• Mondo Fuori

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    con Bertoli e Ligabue, nel vento che soffia e l'acqua che scorre...

  • 21 Marzo-World Poetry Day. Arriva Primavera, in versi…

    Il verso è tutto. G.D'Annunzio, Il Piacere, II,1

  • LIBERA-100 passi e oltre verso…

    21 Marzo a Padova XXIV giornata della memoria e dell'impegno in ricordo delle vittime innocenti delle mafie.

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  • 8 Marzo 2020-Donne insieme con determinazione e speranza

    a mia madre-click&read
  • Verità per Giulio Regeni-“La tua verità? No, la Verità, e vieni con me a cercarla. La tua, tientela.” A.Machado y Ruiz (Poeta Spagnolo 1875-1939)

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    Sentimenti contrastanti accompagnano questo momento. Il mio cuore è lì, Oltremanica. E sento come uno strappo, un'ulteriore barriera tra me e i miei affetti. Ho bisogno di tempo e di freddezza per rielaborare il significato di questo evento .

  • 27 Gennaio-Giornata della Memoria per continuare a ricordare, andando avanti

  • 25 Novembre-Giornata Internazionale contro la violenza sulle donne

    Il racconto dell'ancella di M.Atwood-Giochi di potere sul corpo delle donne

    RISPETTO E PREVENZIONE

  • Giornata Mondiale del Migrante 2019- Viaggi e Diritti, in tempo di pace e di guerra. Ancora morti, tanti. Troppi!

    Viaggi nell'abisso. Samia: “Il Viaggio è una cosa che tutti noi abbiamo in testa fin da quando siamo nati. Ognuno ha amici e parenti che l’hanno fatto, oppure che a loro volta conoscono qualcuno che l’ha fatto. È una creatura mitologica che può portare alla salvezza o alla morte con la stessa facilità. Nessuno sa quanto può durare. Se si è fortunati due mesi. Se si è sfortunati anche un anno o due…”p.122 -Non dirmi che hai paura-G.Catozzella

  • 15 Marzo Climate Strike. Gli studenti del mondo manifestano per clima e ambiente

    Fridays for Future- giovani alla riscossa- Appello disperato agli "adulti" Agite subito per questa nostra Terra! “Our house is on fire, I am here to say our house is on fire."

  • 19 Luglio -Luci che non si spengono

  • Con Amnesty International contro la pena di morte

  • 2 Giugno 2019-Festa della Repubblica Italiana

  • Amo l’Europa e il 26 Maggio VOTO.

  • 1° Maggio, su coraggio! Io ti amo…

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  • 23 Aprile-Giornata Mondiale del Libro

  • 25 Aprile 2019- Festa della Liberazione dal nazifascismo

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  • 10 Dicembre 1948 Dichiarazione Universale dei Diritti Umani

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  • 20 Novembre2017- Giornata Internazionale dei diritti dell’Infanzia e dell’Adolescenza

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Quarantena COVID19 a scuola. Didattica a Distanza in campo all’IIS “P. Scalcerle” di Padova. La professoressa di Inglese condivide la sua esperienza complicata, ma necessaria.

student a distanza

Ai tempi del COVID19 le scuole di ogni ordine e grado e le università Italiane sono chiuse. Rimane tuttavia aperto il “canale” formativo a distanza per mantenere vivo il contatto  con gli studenti, e dunque portare avanti  le attività didattiche. Oggi, su Facebook leggo con interesse  il resoconto di una lezione a distanza  di un’amica-collega, la professoressa Grasso del Liceo Linguistico “P.Scalcerle” di Padova. Eccolo: 

 

Sono le otto di mattina, tra un po’ mi collego in videoconferenza con una classe, trucchiamoci dai che, cavoli, come si vedono le rughe nello schermo. A saperlo mi facevo qualche punturina!!

Apriamo il collegamento: buongiorno, buongiorno prof, buongiorno prof, come sta prof? Io bene e voi ragazzi? Tutto bene prof. Chi manca ancora? Dovremmo essere 31 siamo solo 25, dai aspettiamo ancora un attimo finché si collegano tutti ed ecco: possiamo cominciare.

Allora avete preso le key notes di cui abbiamo parlato la volta scorsa? Chi vuole cominciare? Brusio di sottofondo, gente che sfoglia libri, quaderni, sposta le sedie. Ragazzi mi sa che vi silenzio tutti altrimenti c’è troppo rumore. E nel frattempo si sente:

‹Ma a che ora si mangia? No, io ho fame, facciamo all’una!!›

Ragazzi, vi prego dite ai vostri genitori di non venire a parlarvi mentre siamo online! Cominciamo allora, chi posso far cominciare? Maledetto schermo, mica li vedi tutti assieme come in classe, solo 4,5 alla volta. Aspetta dov’è finito Guglielmo (nome di fantasia) che di solito dorme? Scorro con il mouse tutte le facce, eccolo, sbadiglia! Dai Guglielmo comincia tu.

Prof, mi ha scritto la Ele che si è scollegata! Dille di rientrare col cellulare, magari prende meglio. Eccomi prof sono tornata! Ok allora, continuiamo. E andiamo avanti così per 40 minuti, un po’ parlo io e la maggior parte del tempo loro, cercando di non farli sovrapporre.

Perché, specialmente per un’insegnante di lingua come me, questo è fare scuola; non è parlare per 40 minuti di un argomento di grammatica o letteratura, è far parlare loro, farli ragionare, discutere, porre quesiti, ipotesi, tutto ovviamente in inglese. E nel frattempo condividi testi, appunti che ti sei preparato prima della lezione, scrivi sulla whiteboard eventuali frasi o parole necessarie.

E quando manca 1 minuto alla chiusura i saluti di rito: state a casa ragazzi, take care, vi voglio bene! Anche noi, prof! Baci e abbracci virtuali e alla prossima lezione!

icon_distanza

Vai al sito MIUR per saperne di più su: Didattica a Distanza

 

 

S.Yazbeck-PASSAGGI IN SIRIA (The Crossing). Storia di un viaggio nel cuore dilaniato della Siria. Una lettura necessaria.

NBC News profughi siriani

 

Oggi, 5 Marzo 2020

Sui profughi Siriani si continua a giocare una partita indecente per chi voglia chiamarsi “persona umana”. Chi  porrà fine a questo scempio? E quando?

Arriva la versione in Italiano…finalmente

Oggi, 23 Settembre 2017, leggo su Tuttolibri (Christian Raimo) che è stata pubblicata la versione Italiana del reportage  di Yazbeck, Passaggi in Siria. Finalmente. Ci ha pensato Sellerio.

passaggi in Siria yazbeck Samar

 

Oggi, 4 Aprile 2017

Esattamente un anno fa pubblicavo  questa recensione. Ricorrenza triste questa, arrivano notizie e immagini  di  ulteriori infamità dalla martoriata Siria. Un’arma antica, che sembra ormai fuori dalla storia della civiltà umana, il gas sarin, viene utilizzata per uccidere e annientare vite innocenti di bambini e adulti prigionieri di una follia incontrollata. Il  libro di Yazbeck torna  ancora una volta prepotentemente alla memoria


 

Ritmi di lettura, di guerra e di vita

the crossing_Yazbeck

Raramente mi sono soffermata così a lungo tra le pagine di un libro. Cosa rallenta il mio ritmo? L’attualità credo, che da anni ormai incombe sulle nostre vite, accompagnata da un  forte senso d’impotenza. I racconti di guerra provocano sempre una reazione viscerale, dalla quale riesci con difficoltà a prendere le distanze. Nel caso della sciagurata e oscura guerra Siriana questa operazione è ancora più difficile e dolorosa. Ad immagini letterarie si sovrappongono immagini reali di devastazione, dolore e umanità in fuga, alla ricerca di uno spiraglio di libertà e di vita.

“Can you believe that a government and a state could bomb its own people. I’ll never understand this for as long as I live! “ One thing you need to know” he added ”is that each region now has its own administration, and every village looks after itself. Everything has been turned upside down, as if every little community has become a state in itself. “This is the devastation that follows tyranny” I suggested. P.71

Ha un forte impatto sul lettore il punto di vista dell’ autrice,   una giornalista siriana in esilio a Parigi, che  decide di tornare nel suo paese per testimoniare  direttamente e  far conoscere al mondo  quello che accade nella sua terra. Insieme a lei entriamo nel mondo dilaniato delle famiglie Siriane coinvolte e travolte, nel tragico dopo-primavera di ribellione anti Assad.

