Italian writer – Mario Sechi http://mariosechi.net/ Sun, 06 Nov 2022 03:47:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://mariosechi.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-40-120x120.png Italian writer – Mario Sechi http://mariosechi.net/ 32 32 The most famous Msian pirate was created by an Italian writer in 1883. Turns out he’s real https://mariosechi.net/the-most-famous-msian-pirate-was-created-by-an-italian-writer-in-1883-turns-out-hes-real/ Fri, 24 Jun 2022 04:48:39 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/the-most-famous-msian-pirate-was-created-by-an-italian-writer-in-1883-turns-out-hes-real/ When we think of pirates in Malaysia, we usually think of a guy who squats the tepi jalan with the latest movies a week before it hits theaters. “Gerenti clear boss”. Image created with DALL-E. But ackshually…there is a series of super femes adventure books written in the late 1800s about a Malaysian pirate called […]]]>

When we think of pirates in Malaysia, we usually think of a guy who squats the tepi jalan with the latest movies a week before it hits theaters.

“Gerenti clear boss”. Image created with DALL-E.

But ackshually…there is a series of super femes adventure books written in the late 1800s about a Malaysian pirate called Sandokan, nicknamed the Malaysian Tiger. Most of us probably haven’t heard of him because it’s Sabahan the stories are mainly translated from his native Italian into other European languages who are not English, like spanish and germanbut the series are quite popular in Europe.

While researching the pirate, we found out that a few scholars have looked into Sandokan, and the conclusion is that he was a very real person – but of course the fictional version is more Hollywood than History Channel lah.

So, before we get into the historical version, let’s get to know the fictional Sandokan first.

The Malaysian Tiger was created by an Italian sailor turned writer

Cover of ‘The Tiger of Momracem’. Image by Libringioco.

Sandokan was created by the Italian writer Emilio Salgari, a failed sailor (hehe) who later became a journalist. Set in Borneo, Sandokan’s story first emerged as a named newspaper serial The Tiger of Malesia (The Malayan Tiger) in 1883with the complete version published in book form in 1890 renamed Momracem’s Tigri (The Tiger of Momracem).

For a TL; DR of his story: Sandokan was the Prince of Malludu, a rapidly expanding kingdom bordering the Kingdom of Brunei as well as Sarawak, which was under the control of the White Rajah, James Brooke. Worried about Malludu’s growing powers, Brooke made a joint playbook to justify an invasion – he said the Malludu people were pirates and used that as an excuse to attack the kingdom – which is essentially the 18th century way of colonialists saying that an Arab country has terrorists so we should invade and bomb them (not because they have oil!).

Screenshot of Crusader Kings 3 by Gamertweak.

With the Sultan of Brunei, they destroyed Malludu and killed Sandokan’s family, making him an anak yatim. He then fled to the island of Mompracem, rounded up a group of local men and basically said, “Oh, you said I’m a pirate? Well guess what I’m a pirate now”, and plotted revenge while doing pirate things like attacking British ships along the coast of Borneo, its red pirate flag with an image of a tiger blowing in the wind – which earned him the nickname of the Malayan Tiger.

(Note: the term “Malaysia” refers to the general region in ancient timesNOT the country Malaysia which was formed in 1963)

The first book was so popular, Salgari ended up writing 11 books featuring Sandokan which have been widely translated in Europe until today.. It’s only recently that the books have been translated into English, and it’s assumed that’s because his books were anti-colonial – where the natives would fight against their colonial masters – so an English translation of an Asian Jack Sparrow kicking James Brooke’s ass might be the reason it’s not picked up by English publishing houses.

One would think that the writer would be Rowling in Harry Potter a little dough after being so successful, but Salgari died almost penniless. He was so broke that he decided to end his life by committing seppuku (I’m not even kidding) and left a shading note to his editors for taking advantage of him while making him a broke man.

This tiger flag looks a bit suspicious. Image from IMDB.

Although the books were not translated into English until 2007, many live-action versions have been made in the US and UK since the 1940s. Arguably the most famous is the miniseries starring Indian film star Kabir Bedi, which became the most iconic version of Sandokan. While Sandokan’s story seems heavily romanticized…

The books were based on a True Story™ about a war in North Borneo

Just as Hollywood movies based on true stories are highly dramatized versions featuring incredibly photogenic people, the same can be said of Sandokan. But at the time, it was assumed that Sandokan was completely made up because Salgari never even left Italy (despite the contrary) and that the name was composed on the basis of the town of Sandakan, in the north of Borneo.

However, there is a historical record of a war similar to Sandokan’s origin story, where Sarawak, under James Brooke, allied with the Sultan of Brunei to defeat a pirate king in 1845. He was known as name of The Battle of Marudu.

The White Rajah. Image by Kajomag.

