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[Thursday on the 4th]

[ mood | contemplative ]

I'm never sure whether to feel amused or slightly sad when I hear other Italian Americans mispronounce their own family names, & then "correct" me when I use the actual Italian pronunciation.

It's almost as sad as all the Italian families in the tri-state area whose names got changed to Pace, Chase, Palmer, etc., etc., in the frantic rush to assimilate. :/

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We are the Champions [Saturday on the 12th]

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Stereotyping makes me sick. [Thursday on the 13th]

[ mood | angry ]

Discrimination and defamation against Italian Americans is really, really bad in this country, and it's not even overt discrimination but sneaky stereotyping. For example, a bunch of idiot alumni of my undergrad school started an association called the "Emerson mafia." Their web page and such is Sopranos-themed, complete with little guns and a shady guy in a fedora. I find that really offensive! I tried getting the college involved, but per usual, they did their jazz hands (over the phone, saying "there's nothing we can do"). I mean, this is really horrible, especially for a college that prides itself on diversity. It disgusts me so much that I wish I could pay some money, transfer my courses to another school, and get a bachelor's issued from elsewhere.

Organized crime has nothing to do with networking. Racist idiots.

(4) Sweating Italians | Sweat us?

votate [Tuesday on the 19th]

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[Sunday on the 3rd]

[ mood | curious ]


i was looking up a movie when i stumbled onto this. i found the first paragraph kinda strange- basicly, it just goes on and on about how he "is considered to be italian-american even though" he is mixed, how the name de niro is just his grandfather's italian name, etc., etc. i just thought it was odd that they talk this way in the old country about mixed italian-americans. it almost seemed to me like they were implying that we weren't "real" for being < 100%. i didn't really think blood-quantum stuff was used to knock anybody in the year 2008. kinda puzzling that it apparently still is...

then again, i know that groups like the sons of italy in america have had it in for de niro for years, because they're essentially pissed that he played in a couple of mafia movies. perhaps that's part of what motivates treatment like this. *shrug*

s'okay, bobby- you're still a paesano in my book.

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Badly need help [Saturday on the 29th]
Dear friends,

My wife is going to study at Italian university. In order to receive the student visa we need in handwriting invitation from Italian living in Rome. Actually, this is mere formality, but we have no Italian buddies. Badly need your help. We will gratitude.

Thanks in advance!
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On this day in history... [Friday on the 14th]

Danteborn May 21–June 20, 1265, Florence, Italy died Sept. 13/14, 1321, Ravenna

in full Dante Alighieri Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy).

Dante's Divine Comedy, a great work of medieval literature, is a profound Christian vision of man's temporal and eternal destiny. On its most personal level, it draws on the poet's own experience of exile from his native city of Florence; on its most comprehensive level, it may be read as an allegory, taking the form of a journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise. The poem amazes by its array of learning, its penetrating and comprehensive analysis of contemporary problems, and its inventiveness of language and imagery. By choosing to write his poem in Italian rather than in Latin, Dante decisively influenced the course of literary development. Not only did he lend a voice to the emerging lay culture of his own country, but Italian became the literary language in western Europe for several centuries.

In addition to poetry Dante wrote important theoretical works ranging from discussions of rhetoric to moral philosophy and political thought. He was fully conversant with the classical tradition, drawing for his own purposes on such writers as Virgil, Cicero, and Boethius. But, most unusual for a layman, he also had an impressive command of the most recent scholastic philosophy and of theology. His learning and his personal involvement in the heated political controversies of his age led him to the composition of De monarchia, one of the major tracts of medieval political philosophy.

Early life and the Vita nuova

Most of what is known about Dante's life he has told himself. He was born in Florence in 1265 under the sign of Gemini (between May 21 and June 20) and remained devoted to his native city all his life. Dante describes how he fought as a cavalryman against the Ghibellines, a banished Florentine party supporting the imperial cause. He also speaks of his great teacher Brunetto Latini and his gifted friend Guido Cavalcanti, of the poetic culture in which he made his first artistic ventures, his poetic indebtedness to Guido Guinizelli, the origins of his family in his great-great-grandfather, Cacciaguida, whom the reader meets in the central cantos of the Paradiso (and from whose wife the family name, Alighieri, derived), and, going back even further, of the pride that he felt in the fact that his distant ancestors were descendants of the Roman soldiers who settled along the banks of the Arno.

Yet Dante has little to say about his more immediate family. There is no mention of his father or mother, brother or sister in The Divine Comedy. A sister is possibly referred to in the Vita nuova, and his father is the subject of insulting sonnets exchanged in jest between Dante and his friend Forese Donati. Because Dante was born in 1265 and the exiled Guelfs, to whose party Dante's family adhered, did not return until 1266, Dante's father apparently was not a figure considerable enough to warrant exile. Dante's mother died when he was young, certainly before he was 14. Her name was Bella, but of which family is unknown. Dante's father then married Lapa di Chiarissimo Cialuffi and they produced a son, Francesco, and a daughter, Gaetana. Dante's father died prior to 1283, since at that time Dante, having come into his majority, was able as an orphan to sell a credit owned by his father. The elder Alighieri left his children a modest yet comfortable patrimony of property in Florence and in the country. About this time Dante married Gemma Donati, to whom he had been betrothed since 1277.

