Ragazzo di razza incerta (Italian Edition)


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The Right Question

Her translation has some of the expository and clariicatory expan- sion seen to be typical of translated texts, and the rhetorical level is, if anything, raised. The inal section of the letter, which expresses her wish that she had stayed longer with the women as there was more to see, has gone. Indeed, it seems to me that Stazzone is so disturbed by this possibility that the date of the next letter is misread, and is incorrectly marked as rather than Each translation, the work of cultural manipulation across both time and space, carries inscribed within it the contexts and conditions of its own making, a servant of multiple masters and cultures.

Polyga- mous rather than monogamous perhaps, translation is certainly not an innocent art. Notes 1. Verina R. Some plays explore the state of contemporary Sicily, newly part of the uniied nation state: one, Il candidato, is a political farce about corruption at local, regional and national level, a vanished prototype for Dario Fo.

Cecilia Stazzone, Rimembranze di un viaggietto in Italia, ed. Ricciarda Ricorda Il Poligrafo: Venice Aaron Hill, Zara Accessed on Google Books. Theory and practice Routledge: London , pp. Quoted in Voltaire ed. Voltaire despised the representation of love on the French stage. See Besterman, cit. Voltaire translated Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra.

See Philip E. See Voltaire vol. Besterman, pp. Besterman, op. Besterman, cit. There were numerous performances of the play in Venice, Rome and Naples throughout these years, cities which Stazzone recalls visiting in her Rimembranze. Lioy here refers to Domenico Induno After following both Neoclassicism and Romanticism, Induno became best known for his portraits of daily life in Milan. Dulcken Lioy references the French translation. Herbert Spencer, Principles of Sociology London, Mrs T. Stenhouse, A lady life among the mormons Russel: New York The clumsiest literal translation is a thousand times more useful than the prettiest paraphrase.

Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture Her ields of specialization are nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italian litera- ture, with an emphasis on Sicily, women writers, and representa- tions of women. Alexandra Bruzzese and Francesca Bruzzese earned their B. Politically, she began as a Mazzinian and later helped to found the Italian Socialist Party, with whom she eventually parted ways.

In , Mozzoni wrote her irst work on the emancipation of women, a series of essays entitled La donna e i suoi rapporti sociali Woman and Her Social Relationships. Amatangelo, A. Mozzoni 41 Mozzoni wrote La donna e i suoi rapporti sociali Woman and Her Social Relationships , a series of eight essays, to protest the revision of Italian Civil Code, which denied women their civil rights and limited their authority within the family.

The collec- tion was irst circulated by the Genovese newpaper Il dovere, as a gift to its subscribers, then published as a volume by Tipograia Sociale in Milan. The historian Franca Pieroni Bortolotti rediscovered Mozzoni in the s, publishing all of her most important writings in Anna Maria Mozzoni. La liberazione della donna Milano: Mazzotta, Mozzoni 43 1. Rather, I would dare to assert that perhaps no writer so far has been found it seems to me who, if a man, has known how to forget his passions and, if a woman, her interests. So that I would call it a wholly desirable thing, in this demanding thesis, to put forth a neutral analysis that—not at all interested in exaggerating the vices or merits of the female sex, nor in hiding them—would paint for us an unbiased portrait of Woman, and with it, provide data and details upon which to base a solid reasoning.

I said vices and merits, although they can more accurately be called attributions; or better, the natural elements that in a coherent and homogenous whole constitute an ordered nature with a given goal. Such elements are all present and necessary to make Woman a being essentially quite different from Man, and, at the same time, destined to live by his side, always useful and necessary, and to give him her own resources, thus enriching him with another energy without merging with him. Tutte le ilosoie, tutti i sistemi se ne occuparono e tutti i legis- latori. Paolo ino al sacrosanto Concilio Tridentino.

Mozzoni 45 speciically studied the inluence of institutions on her character and her condition. All poets, from the greatest to the lesser known, from the immortals to the pria morti che nati,3 sang of her in every pitch, and in every meter, seeing her, at times, through the lens of romantic delirium, and, at others, with the livid glasses of pride and hate because of unrequited and misunderstood affections.

Others considered, instead, that Woman is capable of propagation only in a relatively condensed stage of her life, and seeing her survive for so long afterward, free of her maternal duties, concluded that her mission was not complete with those duties, and thought that she could bring her inluence into worldly matters and intervene, since she is intelligent and determined, powerful by her own means. Many writers have understood the convenient plan of the male sex: they grasped the secret message immediately, and teachers from their desks, orators from their stages, judges from the court of opinion, gallant young men from their elegant and luxurious rooms, priests with their affectionate sermons, preached daily to Woman that knowledge is not beneicial to her.

And so Woman turns to theology. Sostituitosi, collo stabilimento del cristianesimo, il regno della intelligenza a quello della forza bruta, la donna divenne strumento tuttora vitale e poderoso alla politica sacerdotale. I religiosi terrori, certi affetti artiiciali, specie di aberrazioni, di sovreccitazioni nervose, ibride creazioni del misticismo, furono allora poste in opera dai ministri di religione per averla piedi e mani legate, cieco e docile strumento ad ogni esorbitanza.

Mozzoni 47 ones, et non plus sapere quam oportet. This opinion, similar to the liquid mass of the ocean, sometimes pushes its waves like clear missiles towards the sky, other times it presses them down into the abyss. Constantly in lux, it is deter- mined by the majority, always independent of every pressure that is not a number. You so disregard the inclinations given to you by nature that you go in search of other, less appealing ones?

