POETRY / LITERATURE

All posts in the POETRY / LITERATURE category

FAMOUS ITALIAN WRITERS

Published September 19, 2014 by Tony

 

ITALIAN BOOKS TO READ

Italy is worldwide well known for many things, and in a cultural context we can’t forget writers and poets. In a hypothetical list of places to see and things to eat, those who love Italy should not forget to also note some “work” to be read.
Lately, there are some Italian writers who have become famous abroad, apart from high-sounding names with their famous classics, undisputed masterpieces of literature, such as Dante Alighieri, Alessandro Manzoni, Luigi Pirandello, Giovanni Verga, etc.
Among the Italian authors who in recent decades have become known abroad, with millions of copies sold, international awards, translations in many languages and, in some cases, even film adaptations of their books, I can mention:

Umberto Eco. A long list of Italian and foreign honors for him. “The Name of the Rose” (1980), translated into 47 languages and sold over thirty million copies, then transposed to the movies. The satirical novel “Foucault’s Pendulum” (1988).
Alberto Bevilacqua (deceased in 2013). “Caliph” (1964), “This kind of love” (1972).
Oriana Fallaci. Successful author with books of fiction, she sold all over the world more than twenty million copies. “Letter to a Child Never Born” (1975) and “A Man” (1979) are probably her most famous books.
Claudio Magris. “Danube” (1986), is perhaps his masterpiece that established him as one of the greatest contemporary Italian writers.
Roberto Saviano. Author of “Gomorrah” (2006) and “Zerozerozero” (2013), collaborates with the New York Times, Time, Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Times, El Pais.
Giorgio Faletti (deceased in 2014). Author of bestsellers such as “I kill” (2002) and “The Killer In My Eyes” (2004), translated into thirty languages.
Susanna Tamaro.  “Follow your Heart” (2006)

If you want a longer list of recommended international authors, I recommend you the ranking published by Peter Boxall and Peter Acroyd in their book “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.”
But, back to the initial speech, among the most famous Italian authors who have made history (masterpieces of Italian literature that are even academic subjects in schools), cutting down to the bone I can quote:

DIVINE COMEDY  (Dante Alighieri, 1265–1321)
THE BETROTHED (Alessandro Manzoni, 1785–1873)
THE LEOPARD (Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, 1896–1957)

But I also would add others authors like Giovanni Verga, Giovanni Pascolo, Torquato Tasso, Ludovico Ariosto, Ugo Foscolo, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Italo Svevo, Carlo Levi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Cesare Pavese, Edmondo De Amicis (with his children’s novel “Heart”),  or masterworks like:

The Adventures of Pinocchio (Carlo Collodi, 1826–1890)
One, No one and One Hundred Thousand  (Luigi Pirandello, 1867–1936)
Decameron  (Giovanni Boccaccio, 1313–1375)

Works that, in addition to being undisputed masterpieces, reflect different historical moments and/or areas of our country, giving a meaningful picture.

I hope these books make enjoyable reading.

Naples is a song

Published April 27, 2014 by Tony

 

 

NAPULE E’ NA CANZONE
(De Cristofaro, E. A. Mario – 1922)

Se vonno purtà Napule

nun saccio a qua’ paese

miliardarie ca fanno spese

se ne trovano ‘nquantità

Nu bellu juorno, tèccote

s’appura, ditto ‘nfatto

ca Pusilleco ha fatto ‘o sfratto

e ‘o Vesuvio va’ trova addó’ sta

Ma, pe’ s’ ‘a purtà

nun sanno ancora comm’hann’ ‘a fà

No, niente ce pò

pe’ spustà Napule ‘a dó’ sta mo

Sì, só’ migliare ‘e prugette

ma chi ce se mette

maje niente pò fà

E tutte ‘a vònno Napule

ma nisciuno s’ ‘a pò purtà

Chi ‘a vò’ purtá in America

chi ‘a vò’ purtá in Giappone

ma ll’Europa se fa ragione

dice: “E’ meglio ca resta a me”

E allora va in Germania?