If we were to trust the British historical records (which might be a bit biased), the summary is that the peaceful and selfless Brits had trouble with evil pirates in the seas of Borneo, disrupting trade and commerce in the then British colony of Sarawak, which was heroically ruled by the valiant White Rajah, Sir James Brooke. In case you think we’re exaggerating, here’s a snippet on James Brooke:

“The romantic story of how this gallant gentleman became Rajah of Sarawak is too well known to need repeating here.” – from the British North Borneo Herald, 1886.

The worst pirate was Syarif Osman, a “mixed-race Arab” pirate king who had marriage ties to Sulu royalty and ruled his pirate kingdom from Marudu Bay. He is said to have personally led his band of diehards on piracy expeditions and extorted tribute from the natives, in addition to robbing merchant ships and then enslaving those they captured. There was probably a whole appendix filled with his crimes, including but not limited to:

“… [Syarif Osman] tribute extorted from nearly 5,000 indigenous families in Marudu and Kudat districtflouting Brunei’s power and mocking European threats.

There are many black actions to the credit of this pirate leader in 1845. Peaceful traders on the high seas have seen their ships seized and plundered; he had sold into slavery twenty men from the merchant ship Sultana which had been burnt off Palawan…” – from the British North Borneo Herald, 1886.

When Brunei made a treaty with the British to end piracy, Syarif Osman openly threatened to attack Brunei. After the British finally send reinforcements across the sea to aid James Brooke in his just battle against the pirates, Syarif Osman announced that he had put up his defense in his stronghold at Marudu Bay and challenged the British to attack it.basically telling them: if you don’t have the balls to fight me here, I will personally go and destroy the Sultan of Brunei for asking you for help.

There was no camera back then, so uh… here’s an AI-generated image of the battle. Image by Crayon.

The British did not need to be warned twice and sent their entire army to Marudu Bay. At the end, the righteous british army won the war because the pirates could not sustain the fight against their firepower, but they noted that the Malay pirates fought bravely and were well dressed. In stereotypical British chivalry, they also applauded pirates for their bravery, such as when Syarif Osman’s flag – a red banner with a tiger painting – was pulled down, a volunteer went to reassemble it despite the bullets whizzing around him.

“…a volunteer climbed the stump of the flagpole; he erected the broken part, clung like a monkey until he had the colors solidly whipped, heedless of the bullets whizzing around his head, then slipped coldly unscathed. Pirate or no pirate, it was a gallant act.” – Extract from the British North Borneo Herald 1886

Syarif Osman himself was seriously injured during the war and stories are divided on what happened to him. Some say he escaped, but later died from his injuries and was buried in Kudat. Another says he died in the war; however, his corpse was never identified on the battlefield. But that’s not all…

Sandokan was based on Syarif Osman…as well as the real Sandokan

Kabir Bedi in the Sandokan mini-series. Image via Radio Prague.

At first it was assumed that Sandokan was based on Syarif Osman – both were fierce pirates with the same tiger flags, and their hometowns were destroyed by James Brooke who was allied with the Sultan of Brunei.

But Sandokan was actually a real person – a close confidant of Syarif Osman who resembled him in appearance and personality, and fought alongside him against the British.. According to Sabahan’s oral history, Sandokan, who in some versions is called Sindukung or Sandukar, came from the east coast and was the last person to own the Gomantong caves. It may have been named after its place of origin which shared the same root: an ancient word Sulu meaning “pawn”, as Sandakan originally belonged to the Sultan of Sulu, who pawned it to a debtor when he was unable to pay a debt.

According to researcher Dr. Bianca Gerlich, it is likely that Emilio Salgari heard the stories about North Borneo during his time as a sailor’s apprentice (hehe) to sailors in Venice, and mixed it as material for his novel. This has been theorized as Salgari began writing his histories much earlier – in 1883 – while the written British records of the Battle of Marudu were not published until 1886, nearly 40 years after the war.

Whatever the truth, Sandokan and Syarif Osman may be remembered as fierce pirates of the outside world, but for those in Sabah they were seen as freedom fighters who fought against British rule despite the odds. Thus, the story will always depend on which side you are seen on: on one side, you might be seen as a hoarder of sea resources, constantly plundering in your shameless quest for endless wealth and power. But on the other hand, you might be considered British.




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Bengali Folk Puppeteers Tell the Story of Italian Writer Carlo Collodi’s Adventures of Pinocchio | India is blooming https://mariosechi.net/bengali-folk-puppeteers-tell-the-story-of-italian-writer-carlo-collodis-adventures-of-pinocchio-india-is-blooming/ Mon, 16 May 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/bengali-folk-puppeteers-tell-the-story-of-italian-writer-carlo-collodis-adventures-of-pinocchio-india-is-blooming/ Kolkata: The Adventures of Pinocchio by Italian writer Carlo Collodi is taken from children’s books to be retold by the folk artists of Bengal in three different and unique interpretations through puppetry, Pata Chitra and mixed media at Madhusudhan Mancha in Kolkata Saturday. Organized by FREED in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in […]]]>

Kolkata: The Adventures of Pinocchio by Italian writer Carlo Collodi is taken from children’s books to be retold by the folk artists of Bengal in three different and unique interpretations through puppetry, Pata Chitra and mixed media at Madhusudhan Mancha in Kolkata Saturday.