Dante's life was shaped by the long history of conflict between the imperial and papal partisans called, respectively, Ghibellines and Guelfs. Following the middle of the 13th century the antagonisms were brutal and deadly, with each side alternately gaining the upper hand and inflicting gruesome penalties and exile upon the other. In 1260 the Guelfs, after a period of ascendancy, were defeated in the battle of Montaperti (Inferno X, XXXII), but in 1266 a force of Guelfs, supported by papal and French armies, was able to defeat the Ghibellines at Benevento, expelling them forever from Florence. This meant that Dante grew up in a city brimming with postwar pride and expansionism, eager to extend its political control throughout Tuscany. Florentines compared themselves with Rome and the civilization of the ancient city-states.

Not only did Florence extend its political power, but it was ready to exercise intellectual dominance as well. The leading figure in Florence's intellectual ascendancy was a returning exile, Brunetto Latini. When in the Inferno Dante describes his encounter with his great teacher, this is not to be regarded as simply a meeting of one pupil with his master but rather as an encounter of an entire generation with its intellectual mentor. Latini had awakened a new public consciousness in the prominent figures of a younger generation, including Guido Cavalcanti, Forese Donati, and Dante himself, encouraging them to put their knowledge and skill as writers to the service of their city or country. Dante readily accepted the Aristotelian assumption that man is a social (political) being. Even in the Paradiso (VIII.117) Dante allows as being beyond any possible dispute the notion that things would be far worse for man were he not a member of a city-state.

A contemporary historian, Giovanni Villani, characterized Latini as the “initiator and master in refining the Florentines and in teaching them how to speak well, and how to guide our republic according to political philosophy [la politica].” Despite the fact that Latini's most important book, Li Livres dou Trésor (1262–66; The Tresor), was written in French (Latini had passed his years of exile in France), its culture is Dante's culture; it is a repository of classical citation. The first part of Book II contains one of the early translations in a modern European vernacular of Aristotle's Ethics. On almost every question or topic of philosophy, ethics, and politics Latini freely quotes from Cicero and Seneca. And, almost as frequently, when treating questions of government, he quotes from the book of Proverbs, as Dante was to do. The Bible, as well as the writings of Aristotle, Cicero, and Seneca, as represented in Latini's work, were the mainstays of Dante's early culture.

Of these Rome presents the most inspiring source of identification. The cult of Cicero began to develop alongside that of Aristotle; Cicero was perceived as not only preaching but as fully exemplifying the intellectual as citizen. A second Roman element in Latini's legacy to become an important part of Dante's culture was the love of glory, the quest for fame through a wholehearted devotion to excelling. For this reason, in the Inferno (XV) Latini is praised for instructing Dante in the means by which man makes himself immortal, and in his farewell words Latini commits to Dante's care his Tresor, through which he trusts his memory will survive.

Dante was endowed with remarkable intellectual and aesthetic self-confidence. By the time he was 18, as he himself says in the Vita nuova, he had already taught himself the art of making verse (chapter III). He sent an early sonnet, which was to become the first poem in the Vita nuova, to the most famous poets of his day. He received several responses, but the most important one came from Cavalcanti, and this was the beginning of their great friendship.

As in all meetings of great minds the relationship between Dante and Cavalcanti was a complicated one. In chapter XXX of the Vita nuova Dante states that it was through Cavalcanti's exhortations that he wrote his first book in Italian rather than in Latin. Later, in the Convivio, written in Italian, and in De vulgari eloquentia, written in Latin, Dante was to make one of the first great Renaissance defenses of the vernacular. His later thinking on these matters grew out of his discussions with Cavalcanti, who prevailed upon him to write only in the vernacular. Because of this intellectual indebtedness, Dante dedicated his Vita nuova to Cavalcanti—to his best friend (primo amico).

Later, however, when Dante became one of the priors of Florence, he was obliged to concur with the decision to exile Cavalcanti, who contracted malaria during the banishment and died in August 1300. In the Inferno (X) Dante composed a monument to his great friend, and it is as heartrending a tribute as his memorial to Latini. In both cases Dante records his indebtedness, his fondness, and his appreciation of their great merits, but in each he is equally obliged to record the facts of separation. In order to save himself, he must find (or has found) other, more powerful aesthetic, intellectual, and spiritual sponsorship than that offered by his old friends and teachers.

One of these spiritual guides, for whom Cavalcanti evidently did not have the same appreciation, was Beatrice, a figure in whom Dante created one of the most celebrated fictionalized women in all of literature. In keeping with the changing directions of Dante's thought and the vicissitudes of his career, she, too, underwent enormous changes in his hands—sanctified in the Vita nuova, demoted in the canzoni (poems) presented in the Convivio, only to be returned with more profound comprehension in The Divine Comedy as the woman credited with having led Dante away from the “vulgar herd.”

