How exciting are the men who break our hearts is the book written by Dianella Bardelli, whom I thank very much.

The first contact I had with Dianella was vocal, I listened to her voice, which struck me even before discovering the main aspect of the book, and even before realizing what I was going to discover as I read: a feature in common between Dianella and Lenore, I think.

Lenore Kandel.

Dianella Bardelli in her book published by Compagnia Editoriale Aliberti writes in a style that is as personal, immersive as it is biographical.

Lenore Kandel is a poet belonging to the Hippie culture. Actually, often the Hippy  movement is called a “counterculture,” but I don’t like to think in those terms.

Lenore in particular stood out for the intensity with which she lived and spread the very essence of her passion.

Passion that finds its most emblematic representation in The Love Book: a text deemed obscene, seized and banned to such an extent that three clerks were brought to trial on charges of dissemination through their bookstores.

San Francisco, 1967.

A year that began with the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park prelude to the summer remembered by all as the Summer of love.

An era that I had never fully explored until now but Lenore and Dianella showed me in all its philosophy.

Lenore and Dianella, two women, distant in space, time, and color, but close in writing as an expression of their intense passion.

Dianella’s face is framed by golden hair.

Lenore’s face is highlighted by the famous black braids.

Dianella writes novels and poems, and in addition to How Exciting the Men Who Break Our Hearts, she published Near but Far, Altruistic Fish are Reborn Children, Neal’s Psychedelic Bard, Toward Katmandu in Search of Happiness, I’m Going for a Look, 1968.

Lenore, beyond the aforementioned The Love Book left us, among other works, Word Alchemy … a title that I find poetic in itself.

Dianella’s destiny led her to discover Lenore by chance and to be the only woman to tell us about her in Italy.

Lenore’s destiny led her to be on stage at the Human Be-In on January 14, 1967, the only woman to speak, on her thirty-fifth birthday.

You can see her here after the greetings from minute 11:30.

Dianella writes on three blogs:

Spontaneous Poetry 

A writing blog 

A haiku blog 

in addition to countless web collaborations.

Lenore left us this conversation with Carlos Fresneda, in which she also quotes Lawrence Ferlinghetti while you can have a view through Isaac Hernandez’s photos.

Basically, How Exciting the Men Who Break Our Hearts to me spoke about Women, and, in my own personal reading key, I found myself thinking about how our lives breaks us.

Without adding more I leave you with this sentence from the book:
What is not sufficiently illuminated by the light of wisdom fails to move from idealization to concrete realization.



A good spy thrives under pressure.

How do you react under pressure?
Can you achieve the goal?

The target in question is a coffee prepared with a fantastic espresso machine

Unlikely and unexpected is the specialist intent on preparation.

What could possibly happen if the Terminator “himself” prepared your coffee?

The result explodes in full force in the commercial introducing the new Netflix series Heart of stone starring Gal Gadot

Schwarzenegger quotes True lies, what spy movie would you quote?

The very famous 007 medium sweet for example?

The Condor asked, “but what if the pressure wasn’t there?”

Pressure or no pressure? Enigma … 

Or a palindrome

Definitely intelligence stuff …

The best spy is undoubtedly hidden in Jingle all the way, or not! What do you say?

A good spy thrives under pressure.

I had fun mentioning some spy movies, I suppose you recognized them all.

What, on the other hand, is your favorite film inspired by this strand?

If I say spy, what is the first name that comes to mind?

Can we agree that Mata Hari is perhaps the quintessential name? I would say that Mata, short for Margaretha, is even synonymous with spy.

The word spy comes from the Gothic spaíha according to the Treccani vocabulary, but derives from the French espie according to the etymological vocabulary, so the duality is extrinsic from the origin of the name.

Curious, isn’t it?

It is rather difficult to establish even the first spy in history, so perhaps we can settle for the first spy who makes explosive coffee, can’t we?



Summer: time for travel, craving for levity.

I propose a surreal quiz to laugh with each other.  Are you ready to imagine?

Let’s pretend that …

you are traveling with people who make you feel good, whether family or friends.

First question: where are you going?

You are chatting about the last movie you saw while you are driving, but you feel a little tired. You see a motorway café, you stop and say: “I need a coffee, I’ll be right back.”

Twenty minutes later you aren’t back yet, so whoever was with you comes in looking for you and what do they see?

You singing standing on the counter like the girls from Coyote Ugly

but this is Italy, there are no microphones in the motorway cafés and you are holding a Rustic sandwich with ham, tomato, mozzarella salad and mayonnaise.

Second question: what are you singing?

Since you have been discovered, you invite them to join you.

Assumption 1:
They catch up with you and start singing with you in the Top Gun style.

Assumption 2:
someone decides to bite the Rustic sandwich 

Assumption 3:
they look at you dumbfounded and after the first moment when they are like salt statues they react by asking what the heck you are doing

Let’s pretend that …

you have to give an explanation: what happened after the coffee?



Madrigal Without Sound is the book recommended by Monica to help me dealing with a period of history that is actually not in my league.

Published by Bollati Boringhieri, Madrigal without sound won the 2019 Campiello Prize.

About the author: Andrea Tarabbia has a WordPress blog and I was struck by the header image: a photograph of the entrance to apartment No. 50 on Sadovaja Street, Moscow, taken in the year 2000.

Actually, given the particular construction I should speak of authors because if the Madrigal is soundless, the book on the other hand has multiple voices.

Three different visions take the reader to look at the soul of Carlo Gesualdo, known as Gesualdo da Venosa, famous for being an excellent madrigalist, but also a bloody uxoricide.

Igor Stravinsky, Glenn Watkins, and Gioachino Ardytti.

Igor Stravinsky certainly needs no introduction.

Glenn Watkins is defined as the greatest expert of Gesualdo da Venosa.

Finally, I would define Gioachino Ardytti as the embodiment of the legends around the life of Carlo Gesualdo.

The exchange between Watkins and Stravinskji is epistolary, you know how much I love letters

And it is a prelude to what will happen in Venice in 1960: Monumentum pro Gesualdo da Venosa ad CD annum.



On the other hand, Andrea Tarabbia ascribes to Gioachino a manuscript narrating the life of Carlo Gesualdo down to the dark details of evil reported in a manner as ruthless as it is functional in portraying the character perhaps with the same criterion of repentance that he intended by extruding it in the famous Pala del Perdono.


Franco Battiato also dedicated a song that invites reflection on morality and the actions of men.

The madrigals of Gesualdo, prince of Venosa
Musician murderer of the bride
What does it matter?
He strikes his note
Sweet as a rose.

Strong words indeed.

Carlo Gesualdo’s bride: Maria D’Avalos, was slaughtered at Palazzo San Severo, where they lived, and various legends have been passed down about her ever since.

Certainly Maria remains a constant presence in the narrative of Gesualdo da Venosa’s life, in a sort of seesaw between alter egos and a mixture of good and evil.

I rather like to quote you this sentence from the book:
I think that music is the bride of words, and that every word is a box where all pain, and joy, and life are contained. With sounds we can explode this box, give it more pain, more joy, more life than it already has.


I find this to be very true: music for me can amplify states of mind.

What do you think?


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