Monday, 10.18.04: What... Italy?
I'm retroactively deciding why Italy will be the right
vacation at the right time for us. I love a
A favorite purpose is an old standard: to absorb textures and colors.
A simple creative boost. Input without having to produce output. This
purpose serves well when I'm drained after a project or when the weather
here has been gray for too many months running. This is pretty much what
we did in Mexico last
My problem is that my idea of Italy is limited to very standard
Art. The usual ancient and Renaissance stuff.
Food. A primary attraction.
Movies. I loved the movie
(1989) for its evocation of childhood and the discoveries of youth
-- and then nostalgia for those sunbleached days. I ordered a couple
of Fellini movies to see what they provoke. I remember seeing La
Strada when I was away at summer school in 1967. I bawled my
eyes out at its sadness. Sergio Leone and the spaghetti westerns
with Clint Eastwood -- flinty takes on American myth.
Plays. Pirandello: Six Characters in Search of an
Author. I loved this play because it twisted reality around.
The premise of the play is that these six characters have
taken on a life of their own because their author has failed to
complete the story. They invade a rehearsal of another
Pirandellian play and insist on playing out the life that is
rightfully theirs. Suggesting that life defies all simple
interpretations, Pirandello's characters rebel against their
creator. They attack the foundation of the play, refusing to
follow stage directions and interfering with the structure of
the play until it breaks down into a series of alternately comic
and tragic fragments.
Religion. Catholicism and the Vatican. I hear Italians are
not as hung up on Papal authority as Americans are
Recreation. Soccer. Not interested (sorry, Dad)
Opera. Puccini! Luciano Pavarotti! I love Madama
Butterfly and Turandot. The grand emotion gets under your
skin even if you don't have a clue what the story is.
Other literature. Dante's Divine Comedy. Never read
Fashion. Favorites of the
Sex and the City set.
All this (except for food & fashion) seems sort of... dated. Like I
could spend my vacation in the public library. I need (1) a sense of
contemporary Italy and/or (2) an idea what I'm supposed to get from all
those layers of history. The exploration begins...