Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Elena Ferrante & The Good Book Dilemma

(Caption: Un libro di Elena Ferrante + pranzo = pomeriggio perfetto!)

Does this happen to you?

A new order of books arrived, in my case a little cache of Italian novels and memoirs, including one by an author who's totally new to me.

First, I placed the package on my bed for later -- nothing like anticipation to sweeten a treat even further!

Then I opened it, and took out the books slowly and carefully, without reading them. Not ready to break the spines or introduce creases!

Finally I opened them and began to read one of them, "I Giorni Dell'Abandono" by Elena Ferrante, the author I had previously not heard of. She's clearly a master of prose, of story-telling, of conveying complex and unpleasant emotions.

So what's the problem?

It would be hard to overstate how depressing "I Giorni Dell'Abandono" is. It begins with this line:

"Un pomeriggio d'aprile, subito dopo pranzo, mio marito mi annuncio' che voleva lasciarmi."

Trans.: "One April afternoon,right after lunch, my husband announced that he planned to leave me."

And it really goes down from there, in terms of circumscribing the hellish trajectory of a mother of two living through a breakup she didn't see coming and that's now her undoing.

So what to do? My solution is I read it during the day. In the evenings or if I wake up in the middle of the night, I read Dan Brown's "Inferno" or "The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love."

Is it only me?!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dan Brown's "Inferno"

I couldn't resist! Yes, I'm reading Dan Brown's "Inferno," and quite frankly already imagining the movie! (Tom Hanks as Langdon, okay, sure but who will be Sienna Brooks? I could see someone like Kate Beckinsale, though I don't really like her).

Even though I'm already reading a few other books (including Elena Ferrante's "I Giorni Dell'Abandono"), I just couldn't pass up plunging into a book that will cover some of my favorite topics: the streets of Florence (including the Dante signs), Dante's Inferno, and Italian life in general.

In fact, I sort of see it as a refresher on Dante. I'll never stop studying Dante, I'll never stop reading snippets of La Divina Commedia, I'll never tire of learning something new about this incredible book. Mainly, because it's so complex! I'm quite sure Dan Brown has something to teach me about Dante.

And I hate to say anything negative about the book or the author, as I've already ploughed through 150 pages since I collected the book at the library Saturday, and he has me on the edge of my seat. No, it's not high literature but it sure is entertaining.

And he's popularizing an epic, three-part POEM written in arcane early Italian from the 14th century. As a lover of Italian literature, I'd say that's a pretty good deed!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Una buona forchetta!

Leo @ 10 mesi!

Chiaramente gli piace la pasta asciutta! Menomale dato che si chiama LEONARDO.

Per gli amici in Italia, vi posso rassicurare che sta cresciendo benino e spero vivamente di farvelo conoscere presto presto.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Gli angeli

One of my favorite places in Atlanta is Oakland Cemetery.

I love walking there, and like many others, I love to take photos there. Here are two of my favorites:

I love the combination of skyline, ornamental cemetery monuments and nature in this one picture.