A Dip in the Classics

Classics: “And then there were none”

In the original UK novel all references to “Indians” or “Soldiers” were originally “Nigger”, including the island’s name, the pivotal rhyme found by the visitors, and the ten figurines. (In Chapter 7, Vera Claythorne becomes semi-hysterical at the mention by Miss Brent of “our black brothers”, which is understandable only in the context of the original name.) UK editions changed to the current definitive title in 1985. The word “nigger” was already racially offensive in the United States by the start of the 20th century, and therefore the book’s first US edition and first serialization changed the title to And Then There Were None and removed all references to the word from the book, as did the 1945 motion picture.

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Ten little nigger boys went out to dine; 
One choked his little self, and then there were nine. [1]

Someone I’m sure will turn up their noses because I put a crime story among the great classics of literature! But it is time that the purists open their eyes and realise that if it is the most widely read genre in the world there will be a reason, and that if they do not believe their contemporaries should admit that this little Christie’s masterpiece has nothing to be envied to today’s thrillers and noir, indeed it should be taken as an example because in its simplicity and continuous suspense is truly a hypnotic and splendid book, but it is in fact a classic given the vastness of reworkings, re-releases, re-editions and quotes!

Nine little nigger boys sat up very late; 
One overslept himself, and then there were eight. [2]

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Books and Other Pleasures

“DOMINO Effect”

The prettiness of the audiobook was being able to dip yourself completely in the story but at the same time being able to comment on it with others. Stopping when a point started a discussion, silencing us when the plot solidified.

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https://youtu.be/xcWOviMI6Lk

Some journeys are more beautiful than others, some journeys are evoked with more pleasure than others. This is not the case with the trip I took with my parents to go to Calabria many summers ago. Blocked on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria for 12 hours, we risked bouncing the holidays, stressed, hot, tired, it was a real nightmare. Once we arrived in the village, it didn’t even get much better because I hated the holiday villages with the entertainers who were always feignedly happy, with the thousands of activities they force you to do, even if you had to relax a little …

I was a teenager therefore in the “I hate everything and everyone” phase, but let’s say that even today I don’t prefer holiday village. I love to take the breaks as I say, at my own pace, and with my needs!

Anyway, those damned 12 hours were…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Around ROME with ‘Angels & Demons'”

Maybe, when we will be covid free….

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“From Santi’s earthly tomb with demon’s hole,
‘Cross Rome the mystic elements unfold.
The path of light is laid, the sacred test,
Let angels guide you on your lofty quest.”[1]

I have lived in Rome for 20 years (after 10 spent at the Castelli), so I think I know it quite well; above all because every time some friend or relative comes from outside I am hired as Cicero, so even if somewhere I had escaped by myself, I certainly recovered her as a group. Rome is huge, so I’m sure there are still hidden areas, but I know the central part, the most “popular” part.

“Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.”[2]

Why do I make this premise? Because of the book I read six Springs ago, but only in this March I convinced myself to follow step by step…

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A Dip in the Classics

The Classics: “1984”

It is incredible how after more than sixty years this tragic novel is still so relevant. Tragic, because I don’t know about you but me the idea that someone can see every single action I do, that even checks what I have to think and fixes the shot if ever I’m wrong, scares me! It seems to me something horrible! Yet we are allowing it, if not at those dictatorial levels, to a more acceptable extent we are absolutely already undergoing it.
Just think of how many payments we make with credit cards (and therefore traceable), the cameras on the streets, the traffic control cameras, the PC webcam.

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“Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist?
O’Brien: Of course he exists.
Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me?
O’Brien: You do not exist.”
George Orwell,1984

Let’s face it for some years now if we hear the words “Big Brother”, we associate them with the famous reality show and no longer with Orwell’s masterpiece …
Many people are certain that it was the book that inspired the show and not the other way around, and I think this speaks volumes about the level of general culture of our beautiful country!
But fear not, you can make up for it!
First of all, just look at the dates, the dystopian future controlled by the big eye described by George Orwell was written in 1949, while the trash program that locked ten people in a house under 24h cameras was only imported into Italy in 2000.
And then it…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Bets and Pop Corn”

The word “responsibility” is often used throughout the novel, both in the narrative text and in the dialogue.
But who is responsible here? The media? The murderers? Bruce? Or… the spectators?
After all, it would be enough to turn off the TV to save the lives of these people. But … will they?
And you, would you do it?

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Grab some red wine, popcorn and make yourself comfortable on the sofa. We bet that I will be able to enchant you?

We live in a society where no one wants to take responsibility. A man can make mistakes, but he can always say that it is because of something else, perhaps he had a very unhappy childhood, perhaps he was influenced by the politician on duty, or by the films he watches. It’s certainly not his fault!
This is a very widespread thought and over the years I have found it in real life and in films, in TV series and books. We always try to justify evil, perhaps because the idea that someone does it knowingly, with the intention of doing harm, scares us too much. It is easier if we think that that person had no choice, was disturbed, or manipulated or unconscious of bad deeds.