Leave the dificult articulation of long foreign words to a less petite mouth than your own, and do not cloud the smooth marble of your forehead with wrinkles left by calculations, nor lose your celestial smile amongst such serious meditations, nor pale the rosiness of your face with long vigils. Nature shaped you with such care, and I loved you for that very predilection that made ignorance one of your gifts: you know everything, know- ing nothing.

They consulted religion, custom, and opinion, which must be and are, rightly so or not, the three absolute fathers under which Woman, whether stupid or intelligent, willing or unwilling, must bow her head. Then everyone unanimously decided that, if she is poor, Woman must spend her life with the needle, and if she is wealthy, she must spend it in leisure; and any greater goal of her existence she need not seek beyond that of being female. Then, if she then inds herself bored, she is free to yawn all she pleases.

With the establishment of Christianity, the reign of intelligence having been substituted by brute force, Woman became a still vital and powerful instrument to priestly politics. Mozzoni 49 overexcitement—hybrid creations of mysticism, in an effort to have her feet and hands tied, a blind and docile instrument to use at will.

And, unfortunately, we were at the point in which this igno- rance and passivity were no longer considered a pure fact, but a system. Man had succeeded in convincing Woman that it was not right for her to form the slightest principle, nor was it possible for her to form any judicious one; for this reason, she had foregone all her studies, since it is, for her, as exhausting as it is vain an effort.

And this extreme consequence, of the selishness of one sex and the ignorance of the other, became, in the end, public opinion, as- suring its peaceful reign. But now, in our times, a new era dawns, with the plan of giving all possible liberties even to Woman, and in the middle of judicious and serious reforms, confronts the humorous excesses inseparable from every epoch of transition.

Thus, the Platonic Republic, made sublime through idealism since it is venerated for being ancient in concept, is once again in the limelight. And so now, while Ori- entalism proclaims Woman to be a pure instrument of pleasure,6 Catholicism wants her to be a respected servant; knightly tradition wants her to be the goal of quests and prize of tournaments; theol- ogy, like the potter with his clay, makes her into vases of honor and disgrace; poetry makes her the target of all its exaggerations; and our century makes her an addition to the male gender.

What does Woman do? Woman, like a performer who dresses for a scene, must ask herself each day which play she wants to perform and for which audience, in order to know which of all her costumes is the most appropriate with which she would like herself covered. There is no hope for her to free herself from this situation with unanimous acclaim. Condemned to be subject to the times, to customs, places, and individuals, curved underneath the ponderous weight of social prejudices, carrying alone the penalty of the immorality and of the errors of the other sex, she is, and will be, until she awakens to a consciousness of herself, a pariah among living beings.

Da tutto il in qui detto emerge che questo formidabile fan- tasma della opinione vuol essere guardato in faccia senza timore, e ben disquisito vuol essere, ed analizzato prima di accettarlo ed inchinarcegli siccome a supremo arbitrato. Mozzoni 51 that draws her close to man is simple and constant. The wisdom and good faith that some writers have used when writing about her seem to have led them to more judicious and more generous conclusions.

Such writing blames a corruption of the system, per- haps more than a passion for dominion or possessiveness. One needs only the slightest taste of history to prove to us how luctuating and precarious opinions are, which do not base themselves on simple and sovereign conclusions. And since man inds himself in possession of very few axiomatic truths, so we see the spirit of a century and of a generation differ greatly from the preceding and subsequent ones: they adopt and repudiate the sys- tems, assiduously modify the practices, customs, and institutions, approaching slowly but tirelessly the progressive development of peoples, which, through these multiple and various moral grada- tions, by the fatal law of nature and providence, always strives for the best.

From all that has been said so far, it comes to light that this formidable ghost of opinion wants to be looked at in the face with- out fear, and wants to be well discussed and analyzed before we accept it and bow ourselves to it, as if to a supreme judgment. Let us examine the solemn forms that opinion assumes, whether they be, by chance: the fulcrum of partial interests, the long and buckled robe of hypocrisy, the transient law of force, or the extremely simple this is what my father did, so inluential to the unlearned masses whom wit did not call creatures of habit without reason.

Mozzoni 53 feet; and my words will reveal themselves to be quite true to you if you relect for a moment on a gigantic fact that we see unfold to a great extent in our Italy, in just ive years of free life. Because, Woman, if you direct your soul, inclined to piety, to pious exercises, you will be immediately viewed in the spirit of the hypocritical or bigoted people.

If you wish to dedicate your innate intelligence to studies, you will be considered pedantic. If you spend long hours at your dressing table, focused on employ- ing every method to be beautiful, you will immediately be called vain and silly. If you need, and love, to move or stroll, you will have the reputation of a dawdling and absent-minded character. If you welcome society into your parlors and are frequently seen in the theaters, a thousand more or less true gallant anecdotes will circulate about you.

If you love your children and spouse, and you cultivate a dark and laborious life from domestic sentiments and duties, there will always be someone who ascribes your voluntary solitude to a defect in character and looks. If you have nature for a stepmother and are lacking in beauty or appeal, for that unforgiveable crime alone you are already guilty, and any grace will be considered for you an affectation; dignity will be viewed as pretense, moderate showi- ness as propriety. Every virtue will diminish your merit, and every mole will be exaggerated to the point of a monstrous deformity.