Organized by FREED in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Kolkata, the show was presented by “The Dolls Theatre”, showcasing a synthesis of traditional art and modernity as artists narrated Pinocchio’s journey of transformation , from being created as a wooden puppet to a real Human.

The Adventures of Pinocchio is a children’s novel by Italian writer Carlo Collodi, written in Pescia. It is about the mischievous adventures of an animated puppet named Pinocchio and his father, a poor woodcarver named Geppetto.

Among the traditional forms of puppetry found in Bengal – rod, glove and string – at the first performance, the audience witnessed traditional puppeteer Rampada Ghoroi maneuvering his Beni or Bene Putul (thumb-manipulated hand puppets, middle and index finger) to tell the story of Pinocchio.

Ghoroi performed the story in a solo act, maneuvering his two-handed glove puppets, singing, narrating, and giving dialogue to the characters all by himself.

Ghoroi, who is originally a resident of Padmatamali village in East Medinipur district, had never heard of Pinocchio though he had acted out children’s stories and tales many times.

“My existing puppets weren’t suited for this performance. This character looks a bit like a cartoon character with disproportionate features like a long nose and big ears,” he said.

“Since this was going to be my first performance in this story, I made the doll with a long nose and big ears, but dressed her in the usual way with bright, shiny clothes and jewelry,” a- he added.

Ghoroi said he would like to perform on similar stories where the characters seem different from what puppeteers like him are used to.

“It was my first experience telling the story of a country different from this type of character. It will take some time to soak in and I would love to replicate this performance again if given the opportunity. “, he added.

In another performance, the well-known Pata Chitra artist, Manimala Chitrakar, told the story in the traditional form of the Medinipur region of Bengal in eastern India, using a long scroll with scenes of history painted in the form of frames, accompanied by a song.

The ‘patuas’, as these artists are called using ‘pat’ or a long piece of cloth to sequence the various events of the tale, tell the story in the form of a song, which they write and compose, depending on the audience. .

For Manimala too, it was the first time Pinocchio was presented in this traditional art form, which she said was an enjoyable experience for her.

So far, she has mostly told mythological and religious stories and used this medium to convey social messages through government projects.

“It was a whole new opportunity for me. Since the story of Pinocchio has a message for children, I wrote the song which is aimed at school children, to take the example of Pinocchio and not fall into the bad stuff,” she explained.

In the final presentation, The Dolls Theater performed the story using different types of puppets, including hand puppets and string puppets, to play most of the roles while actors played some of the characters. Stage props, lighting, background voice artists as well as songs allowed for a more elaborate explanation of the tale than previous mediums.

Sudip Gupta of Dolls Theater noted that puppetry can be used as a medium to reach the masses, especially children, and many countries around the world use it to convey messages apart from storytelling and entertainment.

“However, no other country can boast of the diversity of puppet traditions like India where each state has its own type of puppets. Puppetry in India is very much alive and a lot of work is done by contemporary puppeteers like us , which use traditional forms as well as other media to better capture the imagination of viewers,” he said.

Italian Consul General Dr Gianluca Rubagotti said the program was an effort to bring together the centuries-old cultural elements of Italy and India and part of wider Indo-Italian collaborative plans with artists local.

Sharing his take on the performances, he said, “It was very enjoyable. I also saw the rehearsals and witnessed the hard work and passion put into making these shows. From the outside these depictions look very simple but I can tell you how much hard work goes behind them.”

“The idea was to tell a story, of Italian origin but carrying a universal message, through local artists, in this case puppeteers and Pata Chitra. We gave them the inspiration, which brought to life through art forms typical of this part of the world, but again have a broader appeal,” said Rubagotti, explaining the concept behind the project.

A good way to create a fusion is to intertwine the two cultures, he said, adding that the Italian consulate has undertaken many such projects across film, theatre, visual arts, literature, etc

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“It’s fair to ask questions” https://mariosechi.net/its-fair-to-ask-questions/ Thu, 18 Nov 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/its-fair-to-ask-questions/ [ad_1] Italian author Gianfelice Facchetti said the public should be wondering about San Siro’s redevelopment plans, according to a report published in Italian print media today. Speaking in an interview with Tuttosport, the son of former Inter player Giacinto Facchetti explained that with such a deeply felt problem, residents and fans alike should be listened […]]]>


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Italian author Gianfelice Facchetti said the public should be wondering about San Siro’s redevelopment plans, according to a report published in Italian print media today.

Speaking in an interview with Tuttosport, the son of former Inter player Giacinto Facchetti explained that with such a deeply felt problem, residents and fans alike should be listened to more.

“I’m not a coach, but I think it’s legitimate to ask questions about such a deeply felt topic, also listening to the reasons of locals and fans. If it’s good to do it, let’s do it. But you have to confront yourself publicly to come to this conclusion.