Va ‘n Francia o in Inghilterra?

Pò succedere n’ata guerra

pe’ decidere chi ll’ha da avé

Ma, pe’ s’ ‘a purtà

…………………………

Quanta ‘ngigniere vènono

Ma che prugette fanno?

Comme vènono, se ne vanno

Se ne vanno, ma pe’ turnà

Chi ‘a vò’ tirà cu ‘o mángano

scastrata intera intera

Chi ‘a vò’ spartere cu maniera

piezzo piezzo e po’ ‘a torna a ‘ncullà

Ma, pe’ s’ ‘a purtà,

mo ce ‘o ccunziglio comm’hann’ ‘a fá

No, niente ce vò

ma ‘o mezzo è facile pe’ chi ‘o vò’

Quanno na bella canzone

cu tutt’ ‘a passione

s’arriva a cantà,

pe’ tutt’ ‘o munno, Napule

dint’ ‘o core, se pò purtà

They want to take Naples away

I do not know in which country

billionaires who can spend

they are found in quantity

One day, here’s

it turns out, that in fact

that Posillipo did the eviction and

who knows the Vesuvius where’s

But, to take it away

they still do not know how to do it

No, nothing can be done

to move Naples where it is now

Yes, there’re thousands of projects

but whoever puts in

nothing can do

And everyone wants Naples

but no one can carry it away

Who wants to bring it to America,

who wants to bring it in Japan,

but Europe resign itself to

says: “better if it remain with me”

and then does it go to Germany?

does go to France or England?

Another war could break out

to decide who should have it

But, to take it away

…………………………..

Any engineer who arrives

but what plans do they do?

as they arrive so they left

they go away, but to come back

wo wants to pull it with the catapult

unlock it entirely

who wants to split it with criteria,

piece by piece, and then to paste it

But to take it away

now I advise ’em how to do

no, it doesn’t take anything

but the way is easy for who wants to

when a good song

with all the passion

you are able to sing

throughout the world, Naples,

in the heart it can be delivered

A very old Neapolitan song, that to show how Naples was beautiful, wryly talks about people who would like to take it away. As usually I tried to translate it for you.

NERO SYNDROME

Published February 16, 2014 by Tony

– POWER SEEKING –

The term “syndrome of Nero ” refers to that phenomenon for which people who hoped to go down in history as artists, and fail, whether there is an opportunity, they then fall back on the management of the power, leaving their artistic dreams unrealized.
As to say that at high levels the frustration produces monsters, because such individuals, in their youth, have not found the craved cheering audience, although convinced that they deserved it.
There is someone, like the Italian writer Enrico Buonanno, who with his book entitled precisely “the syndrome of Nero “, makes analogies that lead to the following conclusion: every tyrant is concealed behind a failed artist!

The journey begins by Nero who hoped to be remembered as a good dramatist, poet and actor, and who, instead, deficient in all three fields, has gone down in history as one of the worst emperors, most totalitarian and self-satisfied as ever.
About Napoleon, we remember the many victories, but many forget that as a young man he wrote horrible novels and dialogues.
Mussolini failed through poetry, fiction and tragedies.
Hitler painted very ugly paintings and had been repeatedly rejected at the Imperial Academy in the early ‘900.
Goebbels, the Reich’s minister of culture, before burning all the books, during his youth had tried in vain to get published, scribbling meaningless comedies.
Marx, before the Revolution tried to imitate Shakespeare and Goethe, publishing miserable collections of poetry, wishing to become a novelist.
And what about the non-pianist Lenin, or Stalin’s chants who loved poetry and drama.
But the similarities continue into more modern times, just remember the manuals wrote by Kim Jong who dreamed to be a director, or the war criminal Karadzic, another failed poet. Saddam published short bedouin stories, as Gaddafi published a book of short stories titled “Escape to Hell.”
Perhaps, these events may not reflect the whole truth behind such sick minds, but these affinities surprise and should warn us against lousy person or losers who, getting no applause, go to look elsewhere their mania of grandeur.