Capurro: , For the source of the verses she cites, which repeat those of the epigraph, see note one. This bilingual edition includes twenty fairy tales and an introduction to Sicilian literature by the translator. In February , the play was presented as a dramatic reading at the Italian-American Writers Association. He is currently seeking a publisher for his transla- tion of Il Marchese di Roccaverdina in its entirety.

A compelling study of passion, murder, regret, guilt, and madness, Il Marchese ranks among the best European novels of the twentieth century. Shortly after the novel begins, we learn that the Marchese, the only child of a wealthy Sicilian family, had pursued a ten-year affair with Agrippina Solmo, his beautiful house maid. When pressed to take a wife from his own class, he marries Agrippina off to Rocco Criscione, the foreman of his country estate.

Not long after they wed, Rocco is murdered. An innocent man is convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment. Later, Agrippina marries a shep- herd and moves away. Chapter 19, which follows, opens with a vision of storm clouds that promise to end a long draught that has brought famine to eastern Sicily and that threatens the new wine cooperative at Mar- gitello in which Marchese has just invested. Le nuvole! Si sarebbero disperse? Che attendevano ormai per farsi avanti e dirompersi in pioggia?

Dense, nerastre, bianchicce agli orli, esse si distendevano, si avvolgevano, si allungavano, si confondevano insieme, formando un cupo velario sul il dei colli di Barrese. Ma nessuno rise con lui. They appeared in a long line, gathering one behind the other, rolling over one another; then they stopped. From the windows, from the balconies that faced Barrese, men, women, children stretched out their hands, invoking them, calling them as if they were living beings able to hear and understand. The clouds! The esplanade of the castle resembled an anthill overrun by people of every class running to observe them, as if they were some new and unknown spectacle.

Would the clouds remain motionless there? Would they dis- perse? Why were they still waiting to come ahead and explode in rain? Dense, dark, whitish at the edges, they spread out, wrapped themselves around each other, merged, forming a misty darkness over the line of the hills of Baresse. But no one laughed with him. Everyone was intent upon following with anxious eyes the unstable forms that, very slowly, continued to change, growing large here, thinning out there; and lips murmured prayers, vows, exhortations to these conscious beings not to take light and, instead, to spread their life-giving treasure of rain on the dying land below, which had for several long months invoked the comfort of a droplet of water through thousands of cracks, like thirsty human mouths.

Then, one of the lighter clouds broke away and started off like an advanced guard, immediately followed by another, and by a third; and the eyes that were watching every movement began to blink frequently with emotion. Viva la divina Provvidenza! Slowly they penetrated the valley, still bathed in sunshine, as if to devour its golden splendor.

No one thought about avoiding the rain. Everyone wanted to feel it fall on their uncovered heads, on their faces lifted upward, on their hands with their palms joined in the shape of a cup to col- lect that gift from God, which fell violently, rumbling on rooftops, pouring into the channels, forming rivulets and ponds illed with thousands of bursting bubbles, as if the water was in rebellion.

And in the rain, many people returned to the castle before evening, to observe from the esplanade the countryside below, which drank, drank, and drank but was never satisied. However, the paths, the lanes, the carriageways glistened, stretching a great silvery net over the darkened land, as did the swollen river, which moved like a serpent licking at the feet of the hills; and the rivulets sparkled, overlowing the plain from the rocky humps of the hills that did not know what to do with the water and sent it back to those who needed it most.

La roba mia se la gode il marchese di Roccaverdina! Volevano impigliarmi nel processo Noi poveretti abbiamo sempre torto! Cavaliere Pergola, protected by an umbrella, tried to spot his small tracts of land, which could hardly be distinguished, one to the right, one to the left, and a third farther down. And he also looked toward Margitello, where the building of the Agricultural Association shone white against the brown earth soaked with water; and with the black holes of the windows without shutters and with walls without a roof, it seemed like the skeleton of some large animal dumped there to rot.

Now you have nothing to come and see on this side! The Marchese di Roccaverdina now enjoys my property. Do you know, Excellency, how it happened? Rocco the Lord forgive him worked in the interests of his boss, right or wrong; but he was in the wrong about that which concerned me. We poor folk are always wrong! Each drop is a piece of gold that falls from the sky! Ci volevano pei terreni almeno tre palmi di tempera! Non ostante il velo steso dalla pioggia, si distinguevano le macchiette nere che apparivano, cangiavano posto, si diradavano, tornavano a radunarsi.

La pioggia tanto desiderata e tanto invocata, gli aveva messo addosso, al contrario, un senso di tristezza; gli scherzi dei ragazzi lo irritavano. E ora che la pioggia era venuta, e che pioggia! For each one who left, two or three others arrived, as if they could not get enough of hearing the roar of the streams and to see the gutters ill up in the streets; they wanted to enjoy the sight of the ields, drinking, drinking, drinking, and not ever being satisied.

Oh, if that rain would last a week, without ceasing for a single moment! The ields needed at least six inches of rain to get back to normal. From a window in Margitello, the engineer mentioned to the Marchese that people were watching from the esplanade of the castle. Despite the curtain hung by the rain, one could distinguish the black igures that appeared, changed places, dispersed, then came together again. The sound of the bells of all the churches had reached there after the irst drops of rain had fallen. And with that, the peasants and laborers had abandoned themselves in a frenzy of shouting, leaping with joy in the courtyards, while children enjoyed themselves by stomping on puddles with their feet and splashing each other in the face with water collected in the palms of their hands.

