WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TODAY TO EARN YOUR PLACE IN THIS CROWDED WORLD?

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TODAY TO EARN YOUR PLACE IN THIS CROWDED WORLD?

What have you done today to earn your place in this crowded world?

The character played by John Cusack asks this question to everyone in Utopia.

In naming Utopia my first association of thought is Thomas More.

Among other things, remaining in the field of cinematographic fiction, Thomas More is mentioned in Leonardo’s Cinderella played by Drew Barrymore, for example.

But I discovered that Utopia is also a movie about Australian Aborigines, and seeing the painful trailer let think that situation has stopped at the time as told by Baz Luhrmann.

Utopia however is in any expression of thought.

It is art, as described in this comment, it’s a song by Björk, it is not for The Offspring, it’s even a video game.

Utopia is a controversial Channel 4 series  then revised for an Amazon production by an exceptional showrunner: Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl and screenwriter by David Fincher, who appears in three different cameos, and disseminates various Easter eggs.

Utopia thus becomes a graphic novel. Viral …

A weird group of fans in search of this mysterious “comic” to be interpreted by riddles, find themselves catapulted into a reality that prefigures dystopia rather than Utopia.

Comics to tell the truth not really, it is a series of drawings by the artist Joao Ruas: some of the inspirations behind his work are the dawn of mankind, folklore, magical realism, the concept of wabi-sabi (侘寂) and human conflict.

Gillian Flynn, in an interview with the New York Times said: “I think it’s a Rorschach  test … It’s a show designed to let you find what you want from it, and have different points of view, which is exactly where we are right now.

Speaking of points of view, John Cusack, in his first role in a series, plays Kevin Christie … but rather than my Agatha, it is inspired by well-known characters of a completely different genre.

Those who follow him have the opportunity to know how much John has a certain aversion to some of Mr. Christie’s alter egos, which is why it was a cathartic interpretation.

In his interview published by The Guardian in addition to defining himself a kind of Cassandra, he gave me an amazing ending!

Cusack rubs his tired eyes. He drinks from his big tin tankard of coffee. (!) Who knows, he says? “Maybe being outspoken hurts your career… I’m just aware it helps me sleep better at night, knowing that I wasn’t passive during this time.”

After all, isn’t such an awareness already a kind of Utopia for many of us?

How do you see Utopia?

An exceptional admirer saw Utopia like this:

Stephen King writes:
I’m loving UTOPIA, on Amazon Prime. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea, given the times we’re living in, but it has the slow build to full steam that I associate with page-turning novels. Horrifying, violent, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny.

And what song goes with the trailer?

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
R.E.M

But this world, how should it be earned every day in your opinion?

I would rather ask: what have you done today to improve this world?

Even if to tell the truth I would be without answers …

CHRISTMAS WITH WHO?

CHRISTMAS WITH WHO?

Who did you spend Christmas with?

Thanks to Luciana’s gift, I spent it with Agatha: and with Poirot’s Christmas

A reading that takes you back to the classic situation typical of the riddles to be solved: room and windows closed, inside only the victim, no one enters, no one leaves …

Agatha dedicated this story to her brother-in-law, James, according to whom her murders “were getting refined.”
You yearned for a good violent murder with lots of blood…so this is your special story – written for you.

Among other things, there is also a quote from Shakespeare: “Yet who would have thought the old man had so much blood in him?

The one who pronounces it is not Lady Macbeth but a member of the Lee family, reunited for Christmas at the behest of the elderly father, despite divisions and disputes of various kinds.

And families now, families who have been separated throughout the year, assemble once more together. Now under these conditions, my friend, you must admit that there will occur a great amount of strain. People who do not feel amiable are putting great pressure on themselves to appear amiable! There is at Christmas time a great deal of hypocrisy, honourable hypocrisy, hypocrisy undertaken pour le bon motif, c’est entendu, but nevertheless hypocrisy.”
Hercule Poirot

What to say?
Sadly true.

In the film version, Poirot was played by David Suchet

Speaking of cinema as well as family reunions, as well as with the Lees, I also spent Christmas with the Colardo and Marinelli families, do you know them?

I saw the first time Every cursed Christmas by chance, without knowing anything about.

So its main feature: the duality of all the performers, for me it was an unexpected surprise as much fun.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can retrieve it here: together with laughter which he will give you.

And you, who did you spend Christmas with?