Today…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“The World Emerged from FANTASY”

It is a captivating trilogy capable of involving at any age, in a different way. We became so enthusiastic and attached to Troisi’s way of writing that we subsequently also read “Legends” and “Wars” always linked to the Emerged World, with equally strong and intelligent protagonists. And with plots that are not at all obvious, and above all a happy ending not always achieved.

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August 2005, I just finished high school, what will it be like to give a gift ???
It’s my brother’s birthday again, how could this happen? Oh yes that’s right, it’s an anniversary, or a recurrence that falls every year, and every time I don’t know what to give him.
No, not right now. To date I have an endless list of gifts that I know for sure he will like him, but that fatal year my brother was in the height of adolescence, that is, that period in which “everything sucks, you all suck, that’s disgust”, so understand what could make him “a little less disgusting” was not easy …

Books.

I have no other choice. Although home libraries are about to burst it is really the only thing with which I have an attempt not to see the expression of someone who has just eaten a rotten lemon…

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Tv Series Rehab_eng

“11.22.63 _ Save President Kennedy (or don’t)”

The soundtrack is another good point of the show, during the 8 episodes of the first and only season, you can listen to songs of the quality of Stay (Just a Little Bit Longer) by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, Then He Kissed Me by the female group The Crystals, Sam Cooke’s soul with Bring It On Home To Me up to the symbolic Soldier Boy sung by Shirelles.

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Abrams and King, as soon as I read these two paired names I was convinced. I haven’t even watched the trailer, but I went to browse around the plot and I found it absolutely brilliant: Kennedy was one of the most beloved presidents of the States, but is it because he is dead too soon? In the short time he was President he made positive choices for his country, but would he continue to go on like this if he stayed alive?
Could some of the recent wars have been avoided? Could Kennedy have saved the world?
Based on this question, Jake Epping’s (James Franco) ride through time begins in an effort to change the fate of the President.
11.22.63 is the date that must be changed, but this secret assignment will be hampered not only by Lee Harvey Oswald (the one who was found guilty of the crime –…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“The Granma ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ “

Every time I reread it, I return to grandmother’s stairs with the scent of her kitchen, with the voices of my mother and her sisters who argument about how much salt is needed here and how much time the bread should be left on the oven to rise

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Eating Gif 6 - New emojis, gif, stickers for free at 123emoji.comWhen my grandparents were still healthy, my brother, my parents and I used to drive on the highway at least one weekend a month to visit them. Each time the welcome was what I imagine is reserved to the royals, a banquet with lots of food to feed the army, which however punctually disappeared within a few hours.

Grandma despite being one of those women of other times who does not waste time in kisses and hugs had her very personal way of showing us the infinite love she had for us: preparing pizza in a wood oven.
Lots of pizza.
She served it hot, a moment ago baked, and left us free to play in every part of the house and patio.
I imagine the sadness of those grandchildren who will find tofu and quinoa banquets in the future, considering the new vegan fashion … which I hope will…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“Year of the Lord 1553_ Three Women, One Destiny”

Wish lists should be mandatory, especially for those with complicated tastes.
In my 2007 wish list there was “The Queen’s fool”, written by Philippa Gregory.

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In Rome the name-days are not very popular, except for the major saints; but having both parents from the South of Italy, this anniversary was celebrated for years. Now, I have always been convinced that my mother created the date so as not to make me feel different from my cousins, with their traditional names well imprinted on the calendar, while I, Gioia, never had my Saint. Not that I ever cared, but considering that it is an extra gift during the year … why not?

“I have seen sights and travelled in countries you cannot imagine. I have been afraid and I have been in danger, and I have never for one moment thought that I would throw myself at at a man for his help.”
Philippa Gregory,The Queen’s Fool

The presumed date is March 13, Saint Euphrasia (which seems to mean joy in some languages).
Technically…

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Books and Other Pleasures

“To write is a dangerous job”

When the winter storm subsided at 4 in the morning, I was only a few pages away from the conclusion. <> I wondered. I remember collapsing with the book in my hands, having had troubled dreams and that when I woke-up I had decided never to read such books again.

I finished it the next night, and didn’t keep my promise, I read about it, thriller, noir, horror; but still today Anne Walkes remains one of the most chilling women who come to visit my nights from time to time.

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It’s Winter, full night, the sky has decided to come down in buckets while lightning and thunder are breaking down. A sudden drop in current almost makes me scream, I can barely keep from running into my parents’ bed as I did as a child. But it is certainly not the storm that terrifies me, it is the book that I am reading in one breath in the weak light of the lightshade in the grandparents’ house that creaks and rasps and already makes me anxious. I started the book a few hours earlier, but I can’t get away from it, despite the cold, the sleep, the anguish that is rising up page after page.

I had already read Stephen King’s novels, but usually given the eternal description of every detail, even the most useless, I never found myself anxious  Not even when I read IT, except in a couple…

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