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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Gabriele D’Annunzio

Published March 8, 2013 by Tony

The aidoiomaniac D’Annunzio
An Intellectual More than a Playboy

Gabriele D'Annunzio

Gabriele d’Annunzio (1863 -1938), also known as “il Vate” (the prophet), was an Italian writer, poet, politician and journalist, who coming from a middle class family became a symbol of the Italian Decadence and famous for his compositions as well as for his particular sexual habits.
Porco alato e geniale” (Pig winged and genius), he described himself, while biographers addressed him as “Genius and recklessness“.  Among the aspects of the writer’s Decadence, there is aestheticism art, or art conceived as Beauty which must be above all; the practical aestheticism, according to which also the life must be realized in absolute freedom, outside and above every law and moral restraint; the panismo which is the tendency to surrender to the life of the senses and instincts, and finally the man as “superman“, the ruler of a world beyond good and evil, where instinct is the only truth because morality is a lie, and where the man that resembles the beast then outdoes man, beyond human becoming hero, while getting rid of the ethics that prohibits lust, he can dare everything that gives pleasure. A description, this, that is very close to the aberrant “Superman” concept conceived by Nietzsche.

Already in his youth, d’Annunzio showed an ambitious and uninhibited character and, in fact, at sixteen already had his first sexual experience. In Florence, during a school trip, he evaded janitor’s surveillance and with a gold wristwatch, a gift of his grandfather, paid a prostitute with whom he wished to have sex.
In 1881 he moved to Rome to continue his studies at the university, where,  trying to reach fame and glory, attended worldly circles of Roman salons, beginning to appreciate the sumptuous and scandalous lives of the rich bourgeoisie, through adventures and love stories. His exceptional sexuality blew and he will earn in emotions and sex delights, even if this entailed moral values violation. According to some biographers, his actual d'Annunzio at 10 yearsmistresses were hundred and fifty. Half a thousand for some, and even four thousand according to others, with the inevitable cocaine snorting.

As the biographers say, this “sex superman” really did not love all those women, except perhaps, a little bit, Maria Hardouin and Eleonora Duse. Maria Hardouin was the daughter of Giulio, Duke of Gallese, who d’Annunzio married at 20 years in 1883, probably for reasons of interest and because of noble rank. They had met a few years earlier and a love at first sight, but even though a minor, during a walk the lecherous man took her to a grove, on the outskirts of Rome, and deflowered her. Among the collection of poems “Intermezzo di rime” also is included “Peccato di maggio“, in which the writer described in detail what happened in the woods. The young Duchess soon became pregnant, raising a scandal. The Duke Giulio, furious, vetoed the marriage and denounced d’Annunzio for corruption of minors, despite his wife, Mary’s mother, called for a shotgun wedding. In response, the two lovers fled together and got married in a hurry, but without the consent of the duke, who did not want to see anymore both his daughter and the son-in-law.

A marriage that will last long but unfortunate for the young lady, also if from their union were born three children. “My dear Gabriele was a husband physically incapable of being faithful,” the Duchess bitterly confessed later, when after the third child will separate from him. In fact, the new series of post-marriage lovers began immediately with the journalist Olga Roman Ossani, then followed by Elvira Natalia Fraternali, estranged wife of Count Ercole Leoni, although in the meantime the writer were not shirking to his conjugal “duty”. Hard days for Elvira because meantime the “supreme Vate”  had already set his sights on the Sicilian Princess Maria Gravina Cruyllas Ramacca, which he called a “erotic nymphomaniac”. A good match! In a tormented relationship lasted three years, the Sicilian princess gave birth to two children, Ariel’s sons (the personal nickname of the poet), who legitimated only the first child. It was 1895 when he began his relationship with the famous actress Eleonora Duse, who was in search of a true love and believed to have found it by Ariel. And the illusion of love will cost her dearly, and not just for the money that the loved boyfriend snatched her by deception, but because while she was sacrifying her prestige, exposing herself to the audience boos, he already was enjoying with a new paramour, the young actress Juliet Gordigiani. Actress, young and beautiful, but poor and this was not good for him that needed rich women. “I forgive him to Maria Gravina with the daugtherhave abused of myself, ruined and humiliated me. I forgive everything because I loved him”,  Duse said when left him definitively.

After a while, the tireless lover found another right woman, Alessandra Starabba Rudini, twenty-eight beautiful and rich, widow of the Marquis Carlotti.
His biographers say that in three years of living together, the great showman D’Annunzio got by the Marchesa Rudini amounts ten times higher than the one extorted to Duse in nine years. The last two years were very sad for the marquise because fell seriously ill, but meanwhile, the host had already a new mistress for giving vent to his inexhaustible lust, the Countess Josephine Mancini.
However, when he was no longer able to cope with the many creditors, decided it was time for a change of scenery and moved alone to Paris. The great seducer had already chosen the appropriate girlfriend to live and work peacefully in Paris, the Russian countess (French by adoption) Natalia de Goloubeff, 27, separated from her husband, who welcomed him at her home in Paris. The combination was perfect, he needed money and she sex.
Fool of the blackest Slavic massacre,” he said about her, as she considered him “crazy for sex and beautiful women, virile and perfumed as few“. But, as soon as her financial resources were lost, due to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, Ariel left her. During the last of the five years spent in Paris, he had some French sex playmates, as Marie de Regnier and Amélie Mazoyer, his housekeeper nicknamed Aelis (24 years less than the prophet), who followed him in Italy, when he returned in 1915 to become a soldier, enlisting as a volunteer during the First World War.
Besides devotion, one of Aelis’s quality that d’Annunzio appreciated more, especially with the passing of years, was a not common skill for fellatio, hence her nickname Aelis from helice, “helix” in French. “She has a beautiful mouth, in addition to the hand that gives oblivion,” Gabriele said of her.
During the conflict he lost partial vision in one eye, but as a man of theater, he participated more in the war performing on the stage, representing his true and false war actions, rather than by real.
In 1921, in Gardone, in the picturesque scenery of Lake Garda, d’Annunzio found the house of his dreams: a large villa of 36 rooms, which he titled the “Vittoriale of the Italians”.  After the restoration work, carried out with the financial support of Mussolini, he made it a national monument, donating it to the Italian State for paying his debts.
Mussolini also gave him what the bourgeois writer always had dreamed, Eleonora Duseproposing him for a nobiliar title, then conferred in 1924 by King Vittorio Emanuele III, letting he became the Prince of Montenevoso.