C’ERO ANCH’IO SU QUEL TRENO – THERE WAS ME ON THAT TRAIN TOO

C’ERO ANCH’IO SU QUEL TRENO – THERE WAS ME ON THAT TRAIN TOO

In thanking Giovanni Rinaldi once again, I am happy to tell you about his new book There was me on that train too  The true story of the children who united Italy published by Solferino.

There was me on that train too is published exactly twelve years after Happiness trains, years during which Giovanni Rinaldi never interrupted his historical research which, with his tireless human commitment, has turned into a real mission to bring together the protagonists of a chain of wonderful solidarity.

In the post-war years, thousands of children were hosted by generous families who pledged to offer them what they had been deprived of for various reasons, welcoming them and treating them as their own children.

Giovanni Rinaldi’s essay starts from the tragic consequences of a strike in San Severo in 1950 following which more than a hundred people were arrested: mothers, fathers, leaving many children in the middle of a street.

A song recorded by Giovanni begins like this

The venditré of March

Succèsse ‘na rruìna …

I know, I have already written it, but for me the dialect, as well as the oral tradition, are an absolute heritage that, if it were not for people like Giovanni, we would lose.

And instead with his persevering efforts, Giovanni continues in the collection of testimonies that extends to children forced to work in Naples, to children who survived the bombing of Cassino, and to many other cases in which conditions of extreme difficulty have made the help to parents providential, since they were unable to support them.

The organization, transfers, communications between families of origin and host families took place at the initiative of the Communist Party but in particular by the UDI: Unione Donne Italiane.

In this regard, with my love for Christmas, I read with particular emotion the part in which Ida tells of her commitment to collect from various shopkeepers, the necessary to make a Tree set up with candies, biscuits and gifts.

The magic, however, breaks to the point where Ida remembers how the secretary, annoyed at this initiative of hers, even scolded her with a slap …

Women.

Women and Mothers who weave their lives in function of the good for the children, managing to put themselves in each other’s shoes, understanding, working, sacrificing.

I particularly want to remember with affection Americo to which I am grateful for the great teaching on maternal love that he has given me.

The letter from Umberto’s mother is also enchanting:

The hearts of us mothers of the tormented Frosinone greet all of you who come to meet us, and we greet this beautiful work organized by our Communist Party.

I hope to receive more news, and if the Lord will provide me before Umberto returns I will come to see you.

Not that words to thank her for what you are doing for my son, but may the Lord give you back all the good you deserve …

She thanks the party and hopes in the Lord and yet I find no contradiction, on the contrary I admire the wonderful coexistence of thoughts that have the heart as a common denominator.

Heart that I found on every page.

Among the chapters of There was me on that train too, dedicated to each of the children he managed to track down, Giovanni Rinaldi tells us how he managed to trace the families who offered generous hospitality, starting from fragments of memories, names often lacking of references, photographs of a very distant time.

A meticulous work but above all a strong sensitivity combined with the noble intent to realize the desire for reunification of these people who life has inevitably led to distance themselves.

I don’t know if you were able to follow the interview on Rai Uno, otherwise you can retrieve it here at approximately 1 hour and 1 minute.

I advise you to see him to realize how Giovanni’s attitude towards the people he met is: while Severino and Diego tell their experience, he observes them with a smile that says more than any word.

And this is the feeling of extreme respect that runs throughout the book. Giovanni himself tells us that “these elderly gentlemen, when they speak, are the children of the time who tell … and it is also a therapy: going back to those moments means bringing out both the traumas and the joys.”

On tiptoe listening first.

And as much as Giovanni acts as a channel that allows memories and stories to flow that are faithfully reported, he also gives us descriptions of the context so precise as to make us feel transported to the same place, enveloped by the suggestion that the scope of enormous loads of emotions encloses.

I conclude by leaving you this beautiful metaphor about Benedict:

opens the door: a beam of light illuminates the darkness. Outside and inside, as on a border, they all remain still, suspended ...

LA FAMIGLIA FORTUNATA – THE LUCKY FAMILY

LA FAMIGLIA FORTUNATA – THE LUCKY FAMILY

The lucky family is the further translation requested to Laura by Enzo Migliaccio, founder of the Imagaenaria bookshop in Ischia Ponte and of the publishing house of the same name, author of the series Works from three pennies for four cats that I had already mentioned for La Pietra Cantante

Here you can find another fantastic photo of Cenerella, which Laura introduced us on the blog Al tavola di Amalia, and I couldn’t help but immediately think of the Acqua Alta bookshop

Books and cats, isn’t it a perfect match?