 

Progetti di sviluppo  tra le donne in tempo di guerra

SaraqebLa sua determinazione a scoprire o inventare progetti di sviluppo con le sue connazionali è commovente e la dice lunga sulla linfa di vita che pervade l’anima e il corpo delle donne.  Insieme a loro respiri l’odore degli ulivi, che fanno da sfondo a ogni azione, dalla più piccola e quotidiana alla più efferata e violenta.

Mohammed told me we needed to check the shelter near Saraqeb market that we were planning to turn into a women’s centre. The shelter wasn’t in an ideal location, but the space was available and the townspeople had offered to let us use it for free, so it was a good start. Although shelling was normally concentrated on the market itself, as though the objective of the bombing was to kill the largest number of civilians…p.159

 

Uomini e combattenti

E gli uomini? Combattono, come animali impazziti e confusi, sparano e feriscono e uccidono in nome di non si capisce bene cosa. Ribelli, mercenari, soldati turchi e russi e curdi e soldati di Bashar al Assad si mescolano in un guazzabuglio di morte e  di dolore sotto le bombe a grappolo, le schegge mortali, i missili.

 Gli uomini che fanno da scorta a Samar sanno bene invece contro chi  combattono. Sono  i ribelli della prima ora, quelli che avevano salutato la primavera araba come l’occasione della vita, per riportare la democrazia nel  loro paese,  quelli che mai avrebbero pensato di prendere un’arma e sparare contro un proprio simile. Le loro mogli, figlie, fidanzate, nonne sono al loro fianco, orgogliosamente e amorevolmente. E accolgono  Samar come una di famiglia e dividono con lei tutto: lo scarso cibo, l’affetto, la paura, i  pochi sogni rimasti.

They went to their revolution full of dreams of freedom and justice, They paid the price of their miscarried dreams heavily in blood. 275

Arrivano le bombe!

Le notizie e gli inviti a proteggersi dai bombardamenti selvaggi, volano tramite   radio ricevitori artigianali. Il ritmo dei bombardamenti da il passo ai movimenti di donne, bambini e  combattenti.

Ospedali di guerra 

E vengono bombardati anche gli ospedali! La cosa più atroce, disumana e “illegale” che possa accadere in guerra. I feriti vengono lasciati morire in stanze distrutte, con un solo medico, anch’egli disperato, che non sa a che santo votarsi.

“The people here lived side by side with death. This was no metaphor but reality.They didn’t think about any big issue, they weren’t interested in understanding the military situation or the political context; they had no space to think. All they could do was to struggle to survive…”p.131

Samar Yazbeck
Samar Yazbeck

La nostra testimone racconta in modo accorato, ma lucido e realistico, i suoi tre “passaggi” clandestini in Siria, dal 2011 al 2013, prima ancora che la guerra infame divenisse  ancor più tragica e distruttiva. Le sue parole fanno materializzare davanti agli  occhi i fiumi di persone,

“Hordes of people departing as if it was the Day of Judgement” ,

che scappano dalle bombe, dalla miseria, dalla confusione fisica, mentale e politica. Tanta confusione. Troppa e non casuale, forse.

 

La scuola  al tempo della guerra

children from the world_UNICEFE non voglio parlare dei bambini e delle bambine che Yazbeck incontra in questo inferno. Fermatevi un attimo a riflettere sulle notizie che giornalmente affollano le nostre inutili televisioni e mettetele accanto alle immagini di infanzia violata, che si sono nel tempo stratificate nella vostra memoria. Vi apparirà un quadro orrido, di vero disarmante terrore.

Eppure qualcuno  trova il modo di inventarsi una scuola perché l’educazione è “irrinunciabile”. Sono le donne di Saraqeb e gli studenti universitari del Karama Bus Project (a sort of mobile school for displaced people) che proiettano film e fanno disegnare i bambini sotto le bombe e gli sguardi critici degli uomini del Fronte  Nusra.

…Diaa who managed the temporary school she had set up, explained to me the importance of establishing networks of women who were able to educate children in their homes: we couldn’t risk children gathering in old- fashioned school buildings where bombing might result in many more casualties than if they were taught elsewhere. Communities were already beginning to establish these privately run schools as local initiatives; where lessons took place depended on the intensity of the shelling.While this meant there were no set school days, at least the children were receiving a little education.p.162

La quotidianità  sotto le bombe

Se migliaia di persone  lasciano il  paese altrettanti restano e cercano  di  ricostruirsi una prospettiva di vita.  Vivere la quotidianità di una guerra assurda, dove spesso si perde di vista chi sia il vero nemico da combattere, dove le uniche vittime certe sono  i  più deboli, dove la razionalità è morta e la speranza è in fin di vita, porta Samar a porsi  continue domande sul suo  compito iniziale, sulle sue capacità di rappresentare in modo  chiaro e corretto  tutto ciò che le sta accadendo intorno.

Sentimenti e sensazioni  contrastanti la assalgono: dubbi, tristezza, rabbia,  rassegnazione, desiderio di fuga, che non le impediranno comunque  di  andare avanti, fino alla fine del suo doloroso ma illuminante   viaggio. Molto  intensi sono  i  racconti di Hossam (187); dell’inquietante Emir of war  Abu Ahmed(231); di Raed (191)che ripercorre gli inizi e i  momenti salienti  della ribellione a Kafranbel; e per finire, quello del rabbioso Hajji del campo profughi Palestinese a Latakia(254)

Sprazzi di poesia

Ma  non mancano brevi  intermezzi di struggente poesia:

The sky was clear and there was a full moon as we passed through the olive and figs groves.What was happening now in the country seemed closer to fiction than reality, and I took a moment to concentrate pn the surrounding silence and stillness, which was nothing short of pure magic-no fear of death for the moment. Yet…p.182

Al fronte

per incontrare Abu Hassan, l’emiro locale  di  Nusra Front. La sua versione dei fatti sugli inizi del conflitto coincide sostanzialmente con quella dei ribelli…

…an ancient Roman Mausoleum. The architecture was exquisite but it had been struck by a missile. Inside, many stores had been looted and there were only a few remaining. At the far end lay only rubble-the remnants of arial  bombardment. The burial ground was nearly two thousand years old, but the Nusra Front was now using it as a meeting place. 

the crossing_ raccontar storie

The Crossing è  un libro che “will give voice to the voiceless”, come Samar spiega all’emiro Abu Hassan. E allora, siete pronti a leggerlo? Spero di sì, ne vale davvero la pena. La foto  sopra riproduce un passaggio   molto piacevole in cui    Yazbeck fa riferimento ai racconti di Le mille e una notte e allo scambio  di ruoli  nella narrazione, che l’ha coinvolta in prima persona.(248)

 

Libro e dintorni

Cristina Lamb (Sunday Times) scrive nella premessa:

These are the accounts of the people on the ground collected on  three journeys between 2012 and 2013, people who are living through the war, feeling as if the world has abandoned them. This book will remind you of the initial hope of 2011 and the Arab Spring. The earnstness of the early revolutionaries who wanted democracy is heartbreaking. And their warnings of how  their fight might be hijacked by well-funded extremists if they continued to get no Western  help are horribly prescient. 

 

Echi Italiani

repubblica.it3 Aprile 2016, a 5 anni dall’inizio della Primavera Araba,   l’articolo di De Feo (Repubblica.it)   ci riporta in qualche modo a The Crossing: Siria, il documento degli alawiti: “Con Assad al potere non ci saranno riforme”

 

C.Alfieri-LET IT SNOW. WINTER’S TALE. Tempo di neve, tempo di Natale nel racconto di una liceale amante della lingua Inglese.

