Posted by Alex | | Posted On Friday, 22 October 2010 at 19:55

It's the end of the week you guys! It means I've survived yet another week in Pavia, and managed to do no studying yet again. On the plus side, when a lecturer recommends a book's actually going to help you with your course. I can't stop singing the praises of Linguistica Generale, published by Carocci and released this year; or Pietro Beltrami's Gli Strumenti della Poesia. I suppose it makes sense, based on all that, for me to praise I luoghi dell'arte to the heavens too -- in fact, I now think I finally understand what the heck has been going on for the last four weeks in Storia dell'Arte. And it has pictures -- it's a picture book!

Moving off that topic, I saw something tragic today. Sat in my favourite café, I was witness to a terrible clash of cultures. The bar staff don't speak English there (Well, Francesco doesn't at least), and in walked two Germans. They only spoke German and English; he only speaks Italian. I sat there, reading my book on the inner machinations of poetry, eager to butt in and say "Excuse me, but I speak both. Want me to interpret?" -- instead, I decided to sit back, and watch as this pantomime unfolded thusly:

"Buongiorno, volete accomodarvi?" ("Hello, would you like to make yourselves more comfortable?")
"" ("I'm just repeating what you said. WTF is going on!?")
"Cosa volete? Un caffè? Un gelato, sì?" ("What would you like? Coffee? Ice cream, right?")
"Errr...gelato...sì" ("Ice cream, sure")
"Quale gusti volete?" ("What flavours would you like?")
"Erm, sprechen sie inglish?" ("We've just given up. We remember you gave up on us back in '43, you bastards.")

And from there it descended into Francesco speaking in slow Italian, the male of the couple looking bewildered, and the wife trying her best to get by. I actually had to hold back a few laughs -- everyone knows you carry a phrasebook when you don't speak the lingo. I wouldn't go to Germany without a book of phrases, because I'm an idiot and the only phrase I know in German is "Haben sie ein fleischlift, bitte?" which actually means "Do you have a butcher's weight, please?"  [[Family in-joke. Hah. Hah. Srsly]

Okay, I'll drag you out of the forest of bewilderment, and back to novels. I also decided, after buying I luoghi dell'arte, that I'd go to the Feltrinelli, and see if I could get the whole of Dante's Commedia for cheap -- turns out that I could buy selected cantos for €5 (11 cantos, and for my course I need to read 10. Bargain!) -- but, I ended up also walking away with an English language copy of Nick Hornby's High Fidelty. Here is the synopsis:
Do you know your desert-island, all-time, top-five most memorable split ups?

Rob does. He keeps a list, in fact. But Laura isn't on it - even though she's just become his latest ex. He's got his life back, you see. He can do what he wants when he wants: like listen to whatever music he likes, look up the girls that are on his list, and generally behave as if Laura never mattered. But Rob finds he can't move on. He's stuck in a really deep groove - and it's called Laura. Soon, he's asking himself some big questions: about love, about life - and about why we choose to share ours with the people we do.

I think I might actually enjoy this book. It might be a bit of a soppy one, or maybe hilarious. I can't tell. It also might be a bit close for comfort if I am to believe the quote from the Independent: "Leaves you believing not only in the redemptive power of music, but above all the redemptive power of love." Who knows? I am a soppy bastard after all...even with facebook statuses about trysts amongst the paperbacks (in boldface, as I am deadly serious, in a Ross Gellar kind of way).

And I'll leave you with that thought -- love, amongst the dusty tomes of an old library. That thought, and some cats going "nom":


There are 0 comments for OMNOMNOMNOMNOM

Post a Comment