Now and then, looking out the doors of ground- loor residences, they shoved and pushed each other outside, and they splashed the heavy rain on each other as if they were pouring it from pitchers. Stop it! And yet, all of this happiness should have pleased him. The rain, so needed and so prayed for, had, on the contrary, imposed upon him a sadness; the shenanigans of the children irri- tated him. Now that the only minor obstacle coming between the two of them had been removed, not only did he not feel happy, but he stood there before that window, with his eyes ixed on the eucalyptus plants dripping water from their curved branches and along old leaves that were being cleaned of a layer of dust that had made them turn yellow and wither.

He stayed there with his eyes ixed, as if the dream that should have soon come true distanced itself rapidly, and he could do nothing to stop it or call it back. Agrippina Solmo Brava ragazza! Essa, niente! Ammirevole anche per la modestia. E poi, bocca ser- rata!

Dinanzi a lei, il marchese di Roccaverdina era Dio! E qua! Se lo faccia dire dal notaio Mazza che cosa signiichi incappar male! At that moment, however, it seemed to him that it had been conirmed, yes, but not in the way in which he and ev- eryone else expected. To tell the truth, she deserves the good fortune of becoming the Marchesa of Roc- caverdina. But I believe that had someone predicted it, months ago, the signorina would have made the sign of the cross, as if to banish any temptation.

No one can be sure of anything. Agrippina Solmo…for example…. Good girl! Some other woman, mistress of everything as she was here, would have looked after herself, would have saved up a nest egg. But she, nothing. Admi- rable even for her modesty. She wanted to remain that which she was, even in her appearance. She never took off the mantilla, and she would have been able to wear, better than so many others, the shawls that all women wear nowadays, even the poorest.

And then always quiet! Even after she could no longer deceive herself with any hope, never, never, a spiteful or disdainful word. For her, the Marchese of Roccaverdina was God! And this and that! Only God can repay him! Poteva forse dubitare ora? Poteva forse indignarsi? Margitello non vi lascia pensare ad altro! Ed era vero! One better than the other! Mazza, the notary, can tell you what it means to ind a bad one. After all, in the end, the fault had been all his own. Pride of class, the attempt to protect himself from himself, had caused him to give la Solmo a husband in that tyrannical pact, without a bit of relection over the possible consequences.

Seeing that the Marchese remained silent and realizing that references to the past had, perhaps, displeased him, the engineer lit a cigar he had pulled out of his pocket and began to smoke it while waking around the room stroking his whiskers. Meanwhile the Marchese, continuing to stare at the eucalyptus dripping with water, pursued with his thoughts a white igure with black hair under dark blue mantilla, chasing her through places seen years ago, among shacks that climbed on rocky cliffs, that crouched against the hills as if trying to shelter themselves from the wind.

He felt a secret surge of jealousy much different from the one he had felt before. Could he now be having doubts? Had he not been satisied that she had gone to live in that distant city, half squatting in the hollow of a mountain, in one of those shacks crouching on the sides of the cliffs as if trying to shelter themselves from the wind?

Francesca Pellegrino was born in Taranto, where she cur- rently lives. Francesca Pellegrino is a coordinator of the literary magazine LibrAria. Remarkable for a compression of form and the multiplicity of meanings that emanate from those few short lines, the poems of Francesca Pellegrino survey and inhabit a terrain that is contempo- rary Italy — its excesses and its silences, in poems whose language ricochets with the internal and external pressures of those who live internal lives and actively navigate in a contemporary world.

Each of her four collections relects, and, indeed, has traveled in tandem with, a course of wider cultural crisis. In the poems of her most recent collection, Chernobylove — Il giorno dopo il vento Chernobylove — the day after the wind , the consideration of love is twinned with the concept of catastro- phe. As with her other poems, the language of consumerism — both product itself and the language of advertising — is invoked, in what is often an investigation of excess and the forms of absence. She is a writer who has been active in internet publishing and discourse.

She is an editor at the literary website LibrAria. Per dimagrire. So la differenza che passa tra un muro che sostiene e un altro che nasconde. So then, I set down a piece of a place-setting, a plastic plate, a fork, and I drink the empty part of the mistaken half inside the glass to lose weight. Nouvelle cuisine I left a dream steeping in vinegar and waited to see how butterlies if butterlies ly bitter-sweetened. While waiting, I inished the ingernail of my left hand soaked in salt tears the appropriate length of time, just the right time to render it exquisite.

Spring-time is a word undone I know how to do at least a thousand things contemporaneously — a thousand things. I know about the difference between a load-bearing wall and a wall that conceals. Una sete di foglie da lasciarci gli occhi per il dispiacere. Pregando che faccia silenzio.

Toglietemi tutto ma non il mio Breil Deve essere andato storto qualcosa. Ogni briciola era comunque rimasta al suo posto. In bellissima mostra. E si fece ugualmente ora tarda il mio sbadiglio. Casa Editrice Kimerik, And, recognizing, even, the exact instant it arrives, fasting, in order to ill my mouth with dead lies after the last uncouth spring.

The Man from del monte says Yes There was basil in a lower-pot. Extremely dry. The leaves with a thirst to turn eyes aside in displeasure. Neither did it perfume either anymore.