“Instead, in this case, the issue was not addressed during the election campaign because it would have been tricky to do so. Then, shortly after the elections, the junta ruled on the public utility of the new stadium without explaining in detail why the restructuring of the Meazza could not take place.

Gianfelice Facchetti believes there are two major issues with plans for a new San Siro for Inter and AC Milan. The first is that the ideas for restructuring the existing stadium have not been explored.

“In my opinion, these projects were not really considered,” he said.

The second is that the proposals for the new stadium suggest there will be a drop in the number of fans the pitch can hold.

About 13,000 fewer seats will be in the new pitch compared to the current stadium, and Gianfelice Facchetti believes that is not something other big European teams would do.

“I don’t see any other big European clubs who, by switching from the old to the new, have reduced the availability of seats. Indeed, many have increased it. San Siro can currently accommodate 76,000 spectators.

“The new stadium has 63,000, of which 12,000 are dedicated to guests from the sponsor areas in the main stand.

“Milan have always been used to thinking big, even in football. A stadium with a capacity of just over 60,000 people does not seem to me to respond to this citizen command.


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Italian writer / director Donato Carrisi shoots “I Am the Abyss” https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-director-donato-carrisi-shoots-i-am-the-abyss/ Mon, 01 Nov 2021 16:53:59 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-director-donato-carrisi-shoots-i-am-the-abyss/ [ad_1] The successful Italian writer-turned-director Donato Carrisi (“The Girl in the Fog”, “In the Labyrinth”) has started filming near Lake Como on his third feature film “I Am The Abyss”. Vision Distribution is launching international sales on the American Film Market Online Photo, which is based on its new thriller of the same title. Carrisi, […]]]>


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The successful Italian writer-turned-director Donato Carrisi (“The Girl in the Fog”, “In the Labyrinth”) has started filming near Lake Como on his third feature film “I Am The Abyss”.

Vision Distribution is launching international sales on the American Film Market Online Photo, which is based on its new thriller of the same title.

Carrisi, who has written 11 international bestsellers and sold more than 3 million copies of his books worldwide, rose to the top of the Italian book charts earlier this year, shortly after the publication of ” I Am the Abyss ”in Italy in November 2020.

The psychological cooler involving a serial killer set in an atmospheric setting by a lake, has been translated in Germany, France and other countries and will be released in the UK this month.

Carrisi in a statement called his latest work “a thriller with deep feelings whose twists and suspense are built around the narrative arcs of the characters.

There is a visible history, but there is also a submerged history which silently flows then suddenly emerges, ”he added. “And it’s the one that hits the viewer when they least expect it in that little corner of our heart where we keep empathy.

The cast of “I Am the Abyss” is still being kept a secret, even though the cameras are rolling.

The film is co-produced by Italian Palomar, the Italian production company of French group Mediawan, and Vision Distribution, directed by Italian sales veteran Catia Rossi. Palomar has produced some of Italy’s best recent movies and series, including Oscar nominated star Sophia Loren, “The Life Ahead” and skein “Inspector Montalbano”.

Vision Distribution is the business arm of a unique content alliance formed in 2016 by pay TV operator Sky Italia and five leading Italian production companies – Cattleya, owned by ITV, Fremantle’s Wildside, Lucisano Media Group, Indiana Production and Palomar – who signed an agreement to release their films in the country.

Carrisi’s previous films, “The Girl in the Fog,” with Toni Servillo and Jean Reno, and “In the Labyrinth,” with Servillo and Dustin Hoffman, have traveled a lot.

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Italian writer/director Donato Carrisi is filming “I am the abyss” https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-director-donato-carrisi-is-filming-i-am-the-abyss/ Mon, 01 Nov 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-director-donato-carrisi-is-filming-i-am-the-abyss/ Best-selling Italian writer-turned-director Donato Carrisi (“The Girl in the Fog,” “Into the Labyrinth”) has started filming near Lake Como on his third feature “I Am the Abyss.” Vision Distribution launches international sales in the American online picture-based film market, based on its new thriller of the same title. Carrisi, who has written 11 international bestsellers […]]]>

Best-selling Italian writer-turned-director Donato Carrisi (“The Girl in the Fog,” “Into the Labyrinth”) has started filming near Lake Como on his third feature “I Am the Abyss.”

Vision Distribution launches international sales in the American online picture-based film market, based on its new thriller of the same title.

Carrisi, who has written 11 international bestsellers and sold more than 3 million copies of his books worldwide, shot to the top of the Italian book charts earlier this year shortly after the publication of “I Am the Abyss” in Italy in November 2020.

The psychological chiller involving a serial killer set in an atmospheric lakeside setting, has been translated to Germany, France and other countries and will be released in the UK this month.

Carrisi in a statement called his latest work “a thriller with deep emotions where twists and suspense are built around the narrative arcs of the characters.

There is a visible story, but there is also a submerged one that flows silently and then suddenly emerges,” he added. “And it’s the one that hits the viewer when they least expect it. in that little corner of our heart where we keep empathy.

The cast of “I Am the Abyss” is still being kept under wraps, even as the cameras roll.