In spite of his advanced age, in those years other lovers followed, as the writer from Trieste Olga Levi Brunner,  the Venetian pianist Luisa Bàccara, and a certain Leila, all younger than him.
In that palace-mausoleum, the Prince of Montenevoso spent the last seventeen years of his mad and adventurous life, with profound suffering for his physical decline, often expressed by behavioral oddities and excessive frugality or sullenness, but always obsessed by sex, by frantic search of pleasure, eroticism and lust, and now even devoting more himself in masturbation, despite the age.
The last two women that remained close to him, were the faithful Aélis and Bàccara, forced to watch also to his bleak and dismal degradation, like satyr erotic rites that the seventy year old man organized from time to time. Gabriele d’Annunzio, the magician of perversion, among other things also invented the macabre eroticism, while lying naked in a coffin some prostitutes, also naked, kissed him from head to toe. Although nothing is written about, it is said that the teacher did not disdained others pervy sex affairs like pissing, shitting, and that maybe took away two ribs to better practice self-fellatio, all things truly uncommon for that era.
Gabriele d’Annunzio died at 75 years for a brain hemorrhage, and at his funeral, as well as Mussolini, attended his wife with three children, Amélie Mazoyer and Luisa Baccara, (Duse had died 14 years before). As he had Amélie Mazoyerdecided, was buried in the small temple of the Holocaust, on top of the Vittoriale.

D’Annunzio was not handsome, neither rich, nor reliable, and for this arises the question, what did so many ladies, rich and beautiful, drive in his arms?!
Probably, the famous American dancer Isadora Duncan was right, saying about him, “a lover so great as to turn the most ordinary woman, and give her for a moment the appearance of a celestial being?”
The perverse lover designed by himself some clothes and then gave them to women, from time to time, to wear and represent the erotic scene that he had chosen. Clothes that transformed them in moths ready to burn devoutly wings to his flame. Only the sinuous and fatal painter Tamara de Lempicka was able to sneak out from the arms of the famous satyr.
In his house also special perfumes and incense were not lacking, as well as a well equipped wardrobe in which were found two hundred silk shirts, fifty hats  two hundred pairs among shoes and boots, three hundred pairs of socks, fifty silk pajamas and gowns, and boxes with vagina’s hairs that he kept in memory of his mistresses. Just “an animal of luxury” as he called himself.  “When D’Annunzio loves a woman, exalts and elevates the soul above the earth, to the divine regions where moves and shines Dante’s Beatrice. From time to time, he let women participate in the divine essence and leads so high as to cause them to imagine they are really on the same level of Beatrice… there was a time in Paris, where the cult of D’Annunzio touched dizzying heights and they were all famous beauties to love him. But when the whim of the poet ended, he abandoned his mistress on duty for another“, so Mrs. Duncan wrote in her memoirs, who had with d’Annunzio an intense but short relationship.
In fact, it was always him to tire of the most beautiful and passionate women.
His only fault, if it can be defined so, was the bad habit of wasting considerable wealth for voluptuous things, and for this he is often found in bad waters and full of debt,  for which in 1910, there will seizure and sale of his goods.

The women he met, young and old, were all at his feet, happy to be desired by the most famous “tombeur de femmes” of Italian literature, ready to give herself to him body and soul, and that in addition to opening their legs, also opened their bags to pay his debts.
If it is not for wellness or charm, then why that? This is a good reason to suppose that D’Annunzio was a gifted, moreover, in an old Italian porno film, during the pioneer and illegal pornography period, among other collaborators in the captions is also read the name of Gabriele D’Annunzio. Of course, besides the use of the word, he knew how to use his sexual organ that he called “gonfalon selvaggio” (wild flag), and his exceptional libido led him to have, evidently, sexual performance record, or more intercourse without long breaks, and not for nothing that he was labeled “thirsty for sex“, all things that, alas, ravish many women.

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IF WE WILL BE ABLE TO….

Published March 5, 2013 by Tony

THEN IT WILL BE LOVE

Caravaggio, "Cupid as Victor"

If you’ll be able to be close to me
and we could be different.
If the sun will shine on both,
without our shadows overlapping.
If we’ll be able to be “us” in the middle of the world,
and together with the world, cry, laugh, live.
If every day it will be to discover what we’re,
and the memory of how we were.
If we’ll be able to grant each other,
without knowing who is the first and the last.
If your body will sing with mine because together is joy,
then it will be Love
and wont have been vain to wait much each other.

(Pablo Neruda)

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