 

Let It Snow.The Winter’s Tale

by Clare Alfieri

(3D Liceo Linguistico “P. Scalcerle” Padova- 2008)

 

let it snow

 

Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Music and words were dancing together, fluttering and swinging in the air to come to my ears in a unique, symphonic wave.  I’ve always loved listening to Christmas carols during winter, while snow’s falling on the ground, freezing and purifying everything it meets: the world turns white and the whole nature seems a joyful bride, waiting for her man to come to the altar and pronounce the fateful “yes”.

gif-animata-natale-paesaggi-natalizi_13471

On a cold, windy day of December I’m sitting all curled-up in my dark red sofa as always: a rosary in one hand and a book of poems laying open on my knees. I need nothing but those few things to be happy and feel safe from the Great Cold of the usual Canadian winter. Since few years I have the fortune to feel neither cold nor hot: it seems as if my nerves have stopped feeling temperature and I couldn’t be happier for that. I’ve always been sensitive to cold in my previous life, and now I can fully enjoy winter, even if snowstorms still frighten me.

 It doesn’t show signs of stopping
And I’ve brought some corn for popping
The lights are turned way down low
Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow

I don’t feel hunger nor thirst, my skin is paler than I remembered and I can’t see myself in mirrors, except when I make a memory effort and strongly believe I can see my figure in them. It scared me a little bit at first, but, eventually, I got used to it.

My entire person isn’t what people define “physical”. It is something more like a presence, a sensation, a cold wind blowing on people’s cheeks and necks, causing shivers down their spines. When I asked God to return to earth in this form I couldn’t really imagine what it would have been like: being invisible to the world, being unable to help people whenever they need it, being unable to say your own opinion in a discussion. In a word, being nothing. Phantoms’ life isn’t a simple life. You need to get used to it or hope the person you’re linked to dies and comes with you to the “upper world”.

That is the reason why I didn’t remain among clouds, angels and neverending happiness: I am still in love with my poor, old, skinny husband, and I couldn’t really leave him that way.

 

When we finally kiss goodnight,

How I’ll hate going out in the storm!

But if you really hold me tight,


All the way home I’ll be warm.

 

Oh, my dear James how long time we’ve spent together… Do you remember those days when we were young, reckless and crazy? We were really much more different than now, but always stuck together like butter to bread and always in love one with the other.

If only I could tell you what I feel… Well, actually I’ve already tried to. It took me tons of energy to make you write those few words on a piece of paper to inform you I’m still here with you. But you thought your house was haunted and then persuaded yourself of being possessed by demons. You fool! How could you not recognise me?

Ghosts don’t feel cold nor hot, nor hunger nor thirst; but I can assure you they can feel their heart breaking and their feelings being hurt.

Anyway, you eventually understood that it was me and tried to get in contact with your poor dead wife. It wasn’t simple to convince you not to commit suicide to join me, but in the end I managed to do it. If you had done it, we would have been divided for the eternity, and I really couldn’t have stood it.

 

The fire is slowly dying,

And, my dear, we’re still good-bying 

But as long as you love me so,

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Let it Snow by Michael Buble

 

Now you are dragging your slippers on the dirty floor: without me you can’t even keep this hovel clean.

Like every evening, you come to poke the fire to help you’re wife’s spirit not to feel cold;

like every evening, you make sure windows are well closed, because, even if I’ve already told you I don’t feel anything, you’re still convinced I could get a cold;

like every evening, you put some books on the table in case I feel like reading;

like every evening, you put some blankets on the sofa to keep my spirit warm;

and, like every evening, you blow a kiss in the air, hoping for it to reach my cheeks.

Like every evening, I silently follow you into your bedroom, unnoticed .

Like every evening I listen to you whispering softly

“Soon, I’ll join you.”

while you are looking at my photograph and closing your eyes.

 

 

 

In Northumberland-UK, terra di memorie e fascino retrò, incontro Vera Stanhope e George Gently, due ispettori di polizia in armonia con una ambientazione vintage.

 

 

La nostalgia del Northumberland con il suo aspetto  rude, aspro, romantico e drammatico, mi ha portato a vivere la mia “siesta” di questi ultimi tempi con due ispettori molto particolari, Vera Stanhope  e L’ispettore George Gently.

Non tanto per le loro storie gialle, che hanno  le stesse caratteristiche di tante altre, ma per i personaggi che popolano un  territorio che mi porto nell’anima: Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Consett, Ebchester, Lindisfarne-Holy Island, doni di un tempo  passato e affascinante.

 Northumberland-Durham County1998

Lo stesso senso del passato  della serie L’Ispettore Gently (Nomen Omen per un ufficiale di polizia che ha combattuto in Italia, dove ha incontrato Isabella, l’amore della sua vita). Ispirato al personaggio creato dallo scrittore Inglese  Alan Hunter, che in realtà ambienta le sue storie nel Norfolk, nella serie BBC  l’azione si sposta nel drammatico Northumberland degli anni sessanta,  zona quasi ferma nel tempo e per questo più rispondente alle atmosfere retrò e suggestive del testo originale.

L’ispettrice Vera Stanhope è il personaggio creato dalla scrittrice Ann Cleeves, apparentemente sciatta e poco affascinante, compensa i suoi modi  e il suo fisico da complicata donna di mezza età con una personalità intelligente, intuitiva e umana. Ricorrente è il suo “caro”  con cui si rivolge a  chiunque interpelli, persino i possibili  colpevoli.

Le scene  dell’ Ispettore George Gently prendono anima dalla maestosità della Cattedrale di Durham. Che gioiello! Che emozione rivederla e ripensare ai gruppi di studenti Leonardo-Erasmus+, inizialmente riluttanti alla mia idea del  tour delle chiese in stile Gotico-Inglese della zona (inclusa quella di  York, più a sud) e poi affascinati  da questi monumenti alla spiritualità e al potere di un’Inghilterra antica.

Mi emoziono  quando i personaggi  di queste storie vagano per la brughiera (the moors) o vivono nei suoi cottage ventosi sparsi qua e là, in solitudine. Il vento dell’Est sferza tutto e pulisce i cieli ingombri di nuvole e pioggia. E sveglia l’anima.

E il pomeriggio passa morbido e lento, lasciandomi sul cuore e nella testa una rilassata malinconia.

 

P. Roth-PORTNOY’S COMPLAINTS o della lotta perenne tra forti impulsi etico-altruistici e desideri sessuali estremi, spesso perversi…

 

 

 

     portnoyscomplaint blu

 

Bisognerebbe leggere, credo,

solo libri

che mordono e pungono.

Se il libro che leggiamo

non ci sveglia

con un pugno in testa,

a che serve leggerlo?

F. Kafka

 

Piero Dorfles (Per un pugno di Libri-Rai3) mi ha invogliato a leggere Portnoy’s Complaints di Philip Roth. Lo studente in gara in  “Fuori gli autori” non lo conosce.  Dorfles sgrana gli occhi stupefatto, ma si riprende subito e aggiunge  estasiato:

“Beato te! questo vuol dire che hai ancora da leggere uno dei veri capolavori del 900!”

Sentire queste parole ha fatto scoccare il clic dei desideri; un altro clic lo aveva fatto scattare tempo prima la lunga e appassionata discussione sulla mancata attribuzione del Nobel a Roth. Tra le decine di super premi che gli sono stati conferiti, manca il top. Ma lui ci lascia prima che possa accadere l’agognato evento. Chiuso.

Per me invece sembra finalmente arrivato il  momento di conoscerlo più da vicino. Inizio a leggere il romanzo  in Inglese, con sprazzi di Ebraico.

Epigrafe

“Portnoy’s Complaint (pôrt′-noiz kәm-plānt′) n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933- )] A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature. Spielvogel says: ‘Acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus are plentiful; as a consequence of the patient’s “morality,” however, neither fantasy nor act issues in genuine sexual gratification, but rather in overriding feelings of shame and the dread of retribution, particularly in the form of castration.’ (Spielvogel, O. “The Puzzled Penis,” Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, Vol. XXIV p. 909.) It is believed by Spielvogel that many of the symptoms can be traced to the bonds obtaining in the mother-child relationship.”

Questa introduzione trasporta il lettore in un ambito scientifico che, a detta dello stesso autore, “sterilizza” in un certo senso il contenuto e il linguaggio usati nella narrazione. Espressioni sconce, argomenti imbarazzanti, situazioni al limite del censurabile, diventano in tal modo narrativamente ed eticamente accettabili.