La vita nuova (c. 1293; The New Life) is the first of two collections of verse that Dante made in his lifetime, the other being the Convivio. Each is a prosimetrum, that is, a work composed of verse and prose. In each case the prose is a device for binding together poems composed over about a 10-year period. The Vita nuova brought together Dante's poetic efforts from before 1283 to roughly 1292–93; the Convivio, a bulkier and more ambitious work, contains Dante's most important poetic compositions from just prior to 1294 to the time of The Divine Comedy.

The Vita nuova, which Dante called his libello, or small book, is a remarkable work. It contains 42 brief chapters with commentaries on 25 sonnets, one ballata, and four canzoni; a fifth canzone is left dramatically interrupted by Beatrice's death. The prose commentary provides the frame story, which does not emerge from the poems themselves (it is, of course, conceivable that some were actually written for other occasions than those alleged). The story is simple enough, telling of Dante's first sight of Beatrice when both are nine years of age, her salutation when they are 18, Dante's expedients to conceal his love for her, the crisis experienced when Beatrice withholds her greeting, Dante's anguish that she is making light of him, his determination to rise above anguish and sing only of his lady's virtues, anticipations of her death (that of a young friend, the death of her father, and Dante's own premonitory dream), and finally the death of Beatrice, Dante's mourning, the temptation of the sympathetic donna gentile (a young woman who temporarily replaces Beatrice), Beatrice's final triumph and apotheosis, and, in the last chapter, Dante's determination to write at some later time about her “that which has never been written of any woman.”

Yet with all of this apparently autobiographical purpose the Vita nuova is strangely impersonal. The circumstances it sets down are markedly devoid of any historical facts or descriptive detail (thus making it pointless to engage in too much debate as to the exact historical identity of Beatrice). The language of the commentary also adheres to a high level of generality. Names are rarely used—Cavalcanti is referred to three times as Dante's “best friend”; Dante's sister is referred to as “she who was joined to me by the closest proximity of blood.” On the one hand Dante suggests the most significant stages of emotional experience, but on the other he seems to distance his descriptions from strong emotional reactions. The larger structure in which Dante arranged poems written over a 10-year period and the generality of his poetic language are indications of his early and abiding ambition to go beyond the practices of local poets.
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hockey in italy [Monday on the 30th]

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On this day in history... [Tuesday on the 12th]

Sandro Penna (June 12, 1906 – January 21, 1977) was an Italian poet.

For Sandro Penna boyhood was the embodiment of desire and the inspiration for all of his poetry.

Penna was born in Perugia, but after the age of sixteen, spent most of his life in Rome. By some standards, his life was uneventful, unambitious, lonely, scruffy, and sordid. One does not have to endorse this view. Penna made firm choices about the two things in life that interested him most: poetry and boys.
the rest of Gregory Woods article...Collapse )
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[Tuesday on the 8th]

(this is the former 67stratocaster here, by the way)

I was officially sworn into the Sons of Italy tonight (they admit women, despite the "Sons" thing)! I am so excited. :)
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On this day in history... [Sunday on the 15th]

Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, whose genius epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal and whose Last Supper (1495–98) and Mona Lisa (1503–06) are widely influential paintings, was born this day in 1452.
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On this day in history... [Saturday on the 31st]

Julius Mordecai Pincas, (March 31, 1885 – June 5, 1930) known as Pascin, Jules Pascin, or "The Prince of Montparnasse", was a Bulgarian painter.

Julius Pincas was born in Vidin, Bulgaria to a Spanish-Sephardic Jewish father and a Serbian-Italian mother.
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[Friday on the 30th]

Can someone help me translate this

It's from Il Mio Ben Quando Verra

Tu cui stanca omai già fe'
Il mio pianto, eco pietosa,
Ei ritorna e dolce a te

thanks a million!
(2) Sweating Italians | Sweat us?

[Friday on the 30th]

Fortunato Depero (March 30, 1892 - November 29, 1960) was an Italian futurist painter, writer, sculptor and graphic designer.Depero's Official Site
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[Saturday on the 24th]

[ mood | curious ]

What is he saying? Can someone please help me? I only understand a little Italian

(1) Sweating Italians | Sweat us?

On this day in history... [Sunday on the 18th]

1902: Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso, one of the first musicians to document his voice on the gramophone, made his first phonograph recording .

Gian Francesco Malipiero (March 18, 1882 - August 1, 1973) Italian composer, musicologist and music editor.
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on this day in history... [Tuesday on the 6th]

Born this day in 1475 was Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo, who exerted an unparalleled influence on Western sculpture, painting, and architecture and whose works rank among the most famous in existence.
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[Thursday on the 15th]

Italian natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician Galileo, born this day in 1564, made fundamental contributions to the sciences of motion and astronomy, as well as to the development of the scientific method.
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Todays Artist Profile [Wednesday on the 7th]

Italian painter Il Guercino (“The Squinting One”), whose frescoes freshly exploited the illusionistic ceiling and made a profound impact on the evolution of 17th-century Roman High Baroque art, was born this day in 1591.
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On this day in history... [Saturday on the 20th]

Italian director Federico Fellini, born this day in 1920, was one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the post-World War II period, his distinctive style imposing dreamlike or hallucinatory imagery on ordinary situations.
(1) Sweating Italians | Sweat us?

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