The film is co-produced by Italian Palomar, the Italian production company that is part of the French Mediawan group, and Vision Distribution, which is run by Italian saleswoman Catia Rossi. Palomar has produced some of Italy’s best recent films and series, including Oscar-nominated Sophia Loren starring ‘The Life Ahead’ and the skein ‘Inspector Montalbano’.

Vision Distribution is the commercial arm of a unique content alliance formed in 2016 by pay-TV operator Sky Italia and five leading Italian production companies – ITV-owned Cattleya, Fremantle’s Wildside, Luciano Media Group, Indiana Production and Palomar – who have signed an agreement to release their films in the country.

Carrisi’s previous films “The Girl in the Fog,” starring Toni Servillo and Jean Reno, and “Into the Labyrinth,” starring Servillo and Dustin Hoffman, have traveled extensively.

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Italian writer Antonio Pennacchi has died aged 71 https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-antonio-pennacchi-has-died-aged-71/ Wed, 04 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-antonio-pennacchi-has-died-aged-71/ [ad_1] Pennacchi won the Strega Prize in Italy for his novel Mussolini Canal. Italian writer Antonio Pennacchi died on the evening of August 3, at the age of 71, Mondadori publishing house announced. Pennacchi, died at his home in Latina, the seaside town south of Rome where he was born in 1950 and spent his […]]]>


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Pennacchi won the Strega Prize in Italy for his novel Mussolini Canal.

Italian writer Antonio Pennacchi died on the evening of August 3, at the age of 71, Mondadori publishing house announced.

Pennacchi, died at his home in Latina, the seaside town south of Rome where he was born in 1950 and spent his entire life.

A factory worker until the age of 50, Pennacchi was always politically active, making the memorable journey from fascism in his youth to communism in his later years.

His experiences led him to write He fascicomunista (2003), his first novel, which served as the basis for the 2007 hit film Mio fratello è figlio unico (My brother is an only child).

Elio Germano and Riccardo Scamarcio in Mio fratello è figlio unico.

In 2010, Pennacchi won the Premio Strega, Italy’s most prestigious literary award, for Mussolini Canal, a novel about the fascist-era recovery of the Pontine marshes south of Rome and the migration of inhabitants from the northern regions of Veneto and Friuli to the newly built towns of Latina and Sabaudia.

Often referred to as the “fasciocomunista”, Pennacchi was known for his hat and red scarf.

Yesterday evening, the Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, paid tribute to him as “the first great narrator of an Italy forgotten until today”.


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Italian writer Antonio Pennacchi dies aged 71 https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-antonio-pennacchi-dies-aged-71/ Tue, 03 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-antonio-pennacchi-dies-aged-71/ Pennacchi won the Italian Strega Prize for his novel Canal Mussolini. Italian writer Antonio Pennacchi died on the evening of August 3, at the age of 71, the Mondadori publishing house announced. Pennacchi, died at his home in Latina, the seaside town south of Rome where he was born in 1950 and spent his entire […]]]>

Pennacchi won the Italian Strega Prize for his novel Canal Mussolini.

Italian writer Antonio Pennacchi died on the evening of August 3, at the age of 71, the Mondadori publishing house announced.

Pennacchi, died at his home in Latina, the seaside town south of Rome where he was born in 1950 and spent his entire life.

A factory worker until the age of 50, Pennacchi was always politically active, making the momentous journey from fascism in his youth to communism in his later years.

His experiences led him to write The fascicomunista (2003), her debut novel, which served as the basis for the hit 2007 film Mio fratello è figlio unico (My brother is an only child).

Elio Germano and Riccardo Scamarcio in Mio fratello è figlio unico.

In 2010, Pennacchi won the Premio Strega, Italy’s most prestigious literary prize, for Canal Mussolinia novel about the recovery in Fascist times of the Pontine marshes south of Rome and the migration of the inhabitants of the northern regions of Veneto and Friuli to the newly built cities of Latina and Sabaudia.

Often called the “fasciocomunista”, Pennacchi was known for his hat and red scarf.

Last night, Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini paid tribute to him, calling him “the first and great narrator of an Italy that has been forgotten until today”.

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Roberto Calasso, Italian writer of dazzling erudition, dies at 80 https://mariosechi.net/roberto-calasso-italian-writer-of-dazzling-erudition-dies-at-80/ Mon, 02 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/roberto-calasso-italian-writer-of-dazzling-erudition-dies-at-80/ Roberto Calasso, an Italian writer who rose to prominence as one of his country’s foremost modern intellectuals, ran an influential publishing house for decades and explored themes ranging from Greek mythology to Kafka in his own works of dazzling erudition, died on July 28 in Milan. He was 80 years old. Francesca Marson, spokeswoman for […]]]>

Roberto Calasso, an Italian writer who rose to prominence as one of his country’s foremost modern intellectuals, ran an influential publishing house for decades and explored themes ranging from Greek mythology to Kafka in his own works of dazzling erudition, died on July 28 in Milan. He was 80 years old.