E allora, che abbia inizio il lungo e talora estenuante flusso di coscienza di un giovane maschio che inonda di domande il suo psicoanalista Doctor Spielvogel sulla sua condizione di maniaco ossessivo compulsivo:

“How much longer do I go on conducting these experiments with women? How much longer do I go on sticking this thing into the holes that come available to it—first this hole, then when I tire of this hole, that hole over there . . . and so on. When will it end? Only why should it end! To please a father and mother? To conform to the norm? Why on earth should I be so defensive about being what was honorably called some years ago, a bachelor?”

Alla fine del primo capitolo, ripenso al lettore Dorfles. È un  maschio e dunque il suo punto di vista sul romanzo di Roth riflette quello di gran parte del mondo maschile sul sesso, sulle  donne e sul linguaggio esplicito al limite dell’imbarazzo. Capisco perché gli sia piaciuto tanto questo romanzo di formazione… Per me  la storia è un po’ diversa. L’impatto è destabilizzante, e forte è la tentazione di interrompere la lettura, ma non ci riesco e vado avanti.

La famiglia Portnoy-Il mio naso ebreo

“How has this happened to me who was so gorgeous in that carriage, Mother! At the top it has begun to aim toward the heavens, while simultaneously, where the cartilage ends halfway down the slope, it is beginning to bend back toward my mouth. A couple of years and I won’t even be able to eat, this thing will be directly in the path of the food! No! No! It can’t be!”

Alexander Portnoy, nasce a Newark-New Jersey da una famiglia di religione ebraica della middle class Americana. Suo padre Jack è di origine Galiziana, sua madre Sophie é di origine Ucraina. Jack è un assicuratore molto bravo che riesce a vendere polizze anche alle famiglie  di quartieri spesso degradati. Il  capo se lo tiene ben stretto per questa sua grande abilità. La sua vita familiare è meno brillante, anche lui ha un’ossessione che incupisce tutta la famiglia: è in perenne lotta con il suo intestino pigro… per così dire (e mi viene in mente il  romanzo Le Correzioni di J. Franzen, dove il padre del protagonista ha lo stesso tragicomico problema-Che si siano parlati?)

La madre Sophie è la classica mamma ebrea da barzelletta: petulante, soffocante, onnipresente e sempre giudicante, un vero incubo.

“You know the joke, of course—Milty, the G.I., telephones from Japan. “Momma,” he says, “it’s Milton, I have good news! I found a wonderful Japanese girl and we were married today. As soon as I get my discharge I want to bring her home, Momma, for you to meet each other.” “So,” says the mother, “bring her, of course.” “Oh, wonderful, Momma,” says Milty, “wonderful—only I was wondering, in your little apartment, where will me and Ming Toy sleep?” “Where?” says the mother. “Why, in the bed? Where else should you sleep with your bride?” “But then where will you sleep, if we sleep in the bed? Momma, are you sure there’s room?” “Milty darling, please,” says the mother, “everything is fine, don’t you worry, there’ll be all the room you want: as soon as I hang up, I’m killing myself.””

O mangi o ti accoltello: “From my bed I hear her babbling about her problems to the women around the mah-jongg game: My Alex is suddenly such a bad eater I have to stand over him with a knife. And none of them apparently finds this tactic of hers at all excessive. I have to stand over him with a knife! And not one of those women gets up from the mah-jongg table and walks out of her house! Because in their world, that is the way it is with bad eaters—you have to stand over them with a knife!”

Le calze della mamma, che ossessione:”Who is going to stay with Mommy forever and ever? Me. Who is it who goes with Mommy wherever in the whole wide world Mommy goes? Why me, of course. What a silly question—but don’t get me wrong, I’ll play the game! Who had a nice lunch with Mommy, who goes downtown like a good boy on the bus with Mommy, who goes into the big store with Mommy . . . and on and on and on . . . so that only a week or so ago, upon my safe return from Europe, Mommy had this to say—”

Ruoli  invertiti nella famiglia Portnoy: “Christ, in the face of my defiance–if my father had only been my mother! and my mother my father! But what a mix-up of the sexes in our house! Who should by rights be advancing on me, retreating—and who should be retreating, advancing! Who should be scolding, collapsing”

Alexander ha anche una sorella, Hanna di cui confessa di non conoscere molto se non la taglia e l’odore della sua biancheria intima. Hanna cerca di aiutare il fratello a comprendere meglio la sua condizione di ebreo in famglia, nella comunità ebraica e nella società in generale. Alex non sopporta che gli ebrei abbiano sempre pronta la scusa, “ma siamo stati perseguitati dai Nazi…”

“This summer she is going to be crafts counselor in the Jewish Community Center day camp. I have seen her reading a paperback book with a greenish cover called A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. All I seem to know about her are these few facts, and of course the size and smell of her brassiere and panties. What years of confusion! And when will they be over?”

“Do you know, she asks me, where you would be now if you had been born in Europe instead of America? That isn’t the issue, Hannah. Dead, she says. That isn’t the issue! Dead. Gassed, or shot, or incinerated, or butchered, or buried alive. Do you know that?”

1910-era_ethnic_map_of_Newark,_New_Jersey

Alex Portnoy non si sente Americano, tanto che, man mano che diventa adulto, assume un atteggiamento sempre più critico nei confronti  del suo paese. Dissacra  il baseball e il mito identitario del centerfield, dissacra l’idealismo e il patriottismo del paese  in  guerra, crede nel comunismo-nemico-numero-uno  dell’America, rifiuta il mito della famiglia americana culla di ogni virtù, detesta la “sua famiglia”. Dell’America ama una sola cosa: una biondina che si accoccola tra le sue braccia e implora amore..

“so don’t tell me we’re just as good as anybody else, don’t tell me we’re Americans just like they are. No, no, these blond-haired Christians are the legitimate residents and owners of this place, and they can pump any song they want into the streets and no one is going to stop them either. O America! America! it may have been gold in the streets to my grandparents, it may have been a chicken in every pot to my father and mother, but to me, a child whose earliest movie memories are of Ann Rutherford and Alice Faye, America is a shikse nestling under your arm whispering love love love love love!”

Ma no, decisamente  l’America non è solo love, love, love, L’America è razzista, non ama gli ebrei e il loro stile di vita, al punto da costringerli  ad auto esiliarsi in  piccole comunità dove parenti, e amici ebrei si proteggono tra loro. Ghetti, ancora ghetti nella democratica, civile, idealista America.

“and Hiroshima and Nagasaki went up in a puff, one week when I was twelve, and that was the heart of my boyhood, four years of hating Tojo, Hitler, and Mussolini, and loving this brave determined republic! Rooting my little Jewish heart out for our American democracy!”

“My home, SWEET HOOOOOHHHH-M!”

Sì, Viaggiare

Superata la terrificante fase adolescenziale e quella universitaria di scoperta dell’autonomia, Alex si trasferisce a New York dove lavora in un ufficio governativo contro le discriminazioni (ironia della sorte), e qui ne vede di tutti i colori. Continua a combattere contro le sue ossessioni, ma se non altro  vive la sua vita sessuale in modo  abbastanza normale. Sposarsi? Mai!  Ama viaggiare, conoscere donne e fare sesso. Ma il viaggio in Grecia e a Roma con Monkey, oggetto di ogni desiderio e sua attuale “pseudo fidanzata”, gli crea problemi di vario tipo.

Il viaggio della vita lo farà da solo in Israele. Ormai trentenne, in balia delle sue ossessioni decide di affrontare il totem dell’ Ebreo che torna nella terra promessa, la vera Madre Patria, dove spera di rimettere in ordine i suoi valori, la sua identità, le sue ossessioni. E proprio qui fa delle scoperte che lo turbano, o per lo meno lo fanno riflettere. In Israele il WASP è lui; in Israele non è discriminato per la sua religione, per il suo naso, per la sua “ebraicità”; qui Alexander Portnoy rappresenta l’Establishment. Gli oppressi, i discriminati sono altri.