Returning to the reading: I was immediately struck by another “familiar” aspect: the character who introduces the reader to the story is called Pisani.

Very popular surname in the country where I was born!

Since we are very far from Ischia, it seemed to me a curious connection as if The family of the title could somehow take on a universal connotation.

The lucky family.
Luck is what each of us represents a bit synonymous with fulfilled wishes.

Or the other way around?
As this quote from the Dalai Lama suggests
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

I was very curious to find out how Vilhelm Bergsøe would represent this good fortune.

Obviously I don’t tell the plot, but I would like to ask: how would you represent a lucky family?

LA PASSIONE DI FRIDA – FRIDA’S PASSION

LA PASSIONE DI FRIDA – FRIDA’S PASSION

Frida’s passion published by tre60 is also the passion of Caroline Bernard pseudonym of Tanie Schlie who for her twenty-seventh birthday receives the biography of Frida Kahlo written by Hayden Herrera and begins a journey of immersion in everything that revolves around the artist.

On her website in the foreground the sentence: “And then I sit in Paris at the Café de Flore and I order my inspiration” … same Café de Flore in which Frida also sits on page 270.

The book also talks about a small café called La risa: laughter, but above all it talks about the PASSION mentioned in the title.

A passion so strong and visceral as to be unique and unrepeatable, a real bond made of earth, painting and blood that Frida Kahlo reports not only on her works but also in every single moment of her life.

A painful life, a life without discounts, never.

I particularly received inspiration in terms of living with pain, but it was other types of suffering that raged on Frida that came to me with the same intensity of her determination.

That hole in her heart remains indelible.

But superior is the strength with which her example arrives of how the will transcends the physical, managing to touch the impossible.

As much as fate is cruel.

At her death, her personal items were collected and banned from the public for a period of fifteen years at the behest of her husband Diego Rivera, but in reality the years passed before they were exhibited are fifty.

Among the photographs available thanks to The Guardian I was struck by the boots. Observe them well

And I tried to imagine the perfumes of Casa Azul 

Mexicanidad.
In a sentence in the book, her sister Cristina, who bears the same name as the friend I thank for the book, tells Frida that she is Mexico.

But she is also pain, tangible, inexorable, irreducible.

Thanks to the book, it is possible to witness the birth of some of his paintings following a thread of emotions, as if they could not be thought otherwise.

Do you have a favorite?

You can see them on the Foundation’s website, or here you will find a selection combined with quotes.

I conclude with a news, reported by Fantastic Nonna: the Municipality of Milan has dedicated a square to Tina Modotti who plays an important role in the book.

I fell in love with this photograph.

Do you have one in which your smile explodes radiating joy

EVA SLEEPS

EVA SLEEPS

Eva sleeps is what her mother replies to the postman in charge of delivering a package while we still don’t know anything about her.

Eva sleeps is a title that made me imagine something else.

Eva sleeps at the end of the book, but when I got to that point, I was moved because sleep represented a restitution.

And I was moved because there are bonds that can have the duration of a fragment but the indissoluble strength of something that nothing and no one can break.

This reading, once again from the series “Monica’s books” that I will never stop thanking, was a slow surprise, just like when something happens in life that you no longer expected.

And it is perhaps the things that did not happen that I appreciated, those that basically correspond to the truth exactly because of their absence.

Curiously I took another train trip this time from the far north of South Tyrol to the red and white lighthouse of Villa San Giovanni .

Looking from the window, images of the landscape and history alternate.

The history of Italy from 1919 to 1992.

The history of Italy seen from a very precise point of observation, high up, from the vertical earth.

But above all the history of that area that the most distracted, like me so far, call South Tyrol.

Francesca Melandri in her book published by Bompiani traces the events of the autonomous province of Bolzano, reconstructing a history that I had never considered in such detail.

Good and evil, souls and ideals, strategy and bad luck, intolerance and compassion are mixed within states, peoples, families, faces.

You should never forget to try to put yourself in the other’s shoes.

Ask yourself questions. All time.

Speaking of questions, there is one in particular that is constantly asked to Eva “Do you feel more Italian or more German?”

Her answer arrives right on the train, it is multifaceted and it could not be otherwise, considering all aspects.

Do you ever think about how much of you is the expression of your roots?

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