Italian Chianina Bull - Toro Chianino [1/3]

There was a need for there to be rain sometimes. Praying it would make silence. Perhaps a gear not cognizing round the hours advancing on the table anymore. Each crumb however remained in place. In beautiful display. And it made late hour equal my yawn. Her essays on translation were published in the Boston Globe. Umberto Saba. When he died at age 74, Saba left very little unexplored. When he began writing poetry, young Poli used various pseudonyms before inally settling on the name Saba.

He was then sixteen years old. This is where we pick him up in Ernesto. The shop is still at the same location and now serves as a Saba museum as well. Not until he was in his mid forties and analyzed by Edo- ardo Weiss, an early Freudian who practiced in Trieste, was Saba able to unravel the complicated emotions of his early life.

Still, the nervous ailments and depressions of his youth continued to plague him and worsened with age. He spent his last years in and out of sanatoria. In his inal years, addicted to morphine, subject to its and falls, and living alone in a room cluttered with clothes and books, littered with cigar stubs and ashes, Saba turned to prose to reexamine his youth.

He died in August Saba produced nearly one thousand pages of prose: articles, recollections, short iction, critical essays and the brilliant Shortcuts, all of which have begun to engage translators and literary critics. He began the work in when in his seventies, fully aware that its frankness and honesty would appall Italian readers. Although he considered some passages to be his best writing, and read the work aloud to friends and family as it progressed, he repeatedly admonished his daughter, Linuc- cia, and her companion, writer and artist Carlo Levi, to destroy their copies of the manuscript.

Four years later, it was made into a movie by director Salvatore Samperi. With the passing of time and the change in social mores the book has become a landmark in Italian and international homosexual literature. The boy, Ernesto is a sixteen year old clerk at a commercial irm, who writes poetry and plays the violin. He is willingly se- duced by the twenty-eight year old, uneducated stevedore never named in the book whose work Ernesto supervises.

Their surrep- titious trysts at work continue until the boy impetuously decides to have his irst relations with a woman. He cautiously chooses a particular prostitute. Subsequently, wishing to escape the man, Ernesto cruelly engineers his own dismissal from the irm. Still later, he is attracted to a ifteen year old boy, a violinist, very much like his younger self. Discussing his own style in his Scorciatoie Shortcuts , Saba wrote. May my typesetter and my reader forgive me. And there was no other way I could be brief.

Ernesto is not much known to the world. It was never issued in North America. Much of the dialogue in the early chapters of Ernesto is in Triestino, the local speech of Trieste and the adjacent Friuli sec- tion of Italy, a dialect so remote in sound and orthography from the standard language that it is in essence a foreign language to other Italians. After beginning the novel with such a dialogue Saba charac- teristically and parenthetically, pauses to tell his Italian readers that he has modiied that dialogue and all that follow it, in the hope that potential readers will be able to translate them on their own.

So much for burn the manuscript, dear daughter. It was not jargon or street slang. Nor was it related to social hierarchy. And no wonder. He spoke it every day. No matter their differences in social class, any two Triestino speakers were equals in terms of direct communication. There is a rich and growing literature addressed to translators on how to translate dialect into a target language. But each translator and work make a unique pair, and as usual in life, every situation must ind its own solution.

Works completely in dialect can perhaps be most happily translated if the translator can deine the essence of a work and ind a rhythmically and vocally compatible style in the target language. Most of the dialogues in dialect in Ernesto take place between Ernesto and the characters who move the sexual elements of the story forward.

These dialogues tend to be lengthy, tension laden and emotional both for the characters and the reader. Sadly, there is no English language dialect — at least none that I could ind or invent - that can function as the Triestine does in Ernesto. Absent the availability of such a dialect, I have tried to reproduce this essential interplay of voices in English, in as compelling and coherent a way as possible.

Neither Mr. This translation is based on the critical Italian edition of Ernesto edited by Antonietta Grignani and issued in Prima di pranzo, passa da Bernardo. Bernardo era un barbiere che aveva la bottega in faccia alla casa di Ernesto. Ma Ernesto non amava perdere nulla della sua persona, nemmeno di quelle parti di essa destinate a ricrescere. Era dificile cavarlo fuori da quel nascondiglio e, qualche volta, la giovane donna, che gli voleva bene come fosse stato suo iglio il suo era morto appena nato , ma aveva molte altre faccende da sbrigare, perdeva la pazienza.

E come sempre si mise a piangere. Si trattava di una vecchia calunnia. Questo era tutto. Signora Celestina had been pleading with Ernesto for over a month to have this bit of surgery done. It was dificult for her to pry him out from there and at times the woman, who loved him as if he were her own child her son had died shortly after birth , and who had much more work to do, would lose her temper.

It had to do with slanderous old gossip. That was all. Avrebbe perino strozzato il merlo che, ignaro, cantava alla inestra. Poi, una cartina di bromuro mise, per il momento, le cose a posto. E, ogni volta, sua madre si offend- eva e arrabbiava; lo minacciava di denunciarlo, per un castigo, allo zio Giovanni.

Ernesto, per conto suo, oltre ad avere la consolante certezza che sua madre minacciava invano, non avrebbe trovato niente di male ad essere iglio di Bernardo. Lo conosceva e serviva in da piccolo; era stato il primo, dopo la sua balia, a tagliargli i capelli, e sperava di essere lui a fargli la prima barba. Apparteneva - si vede - a quella categoria di persone, molto numerose, che non immaginano una carriera brillante se non preceduta da una laurea.