 

Noemi-forse

E tuttavia, in terra d’Israele, l’impagabile Portnoy perde la sua onnipotenza e per la prima volta nella sua “carriera” di amante instancabile si scopre impotente. Incontra Naomi, incarnazione della donna forte,  indipendente e risolta, che non ha bisogno di lui per realizzarsi e che lo mette di fronte alla sua fragile condizione di bambino irrisolto, alla sua “stupid self-deprecation”

“You are like a baby.” “No! Not so,” but she waved aside any explanation I may have had to offer, and began to lecture me on my shortcomings as she had observed them that day. “The way you disapprove of your life! Why do you do that? It is of no value for a man to disapprove of his life the way that you do. You seem to take some special pleasure, some pride, in making yourself the butt of your own peculiar sense of humor. I don’t believe you actually want to improve your life. Everything you say is somehow always twisted, some way or another, to come out ‘funny.’ All day long the same thing. In some little way or other, everything is ironical, or self-depreciating. Self-depreciating?” “Self-deprecating. Self-mocking.” “Exactly! And you are a highly intelligent man—that is what makes it even more disagreeable. The contribution you could make! Such stupid self-deprecation! How disagreeable!””

La paura di aver contratto un’infezione fatale durante il rapporto sessuale a tre vissuto a Roma con the Monkey e la prostituta Italiana fa scattare l’impotenza e un bruciante senso di fallimento.

Sogni

Di contro, Alex comincia ad avere quasi bisogno di normalità e sogna una sua famiglia ideale con la cara soffice Pumpkin, compagna di università, che ha lasciato andare insieme al suo mondo WASP in Iowa,  la famiglia giusta, il nome giusto-Campbell, la casa giusta, gli odori  giusti, i diritti e i doveri giusti, per non parlare del nasino all’insù e dei capelli biondi…

“sleepy son, and in the arms of Mrs. A. Portnoy, that kind and gentle (and in my sugary but modest fantasy, faceless) woman, I bank the fires of my abounding pleasure. In the morning I am off to downtown Newark, to the Essex County Court House, where I spend my workdays seeking justice for the poor and the oppressed.”

“the education she was giving me in literature, a whole new perspective, an understanding of art and the artistic way . . . oh, why did I ever let her go! I can’t believe it—because she wouldn’t be Jewish? “The eternal note of sadness—” “The turbid ebb and flow of human misery—”

“let me miss her substantiality a little. That buttery skin! That unattended streaming hair! And this is back in the early fifties, before streaming hair became the style! This was just naturalness, Doctor. Round and ample, sun-colored Kay! I’ll bet that half a dozen kiddies are clinging to that girl’s”

Lo spaccato Israeliano, l’atteggiamento satirico di Alex-Roth verso l’universo Americano, un certo bisogno di normalità,  mi hanno riconciliato con il romanzo. L’interminabile flusso di coscienza che accoglie e sputa ogni tipo di frustrazione, ogni espressione volgare e violenta del linguaggio, si veste di umanità e apre volentieri  le porte anche a una lettrice turbata dalle ossessioni di un giovane maschio Ebreo-Americano.

Eppure, finalmente arriva condiviso, l’urlo liberatorio:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

“Because that’s maybe what I need most of all, to howl. A pure howl, without any more words between me and it! “This is the”

È quasi un richiamo all’Howl di Ginsberg, che aiuta a  distruggere la diga, le corde, i legami, l’autocensura, il mondo-camicia-di-forza in cui è stato imprigionato Alex Portnoy fino a quel momento.

Ma non illudiamoci, forse siamo in un loop..

“PUNCH LINE So [said the doctor]. Now vee may perhaps to begin. Yes?”

 

portnoy

Continuando ad assaggiare…

I sacrifici dei genitori ““Alex, why are you getting like this, give me some clue? Tell me please what horrible things we have done to you all our lives that this should be our reward?” I believe the question strikes her as original. I believe she considers the question unanswerable. And worst of all, so do I. What have they done for me all their lives, but sacrifice? Yet that this is precisely the horrible thing is beyond my understanding—and still, Doctor! To this day!”

Suona uno strumento e sarai popolare“For a man whose house was without a phonograph or a record, he was passionate on the subject of a musical instrument. “I don’t understand why you won’t take a musical instrument, this is beyond comprehension. Your little cousin Toby can sit down at the piano and play whatever song you can name. All she has to do is sit at the piano and play ‘Tea for Two’ and everybody in the room is her friend. She’ll never lack for companionship, Alex, she’ll never lack for popularity. Only tell me you’ll take up the piano, and I’ll have one in here tomorrow morning. Alex, are you listening to me? I am offering you something that could change the rest of your life!””

Ironia sui genitori poeti ““Look outside, baby,” and I look; she says, “See? how purple? a real fall sky.” The first line of poetry I ever hear! And I remember it! A real fall sky . .”

“Good winter piney air—another poet for a parent! I couldn’t be more thrilled if I were Wordsworth’s kid! . .”

Scherzo del corpo, Capitano“I am the Captain of my fate, I am the Master of my soul, and meanwhile, within my own body, an anarchic insurrection had been launched by one of my privates—which I was helpless to put down!”

Ti imploro Dio, fa che sia benigno“let it be benign! Blessed art thou O Lord Our God, let it be benign! Hear O Israel, and shine down thy countenance, and the Lord is One, and honor thy father, and honor thy mother, and I will I will I promise I will—only let it be benign!”

Mamma è viva…felice con ironia“let it be benign! Blessed art thou O Lord Our God, let it be benign! Hear O Israel, and shine down thy countenance, and the Lord is One, and honor thy father, and honor thy mother, and I will I will I promise I will—only let it be benign!”

Donne del mondo What are they, after all, these Jewish women who raised us up as children? In Calabria you see their suffering counterparts sitting like stones in the churches, swallowing all that hideous Catholic bullshit; in Calcutta they beg in the streets, or if they are lucky, are off somewhere in a dusty field hitched up to a plow . . . Only in America, Rabbi Golden, do these peasants, our mothers, get their hair dyed platinum at the age of sixty, and walk up and down Collins Avenue in Florida in pedalpushers and mink stoles—and with opinions on every subject under the sun. It isn’t their fault they were given a gift like speech—look, if cows could talk, they would say things just as idiotic.”

Freud e i desideri di uno scapolo impenitente “After all, that’s all this is, you know—bachelorhood. So what’s the crime? Sexual freedom? In this day and age? Why should I bend to the bourgeoisie? Do I ask them to bend to me? Maybe I’ve been touched by the tarbrush of Bohemia a little—is that so awful? Whom am I harming with my lusts? I don’t blackjack the ladies, I don’t twist arms to get them into bed with me. I am, if I may say so, an honest and compassionate man; let me tell you, as men go I am . . . But why must I explain myself! Excuse myself! Why must I justify with my Honesty and Compassion my desires! So I have desires—only they’re endless. Endless! And that, that may not be such a blessing, taking for the moment a psychoanalytic point of view . . . But then all the unconscious can do anyway, so Freud tells us, is want. And want! And WANT! Oh, Freud, do I know! This one has a nice ass, but she talks too much. On the other hand, this one here doesn’t talk at all, at least not so that she makes any sense—but, boy, can she suck!”

Un solo amore per tutta lavita? Cazzate “Imagine it: suppose I were to go ahead and marry A, with her sweet tits and so on, what will happen when B appears, whose are even sweeter—or, at any rate, newer? Or C, who knows how to move her ass in some special way I have never experienced; or D, or E, or F. I’m trying to be honest with you, Doctor—because with sex the human imagination runs to Z, and then beyond! Tits and cunts and legs and lips and mouths and tongues and assholes! How can I give up what I have never even had, for a girl, who delicious and provocative as once she may have been, will inevitably grow as familiar to me as a loaf of bread? For love? What love? Is that what binds all these couples we know together—the ones who even bother to let themselves be bound? Isn’t it something more like weakness? Isn’t it rather convenience and apathy and guilt? Isn’t it rather fear and exhaustion and inertia, gutlessness plain and simple, far far more than that “love” that the marriage counselors and the songwriters and the psychotherapists are forever dreaming about?”

