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Manius Papirius Lentulus (soldier of Rome) & Massimo: totally rewritten

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The gorgeous Sutton Hoo helmet reconstructed

The gorgeous Sutton Hoo helmet reconstructed

The story of Manius Papirius Lentulus & Massimo has been totally rewritten (as a draft, of course.) You can read it here.

α

The Samnite: “What are you talking about?”

Giorgio: “Well, you know that novel we were discussing here in our living room a couple of months ago.”

The Samnite: “You mean the story on both Ancient Britannia & today’s Rome?”

Giorgio: “Exactly. It foresees at least two universes, but I would say infinite ones, as Giordano Bruno had imagined – the one burned by the Catholic Church in the late Counter Reformation Renaissance – & as modern physicists imagine today too.”

ω

Ok, readers, words are enough.

All the best,

MoR

[*enjoying Brazil- Germany on TV, and feeling sorry for the humiliation of a great soccer team. They have to react, damn! Massimo, soccer ex promising star: "Their defence is too weak, although it has always been like that ..."  Giorgio: Brazil 1-7 Germany. Astonishing. Not that I am not glad for Germany, although I am thinking of those favelas where soccer is the salt of life ...*]

Is Ben Jonson (l’Aretino) a sadistic Fox?

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Una raffigurazione di Volpone di Aubrey Beardsley

Volpone‘s tunic is in fact VERY large, many pockets here and there hiding so many things one can never tell where this man will bring us. But in any case. *Grinning*. Source

By Volpone (aka MoR)

Hearts sometimes do skip a beat
[I am late with my post, MoR]
And in fact weird things occurring
And emerging disconcerting
It’ll be the matter elsewhere.

“Where, where, where, where”
[say the buds et li lettori enchanted]
Well, beloved friends, should you be there
Id est the 14th day after the previous writing …

“Inviting, exciting, so much reuniting”
[the buds in truth are restless, perturbed]
*He pauses. Reflects, and scratches a bit his perrwige. Then takes a deep breath*

Ψ

Now, luck yet send us, and a little wit
Will serve, to make our Play hit,
According to the palates of the season
Here is rhyme, not empty of reason.

This you were bid to credit, from our Poet,
Whose true scope, if you would know it,
In all his Poems, still, hath been this measure,
To mix profit, with your pleasure.

Not as some (whose throats their envy failing)
Cry hoarsely: all he writes is railing!

L’Aretino, subverting the system in Renaissance Italy. Source

Flavia & Fulvia: “Basta!”

Old Man [a bit from Arezzo, like L' Aretino, incidentally]: “Why on earth?”

Flavia [Fulvia does not know whether to leave or to stay, her boobs dancing, no matter what] :

“Because – Flavia’s smile is strange – you’ll never write that novel c’mon.

You are sadistic. Checking your exchanges it turns Andreas once wrote: “Ah, Man of Roma, you finally got Anglo-Saxons just need to be spanked.” Therefore, with a story that never starts … you keep them walking on thin ice “

Old Man: “Or on a razor’s edge, my domina. Although, your words making me upset, I will leave this room right now.”

[Exit]

*Flavia and Fulvia pale. They’ve caught a glimpse of a paddle’s (or of a whip’s) handle flashing from MoR’s large tunic*

Pietro Aretino as painted by Tiziano. Wikipedia

Pietro Aretino as painted by Tiziano. Wikipedia

Ψ

*The buds look unaffected. But Cyberqwil the Austrian is snickering & Pavlos the Greek merchant too, although his eyes are lost in the sees where he belongs*

Ψ

The Anglo-Saxons, ça va sans dire, control their emotions much better than we Latin do – *MoR is thinking* – also because (despite their virtues and staggering achievements) showing and accepting emotions is not their forte.

Which makes them even more addictive.

And yet, MoR’s probing mind – he always lived with women, incidentally – is sensing like glimmers in their eyes (the men and the women alike.)

No, no no, mamma mia!

If THAT is what they need (Andreas is always right, he’s German no kidding) my novel will make them blush.

Ψ

At the other end of Europe, on a rainy island, Erika Leonard aka  E. L. James is paling too.

For reasons nobody can fathom.

So far.

