“. The ideas of an author, dead or alive, participate in the discussion thanks to the greatest invention of all time: writing.

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I was trying to explain this whole “Virtual Symposium & Writing” concept to this young (and uncouth) Roman, some time ago.

We locked horns a bit, like…

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A Little Taste Of Piedmont (In Rome)

Turin with Mole Antonelliana and the Alps in the background

Turin, capital of Piedmont, with Mole Antonelliana and the Alps in the background. Wikipedia. Click for credits and to enlarge

I have already talked about my mother’s side of the family by posting, among the rest, excerpts from the memoirs of Carlo Calcagni.

Today, back from a short visit to Turin, I feel like speaking of my father’s family, who is from Piedmont.

Piedmont means “at the foot of the mountains ” (Latin ‘ad pedem montium‘.)

Which mountains by the way? The North-West Alps bordering Switzerland and France.

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Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour (1810–1861), also called Cavour

Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour (1810–1861), also called Cavour, was a leading figure in the Italian unification process and first Prime Minister of Italy. Painting by Antonio Ciseri (1821-1891). Click for credits and to enlarge

Grandfather Mario was from Cavour, while grandmother Carolina was from Turin although her family was originally from Susa, in the Alpes Cottiae.

Grandpa, of whom I have knowledge only from parents’ and relatives’ narrations, I’ve already mentioned here. He is one positive male role model I had, together with my father a bit and my mother’s brothers who however belonged to a totally different, central-Italy, culture.

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I experienced some friction with my dad. A family tradition since he too had problems with his father while he was totally captivated by his mother Carolina.

Dad always told me that grandpa was ‘a scientist’ while grandma ‘was an artist who grasped nuances’. She was by the way a painter.

I never quite understood this nuances thing. Grandpa perhaps grasped other nuances that grandma and my dad – who seemingly ‘grasped nuances’ too – could not perceive.

Grandpa Mario in his last years before he died in 1946

Grandpa Mario in his last years before he passed away in 1946

At any rate nonna Carolina though not personally cooking ruled the kitchen (and the house) with an iron hand in a velvet glove. Only when she fell ill my mother could take over in some way.

The food served at our childhood table, in our house in Rome, was almost always very good thanks to the more-than-average cooking skills of Nerina, the cook, and to grandma’s recipes and firm guidance.

When nonna Carolina, after a good dish that perhaps had cost some efforts, asked her husband whether he had enjoyed the pietanza, or dishMario invariably replied:

“Ben cotto” (‘well cooked’.)

In truth – my father’s humorous comment – nonno had absolutely no interest in food and perhaps when asked for an appreciation he had even forgotten the dish just eaten: culinary art had apparently no place among his interests.

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In any case grandpa, like many Piedmontese, had a sweet tooth.

My Alpine female cousins (my dad’s sister’s daughters) once told me that nonno took them occasionally to a bar (a café) and bought them una pasta (a small pastry.)

This thing of la pasta al bar I have experienced myself via papà who, being Mario’s son, took me in his turn to Bar Cigno – the once elegant café in Viale Parioli (Parioli‘s main street) – where I too was offered una pasta.

Bignè or beignet, the typical 'pasta' or pastry one can eat in an Italian 'bar'

Bignè, the typical ‘pasta’ or pastry one can eat in an Italian bar (café)

Now that almost 60 years have elapsed, thinking about it with affection, this rite of ‘la pasta’ was nonetheless curious.

At a good Italian bar – back then and today – one can consume a bunch of things.

Had my father been a Roman he would have bought us, depending on the occasion, cornetti (croissants) with chocolate or cream, maritozzi con la panna (Roman sweet buns with whipped cream and currants), pie slices of any kind (as is the habit in Germany or in the US,) carnival cakes (frappe, castagnole etc.), Sicilian cassata with ricotta and candied fruit, Neapolitan pastiera, a good selection of ice-creams plus pizza, pizzettine, pizzette, various sandwiches and the legendary Parioli’s American club sandwiches of the 60s.

['Wicked' - a young English friend would comment]

We were instead taken by dad to the bar and bought la pasta.

Now, even limiting ourselves to pastry, due to pastries’ large variety, the rite was nonetheless sober since we were usually served just a small bignè (a cream puff: see above.)

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A sober, simple rite, ‘la pasta al bar’. But we liked it that way.

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