Posts Tagged ‘italy’

Goethe Month: Roman Holiday edition

July 14, 2010


Outtake of Audrey on a Vespa for Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1953).

Though you’re a whole world, Rome, still,
without Love,
The world isn’t the world,
and Rome can’t be Rome.

(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Roman Elegies, 1789.)

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Qui è dove dormo

June 10, 2010


Florence, Italy.

You can see that the homeless person who wrote this had written on this spot in the past, and the building’s owners have painted over several times. The most recent repaint is just beneath this message, and instead of saying it is where he or she sleeps, it says “Qui è dove vivo.” What happened to make his or her “living”-place identity more fluid, so that he or she only associates this clearly well-liked spot with sleep now? I suspect it came as a result of being driven away during the day by whomever keeps painting over the writer’s small and painfully human attempt at address-establishment, some workaday person concerned with appearances and light, complaining to friends at a dinner at a restaurant about how he feels badly for the homeless people outside his building, but they drive away customers or reduce the value of the property so what can you do? and everyone clucks sympathetically; some mouthpiece of empty it-sounds-good-to-say-so pandering about the importance of charity who gives to collection at church and feels kind of good about it but is still secretly freaked out by the different and eager to shunt everything “ugly” off into the night where they don’t have to look at it and contemplate such ugly things’ place in their own life and God’s plan; some brainwashed apologetic dick who buys in to the system and has completely fucking forgotten that the whole world is half night.

That got away from me. Sorry. Carità è veleno. Except when it’s not, because I know that’s not true, and not everyone is false or a liar or hypocrite, they’re just struggling with problems so big that even Eleanor Roosevelt’s small group of thoughtful, committed citizens cannot change this thing. It has to come from the top, who would never choose it for themselves, so must be rushed by barbarians at the gate, as has always happened throughout history to the elite (who get conquered by the rough who then form over time their own elite whose own rough rise against them in turn and on and on, so what’s the point of any of it?). Now I sound like an anarchist. Which I’m not. Mainly. Blargh.

Daily Batman: “Love — any love — reveals us in our nakedness” but we must resist the urge to translate that nakedness into nothingness

May 17, 2010


“One does not kill oneself for the love of a woman, but because love — any love — reveals us in our nakedness, in our misery, in our vulnerability, in our nothingness.”

(Caesare Pavese, one of the greatest Italian poets and literary minds of the 20th century, c. 1950, just before his death by suicide after his failed affair with American actress Constance Dowling.)

Love strips us painfully, pitifully bare, like some shorn sheep or a little boy who’s just got his first buzzcut: this awkward, naked truth is very accurate, but I’m actually so glad of the many types of love; Sgr. Pavese seems to find all of them disheartening, but, respectfully, I dissent. I have struggled a long time with the difficulty of confronting and revealing my feelings, but I now believe that it is possible to examine my own self and still manage not to fall in to complete despair. Without the love of my family and friends I could never have borne some of the hard hits my heart has taken, historically and up to the present. I wish with all my soul that Sgr. Pavese could have found that same solace, but I wish him all the best in the life he has now. RIP.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Never alone

March 4, 2010

San Vitale tunnel, Bologna, Italy.


No one who walks through this tunnel has to feel alone, because they are surrounded by evidence that other human beings have walked the same path on which they find themselves now. To me this is the purpose of art. This is art at its best, and artists at their most vital: hundreds of people holding hands with you in the dark.



(photo via il CAMA on the flickr.)

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Il tempo non esiste edition

December 2, 2009


Genoa, Italy

“Time does not exist. Watches exist.”