I must della buona educazione letteraria di una shikse  “I  going to improve her mind! After Agee, Adamic’s Dynamite!, my own yellowing copy from college; I imagined her benefiting from my undergraduate underlinings, coming to understand the distinction between the relevant and the trivial, a generalization and an illustration, and so on. Furthermore, it was a book so simply written, that hopefully, without my pushing her, she might be encouraged to read not just the chapters I had suggested, those touching directly upon her own past (as I imagined it)—violence in the coal fields, beginning with the Molly Maguires; the chapter on the Wobblies—but the entire history of brutality and terror practiced by and upon the American laboring class, from which she was descended. Had she never read a book called U.S.A.? Mortimer Snerd: “Duh, I never read nothing, Mr. Bergen.” So I bought her the Modern Library Dos Passos, a book with a hard cover. Simple, I thought, keep it simple, but educational, elevating. Ah, you get the dreamy point, I’m sure. The texts? W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk. The Grapes of Wrath. An American Tragedy. A book of Sherwood Anderson’s I like, called Poor White (the title, I thought, might stir her interest). Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son. The name of the course? Oh, I don’t know—Professor Portnoy’s “Humiliated Minorities, an Introduction.” “The History and Function of Hatred in America.” The purpose? To save the stupid shikse; to rid her of her race’s ignorance; to make this daughter of the heartless oppressor a student of suffering and oppression; to teach her to be compassionate, to bleed a little for the world’s sorrows. Get it now? The perfect couple: she puts the id back in Yid, I put the oy back in goy. Where am I?”

Lingua Inglese, doni e formule, quanti modi per dire Good morning “Then there’s an expression in English, “Good morning,” or so I have been told; the phrase has never been of any particular use to me. Why should it have been? At breakfast at home I am in fact known to the other boarders as “Mr. Sourball,” and “The Crab.” But suddenly, here in Iowa, in imitation of the local inhabitants, I am transformed into a veritable geyser of good mornings. That’s all anybody around that place knows how to say—they feel the sunshine on their faces, and it just sets off some sort of chemical reaction: Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! sung to half a dozen different tunes! Next they all start asking each other if they had “a good night’s sleep.” And asking me! Did I have a good night’s sleep? I don’t really know, I have to think—the question comes as something of a surprise. Did I Have A Good Night’s Sleep? Why, yes! I think I did! Hey—did you? “Like a log,” replies Mr. Campbell.”

“The English language is a form of communication! Conversation isn’t just crossfire where you shoot and get shot at! Where you’ve got to duck for your life and aim to kill! Words aren’t only bombs and bullets—no, they’re little gifts, containing meanings!”

Ipocrisia religiosa The Pumpkin, fidanzata dell’Iowa,  non capisce perchè dovrebbe convertirsi per sposare Alex- “Our favorite philosopher was Bertrand Russell. Our religion was Dylan Thomas’ religion, Truth and Joy! Our children would be atheists. I had only been making a joke!”

Soldi “And then of course that extra bonus, Charlatan Van Doren. Such character, such brains and breeding, that candor and schoolboyish charm—the ur-WASP, wouldn’t you say? And turns out he’s a fake. Well, what do you know about that, Gentile America? Supergoy, a gonif! Steals money. Covets money. Wants money, will do anything for it. Goodness gracious me, almost as bad as Jews—you sanctimonious WASPs!”

La vita di Alex ruota solo intorno al suo pene-Peter“LET MY PETER GO! There, that’s Portnoy’s slogan. That’s the story of my life, all summed up in four heroic dirty words.”

Dove mi trovo? In Israele, dove tutti sono ebrei “My dream begins as soon as I disembark. I am in an airport where I have never been before and all the people I see—passengers, stewardesses, ticket sellers, porters, pilots, taxi drivers—are Jews.”

Impotente nella Madre Patria “couldn’t get it up in the State of Israel! How’s that for symbolism, bubi? Let’s see somebody beat that, for acting-out! Could not maintain an erection in The Promised Land! At least not when I needed it, not when I wanted it, not when there was something more desirable than my own hand to stick it into.”

 

K.Tempest-THE BRICKS THAT BUILT THE HOUSES. Dov’è la mia “casa”? Un viaggio autenticamente tragico e poetico nel cuore della “East-London Life”

bricks-Tempest

Ho letto di lei su Robinson (Repubblica). Kate Tempest (Kate Esther Calvert), ha colpito la mia fantasia. Esponente della spoken-word poetry, (vince tra le altre cose il Ted Hughes Award )narratrice e  rapper si presenta al lettore con una personalità complessa che vale la pena di cominciare a conoscere.

Ho voluto iniziare dal suo primo romanzo, The Bricks that Built the Houses, pubblicato nel 2016. Lo scrive da giovane donna  (nata nel 1985),  virtuosa delle parole, con il ritmo dominante sulla punta della sua penna (o sui  tasti del PC). Tempest è una musicista della narrazione,  una personalità contemporanea ricca di contraddizioni e creatività. Non a caso cita nel romanzo un maestro delle contraddizioni, Walt Whitmann.

Mi ha fatto pensare alle storie Londinesi di  Zadie Smith (White Teeth,  Swing Time  e North-West e di Monica Ali (Brick Lane, In the Kitchen). Tutte rappresentano  una generazione di scrittrici che dipingono una Londra fuori dal cliché  spesso vagheggiato dagli stranieri, specialmente giovani e studenti.

La storia, le storie

The Bricks That Built the Houses tells the story of Becky, a waitress-cum-dancer-cum-masseuse, her boyfriend, Pete, a gangly dreamer, and Pete’s sister, Harry, a drug dealer – a “boyish woman who swaggers when she walks”. We first meet Becky and Harry in a speeding car driven by Leon, Harry’s sidekick, on the getaway from a heist. The novel then steps backwards in time, Pulp Fiction-style, to show the trio moving through a London whose cocaine shimmer barely covers its grottiness and venality. The portraits of London are excellent – Tempest is a native and her carefully wrought metaphors work best when they are illuminating cityscapes, giving the reader fresh and vivid visions of a familiar world… continua a leggere su The Guardian

La storia in sé è in fondo già sentita. Contiene citazioni evidenti. La fuga Europea di Becky e Harry mi ha ricordato Thelma e Louise; la scena di violenza al pub-con-squalo- ha un sapore quasi Tarantiniano; la fila al Job Centre di Pete  riporta a Ken Loach. Ma tutto è funzionale a creare l’atmosfera di rifiuto e attrazione per il mondo complicato delle periferie Londinesi. Nostalgiche le digressioni sul cambiamento di queste zone da aree depresse a quartieri trendy.

La struttura della storia appare volutamente “destrutturata”, quasi una jam session pervasa dal ritmo dell’improvvisazione. È un insieme di ritratti dei protagonisti e delle loro famiglie. Sembra  quasi che il filo conduttore sia la ricostruzione dei loro “alberi genealogici”, in una Londra autentica e ricca di sfaccettature.

best-25-family-tree-templates-ideas-on-pinterest-free-family-images-of-family-trees

Sostanzialmente sono due gli aspetti di questo romanzo che mi hanno colpito:

le atmosfere e i riferimenti alla Greater London che ho imparato a conoscere attraverso le esperienze di vita di mia figlia e della sua famiglia, e a riconoscere, quasi negli odori, tra le parole di Kate Tempest;

i molti passaggi in cui le parole diventano “lyrics” di un rap metropolitano che conferisce alla narrazione un sapore e un ritmo poetico suggestivi. È proprio questo ultimo aspetto della creatività di Kate Tempest che voglio scoprire nelle prossime letture. E sono sicura che avrò molti compagni di viaggio!

Tempest-Bricks purple

Assaggi

Prove di creazione artistica-Paula  fotografa o madre?“would pick up her camera occasionally, turn it over in her hands, change the shutter speed, raise it to her eye and look through it, but each time, before she could decide on a shot, the baby would be hungry, or need her attention, and the camera would feel like an indulgence. The notion of ‘making it’ seemed so trivial. What was important was Becky being occupied, happy, warm…“they belonged to John’s job”

Conosco bene la zona“Paula and Becky moved in with Paula’s eldest brother Ron and his wife Linda, and their son Ted, who was only a year or so younger than Becky. Ron and Linda lived in a three-bed maisonette in a quiet cul-de-sac away from the bustle of Lewisham Way, up towards Charlton. The house looked out on to a sloping communal green and if you stood on your tiptoes at the top of the hill you could see the river churning its way to Greenwich.”