Thrilled and exhilarated by the revelations of the mysteries of procreation and of his hidden relationship to Bernardo, Ernesto had raced home to recount both these exciting bits of news to his mother. On hearing the second, she fainted and fell to the ground. He could have throttled his blackbird singing away obliviously at the window. It seemed in fact, to be singing louder and better than ever before.

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A dose of bromide eventually set things right. Nevertheless, every time his mother pressed him go to the barber two, perhaps three times a year the boy would get back at her with the old tale, though by then he, too, knew that it was complete and utter rubbish. And every time she would get insulted and angry and threaten to punish him by telling his Uncle Giovanni.

Bernardo was a heavy, fairly elderly man with completely white hair and a kind face. He always welcomed Ernesto warmly, had even lent him money once which the boy spent at a new bakery that everyone in town was raving about, and which he repaid punctually from the weekly allowance he got from his uncle.


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  • Preying Indians;
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Bernardo had waited on him since childhood. And he suffered his irst disappoint- ment when Ernesto left school to take a job. It seems that Bernardo belonged to that very large group of people who cannot imagine a brilliant career not preceded by an academic degree. Although he never expressed his disappointment to Ernesto, the boy sensed it. Bernardo volle servirlo di persona. Il barbiere gli chiese, come prima cosa, notizie della sua salute sapeva che Ernesto era stato ammalato e ci teneva a fargli sapere che lo sapeva , di quella della signora Celestina e della vecchissima zia.

Pareva se ne vantasse. Gli disse che lo zio gli aveva parlato di lui, lamentandosi che fosse sempre socialista. I socialisti diceva lo zio - sono in odio a tutti, e non sono destinati a far carriera nel mondo. Ernesto, che conosceva Bernardo da sempre, la preferiva. Ma no son iscritto al par- tito; son ancora tropo giovine. Bernardo rise.

Conosceva abbastanza Ernesto per dare troppo peso alle sue parole. Il ragazzo e Bernardo lo sapeva non odiava lo zio tutore non odiava ancora nessuno : ne aveva solo paura. Sentiva che questi non lo amava almeno eccessivamente e, soprat- tutto, non lo approvava. Forse sospettava nel nipote qualcosa di strano e di proibito. Ed uno dei tratti del carattere di Ernesto era il bisogno di essere approvato ed amato. He walked resolutely into the shop. Bernardo wanted to take care of him personally.

Once seated in the revolv- ing chair and completely at the mercy of his unwitting torturer, Ernesto resigned himself to having his hair cut as a necessity, however unpleasant, of the good life. All he said to Bernardo was not to cut his hair too short, and answered all his questions cheerfully. The irst thing the barber inquired about was his health he knew that Ernesto had been ill and wanted him to know that he knew it.

After that he asked after the health of Signora Celeste and of his very old Aunt. Then he told him that just the previous day Signor Giovanni had been in to have his beard trimmed. He seemed to take pride in this. He added that his uncle had spoken about Ernesto, lamenting that he was still a socialist. Socialists, his uncle had said, were hated by everyone and would never amount to anything in the world.

Sometimes he used it, sometimes the more formal lei. He knew Ernesto well enough not to take him seriously. He was just afraid of him. Is that true? Ernesto si attendeva ad un elogio: avrebbe dato non so cosa per riceverlo. Ma sapeva egli stesso di non meritarlo. Il violino era stato un suo capriccio, nel quale poi si era ostinato. Lo zio poi odiava in linea generale i violini e, in modo particolare, quello del nipote. Play- ing the violin had begun as one of his whims, but one in which he subsequently persisted. He paid a teacher from the weekly allowance that he received from his Uncle, and from the small sums he extorted with wheedling and promises from his old aunt.

He said that there was only one great violinist in the world: Paganini. The derision with which his Uncle delivered these words stung the boy more deeply than a slap in the face. The only person who was not completely disapproving of the experiment was his old aunt. But his aunt, in addition to being old, was a little deaf. And the only work that signora Celeste let her do at home was to wash the radicchio which they ate in large amounts.

Despite his meager progress, the boy persisted in studying his loved-and-hated violin. Adesso desiderava che Bernardo si spicciasse. Il vecchio barbiere non mostrava invece nessuna fretta: si sarebbe detto che provasse piacere a prolungare al massimo quello che, per Ernesto, era un supplizio. Sentiva al collo, dove il barbiere aveva fatto passare il rasoio, una spiacevole sensazione di freddo.

Ragazzo di razza incerta

Il suo movimento istintivo sarebbe stato di alzarsi e scappare; ma, timidezza a parte, avrebbe dovuto dare delle spiegazioni; e, o non le trovava, o non poteva esibirle. Era, oltre a tutto, il suo mestiere: se non ci fossero state barbe, Bernardo le avrebbe inventate. Nessuno si accorse che aveva le lacrime agli occhi. It was a miracle that, chatterbox that he was, he had never said a word about it to the man.

He seemed to enjoy dragging out the process, which was a torture to Ernesto. Anyway, , when he was young, he was for Garibaldi. Besides, he was almost done. Ernesto barely glanced at it, then shut his eyes so as not to see himself looking worse, so he thought, than before. His neck, which the barber had shaved, felt unpleasantly chilled. His intuitive reaction would have been to get up and get out of there. Then suddenly, he thought of the man; saw him, off in the distance, looking as if he were weeping.