Francesca Marson, spokeswoman for Adelphi Edizioni, where Mr Calasso long presided as editorial director and chief executive, confirmed his death but did not name a cause.

Mr Calasso – once described by the Paris Review as “a unique literary institution” – was the author of a shelf full of books that contained a range of subjects wide enough to fill a library.

He was perhaps best known for his book “The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony”, an account of Greek mythology first published in Italy in 1988. But his works also touched on Vedic India, the 18th century Italian painter Tiepolo, the French renegade Talleyrand and the writings of authors from Baudelaire to Karl Marx. Vast but not scattered, his work was bound by a relentless search for understanding civilization and the stories that underpin it – mythological, historical and philosophical.

“Stories are the most enduring texture of life for us,” Mr Calasso told the London Independent. “Not forms of societies, but stories. Stories are really what hold everything together, in a way. When you are abandoned by stories—when you go back beyond the invention of writing, beyond the literary tradition—of course you feel lost: because you need stories.

To the casual observer, Mr. Calasso might have seemed the austere European intellectual par excellence. But his writing and his imagination were vivid enough to attract an impressive number of readers. “The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony”, which was translated into English by Tim Parks, is said to have sold over 200,000 copies in Italy alone.

“Like Ovid, Mr. Calasso has a distinct authorial presence,” wrote Greek myth scholar Mary Lefkowitz in The New York Times, comparing Mr. Calasso to one of the most celebrated poets of antiquity.

“He makes judgments about the characters and the stories, and their relationship to the modern world,” she continued. “But where Ovid treats his characters with a slight condescension and a certain irony, M. Calasso treats them with the kind of respect that pagan writers like Homer and Callimachus might have accorded them. Also unlike Ovid, Mr. Calasso often offers several different versions of a story, so his readers can see the different potential meanings a myth can have.

Mr Calasso would have been proud of the words of another critic, the Italian novelist and intellectual Italo Calvino, who wrote with admiration of Mr Calasso’s book “The Ruin of Kasch”. In this work, published in Italy in 1983, Mr. Calasso walked away from the French Revolution in a walk through history so long, Calvino would have quipped, that one could say that the book had two subjects: The first is Talleyrand; the second is everything else.

“In just under 400 pages, Mr. Calasso manages to quote Goethe, Sainte-Beuve, the Upanishads, ‘Golden Bough’ by Frazer, ‘Das Kapital’, the German anthropologist Leo Frobenius. . . and several hundred other works in several languages,” wrote literary biographer James Atlas in The Times. “His model, the German critic Walter Benjamin, aspired to write a book that would be composed only of quotations; Mr. Calasso almost did exactly that.

Mr. Calasso conceded to Atlas that “La Ruine de Kasch” was “a bit like a forest, where you get lost”. But for admirers who marveled at the density of the forest, Mr. Calasso had conjured up, wading through the woods was both the challenge and the thrill of braving his works.

Mr. Calasso’s other books included “The Impure Fool”, based on a famous patient of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud; “K.”, a rereading of the works of Franz Kafka; “Tiepolo Pink”, about the artist considered a master of the technique called sprezzatura; and “The Celestial Hunter” about, in part, the history of hunting in Western civilization.

Mr. Calasso traces his love of literature back to his childhood in Florence, where he was born on May 30, 1941. His maternal grandfather, a professor of philosophy, founded a publishing house, La Nuova Italia. Mr. Calasso’s mother was a literary scholar and his father was a professor of legal history.

“He used to work on texts mainly from the 16th to 18th centuries, so the house was full of wonderful folios,” Mr Calasso was quoted as saying by the London Observer. “I grew up surrounded by old books. I was always in the middle of the books.

Mr Calasso said he started writing his memoirs when he was around 12 years old. By all accounts, he had already accumulated enough experience to fulfill them. During World War II, his father, an anti-fascist, was arrested and sentenced to death in what Mr Calasso described as retaliation for the assassination of fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile. The father was eventually released, but the family had to go into hiding, with young Mr. Calasso learning to use an assumed name.

At 21, after studying at the University of Rome, Mr. Calasso was hired by Adelphi Edizioni, where he eventually became the majority shareholder. Adelphi has published the works of writers such as Jorge Luis Borges and Milan Kundera, earning a reputation in Europe and beyond as a house that values ​​ideas over profits.

In a tribute to Mr. Calasso published in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, physicist Carlo Rovelli, author of the bestseller “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics”, recalled an early conversation with Mr. Calasso.

“Carlo,” said M. Calasso, “I read what you wrote.” I like it. Anything you write that you consider important, send it to me. Don’t worry about writing books that will sell. Think only of the real things you have to say. I will post them for you.

Mr. Calasso’s survivors include his wife, Swiss writer Fleur Jaeggy; two children, Josephine Calasso and Tancredi Calasso, both from a previous relationship with German writer Anna Katharina Fröhlich; several brothers and sisters; and several grandchildren.