Becky e il sogno della danza– “She watched Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on video every night. She learned the steps for every song. Michael and the community-centre dance classes remained her biggest influence well into adulthood. As she grew older and became interested in contemporary dance, she came at it from this perspective, and it grounded her movements, kept everything deep and strong and low; nothing too upright or rigid.”

Job Centre da incubo“Pete stares at the ceiling. His stomach whines and squelches strangely. He tries to ignore the self-important man with the Jobcentre Plus name badge who’s making peace with the fact he never had any friends at school by asserting his authority over anyone he possibly can. Reeling off platitudes and identikit slogans as if they were actually his thoughts. Memorised coping devices for difficult customers.”

Pete e  Facebook “He stretches his legs out underneath the table and checks Facebook on his phone. It tells him things he doesn’t need to know about people he hasn’t seen in years. He absorbs their aggressively worded opinions and quasi-political hate-speak. He sees a photograph of his ex-girlfriend with her new boyfriend smiling at a picnic and he realises, with a strange cascade of emptiness, that she is pregnant and wearing an engagement ring. The comments are jubilant. He reads every word before he forces himself to put his phone down.”

Dale on dole– “it’s a fucking trap is what it is. Get on the dole to keep you going, but then you can’t afford to get off it. You take a job, part-time or whatever – you’re worse off than you are getting your JSA.’… (analisi del sussidio) – “‘They just want to keep everybody down.’ Dale knocks his whisky back, maintaining eye contact. He doesn’t flinch as he swallows it. Slams the glass down. ‘That’s the thing. Better for the government, innit, if we’re all skint and miserable and feeling like we can’t even get a day’s work. If we can’t feel good about the work of our own fucking hands, how we gonna rise up, make trouble?’”

Poesia-Musica di parole“Dance teachers pinched her arms, and she would squeeze handfuls of herself, standing shell-shocked in the shower, staring at the bits she hated. This body. It was all she had.”… “The sun rises and nothing is left of the night.”…”As autumn reared its golden mane”

The village rap“the dirt and grit of squat brick buildings, broken window frames, road-blackened house fronts. Snarling children. Smiling dogs. He goes slowly past the chip shop, the newsagent’s, the off-licence, some girls on their bikes shouting at each other, the chicken shop, the barber’s, three men in prayer robes leaning against the bicycle racks outside the Co-op, the jerk shop, the Good News Bakery, the funeral parlour, the block of flats, a man moving a fridge on two skateboards, the garage with the arsehole woman who works at the counter, the carwash, the kebab shop, the houses with their whitewashed walls and gravel drives, the pub, the other pub. The nice Caribbean restaurant. Pete ducks through the iron gate and cuts across the cemetery, overgrown and rich with green. Trees everywhere. He stares up into them; they sway in sunlight, the crumbling stones, the angels and monuments, the crunch of the path under his quick feet. The smell in the air of spring.”

Diventare Giuseppe, storia di un’identità di sopravvivenza“Joseph. His hair was black as onyx and his smile wrapped itself around anyone who saw it. His constant laugh sounded like he’d swallowed a siren, and he was never still, he moved like a bouncing ball, no matter what he was doing. Everyone called him Giuseppe because he was in love with an Italian girl and was prone to outbursts of song in struggling Italian late at night when he was drunk and out of his mind with missing her.”

Ragazze “The city yawns and cracks the bones in her knuckles. Sends a few lost souls spiralling out of control; a girl is digging through a skip with cold hands, looking for copper piping, another girl is at home reading. Another girl is sleeping deeply. Another girl is laughing in her friend’s flat, getting her hair done, another girl is in love with her girlfriend and lying beside her and feeling her breathing. Another girl is walking her dog round the park, tipping her head back to listen to the wind as it shouts in the trees.”

I libri di Miriam “‘Well, how about this one then, eh? I’ve heard of this one.’ Pete can hear her picking up books and putting them down. ‘Oh yes, I think I’ve heard of that one too.’ ‘Wuthering Heights,’ says the woman. ‘The Concise Book of Eastern European Fertility Myths,’ says Grandad.”

La cura di un amore“‘Let this be a lesson to you, OK, son? You got to work hard at it mate, OK? You got to treat them good when you got them. Coz when they leave, it’s too late.’”

L’avvocato, papà di Pete e Harris “Graham Chapel had been a solicitor all his life. He believed in the innate goodness of people… He had no weekends, took no holidays, sat coffee-high in police interview rooms in the middle of the night. He took on legal aid cases for people being tyrannised by landlords, bosses or local councils. He couldn’t help but take the cases personally. Every failing was his failing and the thrumming”

Il libro John Drake, padre di Becky, How We Can Take Power Without Power Taking Us. And across the top, as if it’s no big deal: John Darke. She doesn’t”… “‘Where did you get it?’ ‘Online.’ ‘What, did you just search for it?’ Her voice is trembling slightly. ‘No, it’s . . . I subscribe to this website thing, it’s, like, banned books, censored authors, you know. Shit like that. I get, erm, updates when things are found in print and stuff.’ He watches her. She sits and thinks for a while, staring into the middle distance. He waits, drinks his gin. ‘Why do you ask?’”

John Drake: una leggenda in frantumi“He went to the people, with no cameras, and no story to sell. He put himself in front of single mothers, office workers, immigrants and prisoners and talked and listened, and it gave them hope.”

‘He’s a legend. Quite the man.’ ‘Why? What did he do?’ ‘Ah, well, now you’re asking! He was a politician? I think, yep, and a writer. Teacher, too. He was, erm, a brilliant mind. Definitely. I mean, the book, it’s amazing so far, he had this idea, about how to make democracy accountable, how to reinstall democracy in the West, take power back from corporations and empower people again, but . . . what happened to him? Something awful. Stitch-up. Framed for something. Murder? Something horrible. Rape? Reputation in tatters, whole nine yards. Locked him up for a long time, but his legacy lives on. His ideas, I mean. Think he’s still inside somewhere.’”

Nelle mani di un chip “These chips, the story went, would be justified in the name of public security and convenience. A cashless economy. One chip and no more banknotes. You couldn’t be robbed. It would be your ID, your credit card. It would be your new smartphone. Your travel card. What did you have to hide? It would be your passport. Without one you wouldn’t be able to move between borders, buy food or pay your water bill. You wouldn’t be able to survive. They’d do it slowly, so we thought it was our choice. We wouldn’t see that it was forced on us, we’d see it as convenient, it would be the new must-have accessory. The solution to our fabricated fears. Why wouldn’t you want one?”

Donne e ballerine“‘To be a woman, you must struggle, like the ballerina struggles. You have to work hard. It is painful work. And when you do it right, it will look effortless. But where we’re different from the dancers, my sweet, is that we will never be applauded for getting it right.’”

Giochi sulla spiaggia“Leon finds a triangular stone and uses the point to dig down through the pebbles into the sand, hacking at the space beside his feet. They listen to the puck and glint of stone on stone.”

Il conforto della solitudine“The loneliness that’s always known her is curled around her ankles, getting comfy.”

Becky e Harry in fuga per l’Europa“They crossed the Alps. Harry couldn’t help herself, she burst into tears the first time she saw those mountains rising up into the sky and plunging down at the same time, reflected for ever in the perfect mirror of those”…“They were in an internet café in Montepulciano

Londra è cambiata“Her London has changed. Becky looks around for all the things that she has missed so much, but nothing is the same. The snooker hall has gone; its foundations are wrapped in construction hoardings and it stands four storeys taller than it used to, rapidly becoming another block of luxury apartments.”

Kate-Tempest

Ringraziamenti

Kate to London: “Want to acknowledge south-east London; even though you’re changing, you’re still my engine and my anchor.”

Cosa dicono  del libro

“lustrous pageant that dazzles and grips … An irresistible, immersive snapshot of a changing world, delivered in woozy, staccato sentences … There’s great pleasure to be taken from Tempest’s debut’ ” Sunday Telegraph

“‘A cutting novel based on her brilliant debut album … Turns ferocious rhymes into blistering prose … It stings with the same on-point cultural commentary Irvine Welsh carved into Trainspotting **

“‘Tempest was born to work with words … Unique and vivid, both playful and arresting … The prose sings … Tempest’s gift for language does frequently turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, her depth of feeling for city life, for her friends and neighbours, pouring into her prose and creating magic’ ‘A novel of discontentment, rage and good” New York Journal of Books

S.Hawking-A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME. From the Big Bang to the Black Holes. E alla fine della storia, siamo tutti figli delle stelle.