He is never named in the book. Sperava - pur sapendo che la sua speranza era vana - che sua madre avrebbe saputo confortarlo. E lo disse col tuono con cui avrebbe annunciata una grande sventura che gli fosse occorsa. Bernardo ha fatto bene a tagliartela. Fa vedere Poi le friggeva in quello stesso olio. It was, after all, his profession.

If there were no such things as beards, he would have invented them. Ernesto was inally free and got up from the chair. No one noticed the tears in his eyes. Bernardo smiling contentedly and folding his towel, watched Ernesto cross the street as he led home. He was hoping, even as he knew it was in vain, that his mother would comfort him.

Let me see. When he had been about thirteen or fourteen years old, he would have liked to be taken for a grown man, and had badgered his mother to buy him a vest like one a boy in his class had. Now, however, reading newspapers, he was pleased if a youth of his age was still referred to as a boy. Auntie and I are hungry. Fino ai tredici anni ne riceveva una; poi due, e della stessa grandezza di prima. Il ragazzo ne avrebbe mangiate tre, anche quattro: ma quel giorno non sentiva quasi il gusto dei cibi. Davano tutti gli insegnamenti del caso, ed abbondavano in particolari.

Tutti gli altri ed Ernesto si collocava fra gli altri dovevano crepare. Egli si sapeva incapace di dire di no, specialmente ad una donna. They left specks of blood in the oil, and she would then fry them in the same oil. They were in fact, meat balls, though lattened, but they must have contained a secret ingredient. Until he was thirteen years old, Ernesto had been served only one, later, he got a second, as large as the irst. He could eat three, perhaps even four, but that day he could barely taste any of his food.

He ate in silence, then immediately withdrew to his room, the only one in the house with a sloping roof, where he threw himself down on the brass bed to brood on his unhappiness. The blackbird, accustomed to being released and to having its bath at that time of day, began hopping restlessly from perch to perch, and calling to Ernesto to open the cage.

With a sense of regret he recalled all the friends who had already done so; and had bragged about it to him. They had told him all they knew on the subject and were lavish with details. Even a cousin his own age well, not exactly, he was three months older than Ernesto had already done it - more than once, if you could believe him. Life, in that sense, began the day a boy had a woman for the irst time. However, there had been a time when he was convinced that he would die of tuberculosis before he got to be twenty.

Everyone else and Er- nesto counted himself among those others was going to die. The obsession lasted two or three months. Then he stopped thinking about it. E se non gli fosse piaciuta? Ora una prostituta non poteva - ed egli lo sapeva - amarlo; se andava con lui era per i soldi: gli avrebbe preferito un vecchio, il signor Wilder, o un altro come lui, dal quale poteva ricevere, o almeno sperare di ricevere, una buona mancia. Ma il destino doveva essergli, anche questa volta, favorevole.

Abitava al primo piano di una vecchia casa, nel quartiere dove si aprivano i postriboli: un conoscente gli aveva anche detto la sua tariffa costava anche lei un iorino ; ma Ernesto non sapeva come trovare la porta alla quale avrebbe dovuto battere. Se avesse battuto ad una porta sbagliata, cosa avrebbe detto a chi gli fosse venuto ad aprire? And after that, his friendship with the man.

He had another problem too. He knew he was incapable of saying no, especially to a woman. Consequently, if he went to a brothel he would have to say yes to the irst woman offered him. How would he have the nerve to aflict a poor, unfortunate woman The Worker had taught him that prostitutes were poor unfortunate victims of bourgeois prejudice with the shame of a refusal?

Ernesto had not yet reached the age of aesthetic sensibility he would reach it shortly - but by other ways and other means. His preferences were dictated solely by his sensuality at a given moment. For example, it never occurred to him to wonder whether the man was handsome or ugly. He had responded to him for reasons that had nothing to do with aesthetics.

He wanted to be loved and the man loved him. He knew that. If she went with him, it was for the money. This matter of mak- ing a choice or rather of not making one was a major dificulty rooted in his character. But fate was once again to favor him. There was a woman in the old city who practiced the profession on her own perhaps secretly, meaning without police authorization. Ernesto had seen her often at her window. She lived on the irst loor of an old building in a part of town where brothels were permitted. A friend had told him her price a lorin.

If he knocked at the wrong door, what would he say to whoever opened it? He imagined - who knows why- an old woman holding a broom, who, on hearing what he wanted, would chase him into the street shrieking insults and humiliating him in front of everybody. Worse, his uncle, who, fearing solitary vices in his nephew, was giving him weekly gifts for just this purpose though alas, without actually stating his reason , owned shops on a street not far from the brothels.

What if his uncle happened to pass by and witness the scene? Sapeva che dalle prostitute si andava solo di sera e di nascosto; ma non si sentiva di rimandare: preferiva affrontare il tutto per tutto, subito, in pieno giorno. Era anche un giorno di grande sole. A pensarci su, avrebbe perso il poco coraggio che gli rimaneva. La donna era alla inestra; e vide subito il suo cenno. Era un odore di biancheria nuova, appena tagliata; lo stesso che gli piaceva tanto nella casa della sua balia. Questa, che aveva il marito ammalato, e doveva guadagnare la vita per lui e per lei, cuciva a macchina tutti i pomeriggi capi di biancheria diversi, che la mattina vendeva, o cercava di vendere, in Piazza del Ponterosso.