Mr. Calasso made a distinction between information and knowledge, the former being something that one seeks out and locates, and the latter being something that must be cultivated throughout life. It’s a difference, he observed, that is often overlooked in the digital age, where facts and figures, but not necessarily understanding, are just a few mouse clicks away.

“The word ‘information’ suffers from a kind of verbal inflation, which has confused many people’s minds,” he noted in 2015. “And that’s really worrying. Not the simple fact of digitalization, which I’m not afraid of, but that in the minds of some people, these two terms are confused. But they are sometimes opposed.

Read more Washington Post obituary

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Italian writer Roberto Calasso is dead https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-roberto-calasso-is-dead/ Thu, 29 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-roberto-calasso-is-dead/ [ad_1] The Italian Minister of Culture called him an “exceptional intellectual”. In his books, Roberto Calasso has dealt at length with Nietzsche and Baudelaire. Milan (AP) – Italian writer and publisher Roberto Calasso has died in Milan at the age of 80. This was announced by the Suhrkamp publishing house. According to the Italian Ansa […]]]>


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The Italian Minister of Culture called him an “exceptional intellectual”. In his books, Roberto Calasso has dealt at length with Nietzsche and Baudelaire.

Milan (AP) – Italian writer and publisher Roberto Calasso has died in Milan at the age of 80. This was announced by the Suhrkamp publishing house.

According to the Italian Ansa news agency, Calasso had been ill for some time. The Florence-born cultural essayist and philosopher celebrated his 80th birthday almost two months ago.

Calasso was also the managing director of Italian literary publisher Adelphi Edizioni. He was accepted there as a young student when the company was founded.

Among other things, Calasso treated the works of other authors in essays and books, such as the French poet and writer Charles Baudelaire or the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In 1989 he received the Nietzsche Premio Internazionale Federico Nietzsche Prize for his Nietzsche edition. In 2008, he received the science award from the Aby Warburg Foundation. His lecture at the time was “Baudelaire and the cult of images”.

Calasso’s books and texts have been translated into many European languages. In Germany, he published “Der Traum Baudelaires”, “Die Glut” and, more recently in 2019, “The unspeakable today”. Adelphi Edizioni published the books “Bobi” and “Memè Scianca” shortly before his death.

The editorial thanked them on social networks for the many messages of affection after the announcement of Calasso’s death. “There is still a lot to say, but at times like these there is a lack of clarity and silence is preferred.” Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini spoke of the loss of a pillar of the Italian publishing industry and called Calasso an “extraordinary intellectual”.

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Italian writer sheds light on new motives, Regeni murder suspects say case served to destroy Cairo-Rome relations https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-sheds-light-on-new-motives-regeni-murder-suspects-say-case-served-to-destroy-cairo-rome-relations/ Sun, 14 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://mariosechi.net/italian-writer-sheds-light-on-new-motives-regeni-murder-suspects-say-case-served-to-destroy-cairo-rome-relations/ [ad_1] CAIRO – February 14, 2021: Leopoldo Salmaso, Italian doctor and political author, has accused security officials in Rome and London of planning and executing the assassination of Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016 for reasons policies. Salmaso, in an article he wrote in ComeDonChisciotte, claimed that the turbulence following the murder […]]]>


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CAIRO – February 14, 2021: Leopoldo Salmaso, Italian doctor and political author, has accused security officials in Rome and London of planning and executing the assassination of Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016 for reasons policies.

Salmaso, in an article he wrote in ComeDonChisciotte, claimed that the turbulence following the murder of Regeni was only aimed at destroying the good relations between Egypt and Italy and harming the common economic interests of the two countries.

Salmazo believes that the whole Regeni affair was done in order to reschedule energy sources in the Mediterranean, or in the direct sense, in order to deprive Italy of the great opportunities for cooperation in the gas sector.

The author claims that Regeni had been trained in the United States in institutions related to intelligence before going to Cairo. He was also trained at Oxford Analytica, which the writer calls a multinational spy company.

Salmaso said Regeni in Cairo is looking for opposition figures who seek to destabilize the Egyptian state after the June 2013 revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood term. The author added that an Egyptian citizen reported the case to security authorities after questioning Regeni’s intentions.

Salmaso also believes Regeni’s assassins were the ones who sent him, as they believed he had been exposed to Egyptian security authorities.

The author also believes that Regeni’s mother played a role in covering up the truth about her son’s murder by preventing Egyptian security authorities from having her laptop from her Cairo residence as evidence.

Conflicting conclusions

In November, the Italian prosecution in Rome said five people belonging to the security authorities are suspected in the case of the murder of the Italian student, but the Egyptian prosecution considers the suspicions to be “unfounded”.

Regeni, a 28-year-old doctoral student, disappeared in early 2016 in the Egyptian capital; he was found dead in February of the same year, his body showing signs of torture. The perpetrators of the crime have not yet been brought to justice despite judicial cooperation between Egypt and Italy.

The Egyptian prosecution said in a joint statement from the two prosecutions that Regeni was the victim of a robbery gang, saying he could find his things in the apartment of one of the gang members.