 

 

Quando Hawking parla dell’Universo,  di galassie e materia oscura, di rapporto spazio-tempo, illustrandone la natura e le correlazioni, ti senti orgogliosa di appartenere alla specie umana.
Contestualmente provi anche un  senso di rimpicciolimento progressivo, se così si può dire, di fronte all’immensità dell’Universo, o del Multiverso, in cui siamo immersi.

Siamo piccoli, piccoli, parte di un immenso meccanismo che possiamo indagare, cercare di capire, spiegare, ma non controllare e modificare come vorremmo e nei tempi che vorremmo. Di fronte al contenuto di questo libro e alla vastità delle suggestioni, il senso di onnipotenza di tanti piccoli esseri al potere oggi, si auto-disintegrerebbe per la vergogna!

A questo punto di una lettura molto difficile mi scatta un clic “pedagogico” sull’ Inglese, linguaggio della scienza. Lo stile di Hawking ne è la dimostrazione. Il suo libro è un  report di ricerca sperimentale. Si parte da un’ipotesi, si passa all’osservazione, alla raccolta dati, all’analisi, alle deduzioni e riflessioni e poi si ricomincia, nei secoli dei secoli…

Colpisce anche in questo stile rigorosamente scientifico, l’umanità intelligente di Hawking e la sottile vena ironica che lo pervade e che, nel bel mezzo  di  una dotta trattazione scientifica ci fa sorridere, riconducendoci al nostro  destino.

E spunta anche  l’immaginazione

“a scientific theory is just a mathematical model we make to describe our observations: it exists only in our minds. So it is meaningless to ask: which is real, ‘real’ or ‘imaginary’ time? It is simply a matter of which is the more useful description.”

Quark and Joyce

“The origin of the name is an enigmatic quotation from James Joyce: ‘Three quarks for Muster Mark!’ The word quark is supposed to be pronounced like quart, but with a k at the end instead of a t, but is usually pronounced to rhyme with lark.”

Dante and the Hell/Event Horizon

“One could well say of the event horizon what the poet Dante said of the entrance to Hell: ‘All hope abandon, ye who enter here.’ Anything or anyone who falls through the event horizon will soon reach the region of infinite density and the end of time.”

An inflating Multiverse

“Eternal inflation: A possible variant of inflation in which much of space continues expanding rapidly while relatively small individual portions drop their expansion rate to become universes such as our own. If correct, this implies our entire cosmos is embedded within a much larger inflating multiverse.”

La metafora dei buchi neri: scappare dalla polizia!

“I had already discussed with Roger Penrose the idea of defining a black hole as the set of events from which it was not possible to escape to a large distance, which is now the generally accepted definition. It means that the boundary of the black hole, the event horizon, is formed by the light rays that just fail to escape from the black hole, hovering forever just on the edge (Fig. 7.1). It is a bit like running away from the police and just managing to keep one step ahead but not being able to get clear away!”

Ironia e scommesse perse sui buchi neri

“In fact, although the situation with Cygnus X-1 has not changed much since we made the bet in 1975, there is now so much other observational evidence in favor of black holes that I have conceded the bet. I paid the specified penalty, which was a one-year subscription to Penthouse, to the outrage of Kip’s liberated wife.”

Ordine dal disordine

“The nondecreasing behavior of a black hole’s area was very reminiscent of the behavior of a physical quantity called entropy, which measures the degree of disorder of a system. It is a matter of common experience that disorder will tend to increase if things are left to themselves. (One has only to stop making repairs around the house to see that!) One can create order out of disorder (for example, one can paint the house), but that requires expenditure of effort or energy and so decreases the amount of ordered energy available.”

Stephen in Vaticano

“Throughout the 1970s I had been mainly studying black holes, but in 1981 my interest in questions about the origin and fate of the universe was reawakened when I attended a conference on cosmology organized by the Jesuits in the Vatican. The Catholic Church had made a bad mistake with Galileo when it tried to lay down the law on a question of science, declaring that the sun went round the earth. Now, centuries later, it had decided to invite a number of experts to advise it on cosmology. At the end of the conference the participants were granted an audience with the Pope. He told us that it was all right to study the evolution of the universe after the big bang, but we should not inquire into the big bang itself because that was the moment of Creation and therefore the work of God. I was glad then that he did not know the subject of the talk I had just given at the conference – the possibility that space-time was finite but had no boundary, which means that it had no beginning, no moment of Creation. I had no desire to share the fate of Galileo, with whom I feel a strong sense of identity, partly because of the coincidence of having been born exactly 300 years after his death! In order to”

Ironia scientifica

“This picture of a hot early stage of the universe was first put forward by the scientist George Gamow in a famous paper written in 1948 with a student of his, Ralph Alpher. Gamow had quite a sense of humor – he persuaded the nuclear scientist Hans Bethe to add his name to the paper to make the list of authors ‘Alpher, Bethe, Gamow,’ like the first three letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha, beta, gamma: particularly appropriate for a paper on the beginning of the universe!”

Il Principio Antropico: siamo figli delle stelle

“why is the universe so smooth? This is an example of the application of what is known as the anthropic principle, which can be paraphrased as, ‘We see the universe the way it is because we exist.’ There are two versions of the anthropic principle, the weak and the strong. The weak anthropic principle states that in a universe that is large or infinite in space and/or time, the conditions necessary for the development of intelligent life will be met only in certain regions that are limited in space and time. The intelligent beings in these regions should therefore not be surprised if they observe that their locality in the universe satisfies the conditions that are necessary for their existence. It is a bit like a rich person living in a wealthy neighborhood not seeing any poverty. One example of the use of the weak anthropic principle is to ‘explain’ why the big bang occurred about ten thousand million years ago – it takes about that long for intelligent beings to evolve. As explained above, an early generation of stars first had to form. These stars converted some of the original hydrogen and helium into elements like carbon and oxygen, out of which we are made. The stars then exploded as supernovas, and their debris went to form other stars and planets, among them those of our Solar System, which is about five thousand million years old. The first one or two thousand million years of the earth’s existence were too hot for the development of anything complicated. The remaining three thousand million years or so have been taken up by the slow process of biological evolution, which has led from the simplest organisms to beings who are capable of measuring time back to the big bang.

Multiverso

Few people would quarrel with the validity or utility of the weak anthropic principle. Some, however, go much further and propose a strong version of the principle. According to this theory, there are either many different universes or many different regions of a single universe, each with its own initial configuration and, perhaps, with its own set of laws of science. In most of these universes the conditions would not be right for the development of complicated organisms; only in the few universes that are like ours would intelligent beings develop and ask the question, ‘Why is the universe the way we see it?’ The answer is then simple: if it had been different, we would not be here! The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron.

La legge di Murphy e la tazzina rotta

“This says that in any closed system disorder, or entropy, always increases with time. In other words, it is a form of Murphy’s law: things always tend to go wrong! An intact cup on the table is a state of high order, but a broken cup on the floor is a disordered state. One can go readily from the cup on the table in the past to the broken cup on the floor in the future, but not the other way round.”

Le tre frecce del tempo

“The increase of disorder or entropy with time is one example of what is called an arrow of time, something that distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.”
“There are at least three different arrows of time. First, there is the thermodynamic arrow of time, the direction of time in which disorder or entropy increases. Then, there is the psychological arrow of time. This is the direction in which we feel time passes, the direction in which we remember the past but not the future. Finally, there is the cosmological arrow of time. This is the direction of time in which the universe is expanding rather than contracting.”

Al passo con il progresso scientifico

“Further, the rate of progress is so rapid that what one learns at school or university is always a bit out of date. Only a few people can keep up with the rapidly advancing frontier of knowledge, and they have to devote their whole time to it and specialize in a small area. The rest of the population has little idea of the advances that are being made or the excitement they are generating.”

 

In conclusione: siamo orgogliosi di appartenere alla specie umana

“Despite the vastness of the multiverse, there is a sense in which we remain significant: we can still be proud to be part of a species that is working all this out. With that in mind, the coming years should be just as exciting as the last twenty

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