Ernesto had no doubt she would immediately start crying, maybe faint, or even die right there with the shame of having such a son. Yes or no? Wanting to experience the feelings that Bernardo had inadvertently activated in him with that ill timed, premature shave, Ernesto decided to surrender to fate. He would walk down the street where the woman lived. He would walk by three times. If one of those times she was at the window he would signal to her and go up. His afternoon was essentially free.

So he had plenty of time. He wanted to experi- ence everything head on, immediately, in broad daylight. It was even a bright sunny day. If he stopped to think about it, he would lose what little courage he had. The woman was at the window and immediately noticed his nod. His heart beating in his throat, Ernesto climbed the steps and found her waiting at her door.

In fact, he had the feeling that things might work out better for him this way. What he did notice was a light growth of hair over her upper lip. Is she going to sprout a mustache? The thought amused and cheered him. The nursemaid, who had a sick husband and had to earn a living for both of them, would sit at her sewing machine every afternoon making various articles of linen which she sold, or attempted to sell, mornings in Piazza del Pon- terosso. But she would chase him off immediately.

Forse era anche una buona donna, con repressi istinti materni. Ernesto fece un gesto vago, come per dire che la cosa gli era indifferente. La donna non se le tolse. Under Franz Joseph2 , no one could stop her from walking around with linen under her arm. This woman too, was sewing linen, but she was doing it for herself and for her clients. She was particular about cleanliness. Perhaps she, too, was a kind woman with suppressed maternal instincts. If so, this strange customer who had dropped in on her in broad daylight and who acted less mature than he looked, would seem to be particularly fashioned to draw them out.

He was neither undress- ing nor approaching her. And she looked more closely at Ernesto. He was a good looking boy, so different from the men who regularly visited her at night. She sensed that on that afternoon, fate had bestowed a strange and unexpected gift upon her. You just get yourself undressed. Ernesto did so too. Ernesto gestured vaguely, as if it was matter of indifference to him. The woman did not remove them. But one glance - and the discovery pleased her - told her her diagnosis had been incorrect.

Ma Ernesto era fatto diversamente. La sua forza e la sua debolezza stavano nel mostrarsi, in dove possibile, quale veramente era. Il ragazzo amava, come tutti i suoi coetanei, le lodi; ma, a differenza di questi, doveva sentire di meritarle. Come ti te ciami? Ma Ernesto non era un cliente comune. E fece seguire al nome il cognome.

La donna sorrise. Evidentemente, la donna era una slovena del Territorio. It will be easier, if this is really your irst time. Why, in fact, should he have? Youngsters generally try to pass themselves off as sophisticated rather than inexperienced. And the harder they pretend to be the former, the more likely they are to be the latter. His strength and his weakness lay in trying as much as possible to present himself as he really was.

Like all boys his age he liked praise, but unlike most others, he had to feel he merited it. There were times his relationship with the man was a torment to him. It would occur to him that if people whom he knew, who were repelled by such behavior and used insulting terms for it, were to learn what he had done, many who now liked him would no longer do so. Meanwhile, to arouse him, the woman had begun caressing him. Completely nude, he seemed to her not more than a child. And as if he were a child, her hand stroked his buttocks. They were soft and tender and her hand lingered there for a moment.

But that moment was enough for Ernesto to recall the man. And his image there, in that place, was frightening. I like you better this way. The woman smiled. E - come desid- erava andarsene pensare in pace a quanto gli era accaduto - mise la mano in tasca, per prendere fuori il denaro e pagare la donna. Era il primo del mese e il primo giorno della settimana: Ernesto era ricco. Dette alla donna che costava solo un iorino tutto, o quasi, quello che possedeva, compreso quanto aveva dimenticato di dare a Bernardo.

Voleva rendergli una parte del denaro; ma Ernesto non volle. Ricordite che me ciamo Tanda, e sta atento a no sbagliar de porta. Era quasi commossa,e volentieri gli avrebbe dato un bacio. La matassa doveva attendere molti anni per incominciare appena a dipanarla; la sete invece che, per ragioni isiologiche, afligge tutti gli uomini dopo il coito con una prostituta poteva sod- disfarla subito.

And falling back at the edge of the bed, she drew the boy towards her. It seemed to him that he had experienced it before, even before his birth. He felt like a man who, after a long, adventurous journey, returns home where he knows and recognizes everything: the way the furniture is set out, the way the closets are arranged, that is, every little thing. Ernesto, no longer worried about himself, inquired about it.

And, as he was anxious to get away to think quietly about what he had just experienced , he reached into his pocket for money. It was the irst of the month, the irst of the week. He was rich. It was what only the old or impotent paid. She offered to give him some money back, but he refused. Just remember my name is Tanda, and be careful not to go to the wrong door. Non gli restava quindi che bere ad una fontana pubblica. Ma la loro vista lo rese anche accorto di essere in ritardo. Advertisement Hide.

Full text of "Modern Italian Grammar"

Interpreting Primo Levi Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Front Matter Pages i-xi. Pages Front Matter Pages The Ethics of the Gray Zone. Humanity, Animality, and Philosophy in Primo Levi. Back Matter Pages

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