However, he claimed that Regeni’s murderer is still unknown to the Egyptian side.

The Rome prosecution, for its part, decided to close the investigation after discovering that five people belonging to the security authorities were suspect in the case, a conclusion with which the Egyptian prosecution says it does not agree.

“The Egyptian prosecution service, despite its understanding and appreciation of Italian legal procedures. However, he has complete reservations about this suspicion and does not approve of it, as it is not based on solid evidence, ”the statement read.

The Egyptian prosecution says it understands the independent decisions that the Rome prosecution will take on the basis of this conclusion.

According to the findings of the Egyptian prosecution, the gang of thieves that victimized Regeni had committed similar crimes using false documents claiming they were part of an Egyptian security authority.

“The Egyptian public prosecutor will deal with this incident in this way,” the statement added.

The Egyptian prosecution has indicated that it will “temporarily close” the investigations into the case and that it will assign the search and investigation services to undertake the procedures required to find the perpetrator.

He added that the Rome prosecutor’s office accepts the Egyptian side’s decision.

“Finally, the two parties have shown their commitment to continue judicial cooperation between them and to submit all the information that must be obtained around the incident to find out the truth,” the statement said.

“The two prosecutors affirm that judicial cooperation between them has been and will remain at the highest level in all judicial areas,” the statement added.

No basis for filing a file

A month later, the Egyptian prosecutor announced that there was currently no basis to initiate criminal proceedings for the murder, kidnapping and incident of physical torture of Regeni.

The public prosecutor instructed the investigative bodies to continue their work to identify the culprit (s) and dropped the charges against four officers and a police officer affiliated with the National Security Agency.

In addition, the criminal case of robbery was dropped due to the death of the defendants.

The prosecution opened an investigation on February 3, 2016 when citizens found the victim’s body on the desert road from Cairo to Alexandria. The investigations lasted nearly five years

During these years, the prosecution determined the events from his disappearance until the discovery of the body as well as the details of his stay in Egypt. During this time, he traveled to and from Egypt on several occasions, having destinations in Italy, Turkey and Israel.

Investigations also identified his Egyptian and non-Egyptian knowledge. This is in addition to his efforts in the context of scientific research he was conducting on unions, labor movements and independent unions, in particular the union of street vendors and irregular workers under the aegis of the American University in Cairo ( AUC).

Investigations have also closely delineated his activities in the final days before his disappearance and on the day of his disappearance until the body was found.

The prosecution arranged for the autopsy to take place to determine the cause of death. Also, his clothes; objects from which the body lay; data on the victim’s phone SIM card; SIM cards that were present where he last visited and where the body was found; and, the contents of the surveillance cameras located at the place where he disappeared were analyzed.

In addition, the prosecution gathered the testimonies of nearly 120 witnesses and requested investigations from the security agencies. These inquiries indicated that the victim – in the course of carrying out scientific research – was in contact with a number of members of independent trade unions and street vendors as well as members of various political groups.

The victim was present in the sites where they met and criticized in his conversations with them the behavior of certain political groups in the country and the way they handle political mobility. He expressed concern about the danger such groups pose to the stability of Egypt. Investigations proved the victim’s discussions with pedestrian vendors about the system in force in Egypt and that he claimed they could change the status quo as has happened in other countries.

The prosecution inspected the victim’s residence in Egypt and found that her parents had recovered all of her personal belongings, including her laptop, just after the news of her death was announced.

for judicial cooperation, the Egyptian Public Prosecutor’s Office informed the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome of the updates of the investigation. This was done through 15 bilateral meetings between investigative teams from each country’s prosecution service. He also sent his Italian counterpart some requests – out of five communications – as these would help the investigation.

However, the Italian public prosecutor’s office did not respond to some of these requests, such as the dispatch of Regeni’s laptop and the testimonies of witnesses questioned by the Italian authorities, without indicating “good enough” reasons. The excuse was that Italy pledged not to disclose information it acquired from other states to Egypt or any other state. Since the Egyptian Public Prosecutor’s Office is the original entity responsible for the investigation, such an act does not meet the standards of international judicial cooperation, the statement released on Wednesday said.

On the other hand, the Egyptian public prosecutor received requests from their Italian counterparts – on four communications – and responded to most of them, with the exception of extracting the identity of all those present. and moving between five underground metro stations in Cairo using mobile phone service. suppliers as well as to provide the names of all foreigners who have been arrested or arrested by the police since the evening of the same day he disappeared and until the body was found. Indeed, such measures would violate the privacy of Egyptians and international human rights law.

The prosecution requested legal aid from the United Kingdom to obtain information from the University of Cambridge on the nature of the investigation carried out by the victim and the reasons for his trip to Egypt. The Egyptian public prosecutor also wanted to know the testimonies of the supervisors who supervised the research and the sources of funding. The prosecution also requested Kenyan legal aid to obtain the testimony of a witness in Kenya, who claimed to have heard Regeni speak with an Egyptian officer. Yet none of these states approved without stating the reasons.

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