BEWITCHED?

BEWITCHED?

1947: a meaningful year for me, my mother’s birth year. She, who was used to buy 10 lire of old newspapers just to have something to read. She, who made me grow up in a house with a large library full of books of all kinds.

She, who simply loved to read.

Never any imposition, never any particular advice. It was all natural, I still remember the titles that struck me most as a child, then I still could not know the story, yet they were already in my mind, ready to be rediscovered at the right time.

And one day, just like her, I simply started reading too.

1947 is also the year of the first literary prize Strega which took its name from the liqueur produced in the Guido Alberti family company who was a patron of it and who subsequently, after his marriage to the astrologer Lucia Alberti, began his acting career and was directed by directors such as Federico Fellini Francesco Rosi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Eduardo De Filippo and Roman Polanski. A biography that in itself would seem like a novel.

In the long list of winners of the editions that have followed each other from year to year, respectable names appear and a few days ago I read a statistic published by Gabriella which showed an overwhelming male majority .

I sincerely have to recover several things from the past, but Monica opened a window on the present, also giving me a key to the book that won the 2020 edition: The hummingbird by Sandro veronesi published by La nave di Teseo.

I gladly approached it, without knowing the author, without knowing the previous success Chaos Calmo and without knowing the various dynamics that led to this second victory.

“You are a hummingbird because like the hummingbird you put all your energy into staying still.”

The quote on the back cover immediately offers the first food for thought: suddenly static is considered as an effort, and not as the absence of movement.

The movement of the book is constituted by the temporal jumps with which the author leads the narration according to a very symbolic thread, alternating exchanges of letters and digressions with stories of daily life poised between the apparent normality and a crescendo of paradoxical situations.

I found particularly curious how the rather unlikely events of the main character made me think of Forrest Gump, a sort of coincidence, since I had just written a post about it.

But following the idea of the hummingbird, and trying to fly backwards to review everything from a different perspective, I developed the idea of metaphors to reconfirm the only true certainty we have: life has surprises in store and often revolutionizes plans and certainties.

But for the truth we are not still, we resist, something very different.

I think I’m not the only one to have found a sort of cross with painful personal experiences, of course then everyone continues on their tracks, but the scars remain in common.

This book also gave me a reference to childhood in reading the descriptions of summer places: Toscana’s sea near Bolgheri, Marina di Bibbona, Punta Ala, having also spent my holidays exactly on that same coast, and I found myself facing the thought of how we used to take things for granted until this particular summer, and how we never thought they could vanish.

So “bewitched”? Strega means witch laughing

No, but happy as every time a reading inspires reflections.

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

“It is sometimes said that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in one part of the world can cause a hurricane on the other side of the globe.”
This quote comes from the 2004 film The Butterfly Effect and is inspired by a theory taken up and debated in numerous areas.
Once again, as happened for the War of the Worlds: the inspiration comes from a science fiction novel, it is in fact Ray Bradbury who in his Sound of thunder attributes to the proper death of a butterfly during a journey through time, a variation of future events:

Eckels felt himself fall into a chair. He fumbled crazily at the thick slime on his boots. He held up a clod of dirt, trembling,
“No, it can’t be. Not a little thing like that. No!”
Embedded in the mud, glistening green and gold and black, was a butterfly, very beautiful and very dead.

Another coincidence, also in this case the story was broadcast by the BBC in 2011: here if you want to find the podcast (butterfly from about 35 minutes but I would advise you to listen to it all if you have time).
The butterfly symbol was taken up by Edward Lorenz, mathematician and meteorologist professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in his 1963 paper for the New York Academy of Science and later in a 1979 lecture that went down in history.
In general, the butterfly effect belongs to quantum physics and more precisely to the basis of chaos theory.
Chaos is the most congenial aspect to me, but actually I didn’t want to talk about this … not this time, at least.
Antonietta Gatti is perhaps known to most as “the wife of” despite her respectable curriculum. Her skills add up over time, and I would list, almost a bit to summarize, this recognition: she has been awarded the title of Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering for her contribution to the progress of science. The various national societies of biomaterials and bioengineering have tens of thousands of members worldwide and the union of the various companies has elected Dr. Gatti to be part of the elite of scientists that consists of 32 members, and she was part of a parliamentary commission of inquiry as a responsible consultant. I know, difficult to read, but I found her report very interesting, perhaps because I live in a highly polluted area: here the mortality rate from tumors is terrible:
She deals with nanopathology or pathologies induced by micro and nano-sized particulate exposures, i.e. powders with dimensions less than 100nm (0.1 microns) but her research has become difficult due to the reduced availability of a suitable microscope.
Her flapping wings has not changed the world yet, but she has been able to reach the hearts of people who have made it possible to buy a new electron microscope with their donations.
Let us not stop at the fact that individually we cannot make a difference, let us not stop flying lightly on the difficulties, each of us can be the butterfly of change, let’s believe it, and do not let ourselves be crushed in the mud.

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