Gollum’s ring

Published June 10, 2013 by Tony

A Cursed Ring

Vyne_Ring

Most probably it was an old ring to inspire the trilogy of Lord of the Rings.
In 1929, the archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler consulted the philologist John R. Tolkien to know more about the etymology of a word engraved in a gold faith from the Roman era, found in the 19th century far away from Lydney, and dating probably from the 4th century. The ring originally the property of a British Roman called Silvianus, it was apparently stolen by a person named Senicianus, upon whom Silvianus called down a curse.
A lead plaque of a type known as a “curse tablet” was discovered at the site of a Roman temple dedicated to the god Nodens (Celtic deity) at Lydney.
The plaque was inscribed with a curse:
 
“DEVO NODENTI SILVIANVS ANILVM PERDEDIT DEMEDIAM PARTEM DONAVIT NODENTI INTER QVIBVS NOMEN SENICIANI NOLLIS PETMITTAS SANITATEM DONEC PERFERA VSQVE TEMPLVM DENTIS”
[For the god Nodens. Silvianus has lost a ring and has donated one-half [its worth] to Nodens. Among those named Senicianus permit no good-health until it is returned to the temple of Nodens).

It is known that for his Trilogy Tolkien was inspired by the tetralogy “Der Ring des Nibelungen” by Richard Wagner, but it is indicative that in 1937, just seven years after that the writer had seen the ring of Senicianus, “The Hobbit” came to light.
The ring Senicianus is present at an exhibition at The Vyne, the seventeenth-century residence of Lor Sandys, Lord Chamberlain of Henry VIII, who assumes a bond between the ring and Tolkien’s work.

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A POEM

Published March 26, 2013 by Tony

Eduardo De Filippo

Eduardo De Filippo was and will be remembered as a great actor of theater and cinema, but not everyone knows that, in addition to being a great playwright, he has also written numerous poems. I’m going to propose you the one entitled “Pensieri Miei” (My Thoughts or I think it should be more suitable to translate as Thoughts of mine), and even daring to translate it into English.
It’s a poem about our “thoughts” that, as Eduardo says, they often do not have the courage to come out intact (nude), like they are born. And even if they would do, at cost of their life, then there will be always someone who tries to “cover” them. You will certainly understand that it is a metaphor.

THOUGHTS OF MINE

Penziere mieje, levàteve sti panne,
stracciàtev’ ‘a cammisa, e ascite annuro.
Si nun tenite n’abito sicuro,
tanta vestite che n’avit’ ‘a fa?
Menàteve spugliate mmiez’ ‘a via,
e si facite folla, cammenate.
Si sentite strillà, nun ve fermate:
nu penziero spugliato ‘a folla fa.
Currite ncopp’ ‘a cimma ‘e na muntagna,
e quanno ‘e piede se sò cunzumate:
un’ànema e curaggio, e ve menate…
nzerrano ll’uocchie, primm’ ‘e ve menà!
Ca ve trovano annuro? Nun fa niente.
Ce sta sempe nu tizio canusciuto,
ca nun ‘o ddice… ca rimmane muto…
e ca ve veste, primm’ ‘e v’atterrà.
Thoughts of mine, take off your clothes
tear the shirt and outputs naked.
If you do not keep a precise dress,
why do you have so many clothes?
Go stripped out in the street,
and if it becomes crowded in, walk.
If you hear screaming, do not stop,
a nude thought attracts crowd.
Run over the top of a mountain,
and when your feet will be worn out:
with spirit and courage, throw yourself…
closing your eyes before jumping!
Do they find you nude? It does not matter.
There is always a known guy
who will say nothing… who will stay silent…
and who will dress you before burying.
         

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