Fifty shades of grey

Related stuff:

[ I’ll take my time, although I’ll start with:

i. Andreas Kluth aka Hannibal Man in a TED conference on ‘failure and success in life’ as impostors (see If, by R. Kipling)

ii. Piero Boitani. 1. The Gospel according to Shakespeare. 2. Chaucer and the Imaginary World of Fame. 3. Il grande racconto delle stelle (P. Boitani’s summa btw where you find ALL (I took 6 months to read it Gosh! It is always on my desk) as Pietro Citati observes on Milan’s daily Corriere della sera.

Piero Boitani, Gabinetto Vieusseux, Firenze,  1910

Piero Boitani, Gabinetto Vieusseux, Firenze, 1910

Here’s Piero Boitani with Claudio Magris (our German studies guy and ‘Habsburg myth in modern Austrian literature’ expert, among the rest.)

Piero Boitani with Claudio Magris

 

 

 

 

 

At a Londinium cafe. Exchange between Maximus (soldier of Rome) and Richardus (an Ancient Briton)

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An outdoors cafe in Rome

Outdoor cafe in Rome. Courtesy of Lonely Planet

[stolen from here onwards]

MoR: “I think I’ve commented here twice. Well, ok. Good night Richardus.”

Richard: “Twice? That’s because you’re so much faster than me, relatively speaking.”

MoR: “I am slower, Richardus.”

MoR (*using too many smartphones in outdoor cafes, people screaming toasting): ” I am confused. Got moderated, probably. 1:20 am Rome’s time. Time to get back home. G’night.”

Richard: ” Keep a watch for predatory animals and itinerant males.”

Manius Papirius Lentulus Maxumus (soldier of Rome):

“I always do.”

An old Anglo-Saxon weapon, called an axe-hammer. Click for credits

An ancient Anglo-Saxon weapon, called an axe-hammer. Source

M. P.L.M: “An inspiring man, Richardus, stemming from the Ancient Britons, id est the Romano-British prior to the adventus Saxonum [the good ol' days, *sighing*]. Hope R. won’t get upset about my reposting his article on The Magic Mountain. “

Richardus: ” I hereby give retrospective consent, relatively speaking. Not so sure about the inspiring, unless you refer to my snoring.
I was just guessing about my Ancient Briton heritage. It must be there somewhere.”

MoR (*tapping on his phone, sun having risen tho his studio getting none*):

“Wull, snuuring can be inspuuring”
Said the Saxon with distraction
Rising his axe that is never lax
Tho THIS Brittonic is faster: he *thwacks*

Now the time, sodalis, has arrived,
An ancient heritage we ought to dive,
For u to reveal in full detail
Tonite, u sprite, [yes!] over ale.

Maxumus

Capitoline She-Wolf. Rome, Musei Capitolini. Public domainYou might like other dialogues of the same sort.

The Roman Jews (1). Are They the Most Ancient Romans Surviving?

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Man of Roma:

No thoughts to add. Only to remind Lichanos that Romans do not surrender (and don’t take prisoners.)

ψ

On a side note, the one-post-a-day discipline has ended so we’ll now post once every three days.

ψ

More time for living? For writing?

Flavia: “Sei un universo introverso”
The Old Man: “Sei un universo estroverso”

Why on earth 2 opposite universes (not to mention one being a matriarch the other a patriarch, one a man one a woman) EVER got together?

ψ

Exeunt … *quarelling*

Exeunt … *smiling*

Mario: “BASTA!”

Originally posted on Man of Roma:

An image of the Roman Ghetto. Giggetto restaurant and Augustus' Porticus Octaviae behind

An image of the Roman Ghetto. The famous Giggetto restaurant on the left with Augustus’ Porticus Octaviae in the background

“Who’s more Roman than the Roman Jews? Some of us date back from the times of Emperor Titus [39-81 AD]” – Davide Limentani told me in the early 80s.

Limentani was (and perhaps still is) at the head of a big wholesale and retail glass and silver company in Rome. I had phoned him three days earlier for an interview that had to be published on the Roman daily La Repubblica.

Ditta LimentaniI remember a lovely spring day in the old alleys of the Roman Ghetto, with swallows crying over a glorious blue sky. He was sitting at his desk in the aisle of an impressively ramified, catacomb-like store in via Portico d’Ottavia 47 (look at its stripped-down sign above,) crammed with an immense variety of crystal, pottery…

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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 extremely good, Sicilian-sunny and much 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 watching trees or the sky on a park bench.

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

So Paolo 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.”

How to write Greek Uncial

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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…

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Locking Horns with a Young Roman

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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.

ψ

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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