Classics: “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory”

“Wonk” is a term that identifies a boy who refuses the “social life” to hole up in the study. Willy, betrayed in his affections, isolates himself from everything by locking himself up in his own factory, surrounded by the little Oompa Loompa workers who guarantee him a substitute for human relationships.

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“Good morning starshine the earth says hello….”
– ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’.

I’ve always been a fan of salty more than sweet. But how can you resist chocolate?
Is there any magic formula?
Because I’ve never been able to!

It will be for the beneficial power[1], the flavor, I don’t know, but I know that I must always have a piece of it at home. I cannot eat tiramisu, pastries or donuts even for a whole year (it actually happened), but don’t take chocolate away from me!

With this premise, can you imagine how I read CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY[2] by Roald Dahl?

I had just finished THE WITCHES, also by the author, and since I liked it very much, I was looking for another one with whom to deepen my knowledge, except that, in the small but well-stocked elementary school library, here is a…

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Classics: “The Odyssey”

I was nine when I first read the Odyssey. A very clean version, obviously, very illustrated and much shorter. But even then Odysseus and I embarked together on the ship to Ithaca, and we met mermaids and sorceresses, and cyclops and kings, in an adventure that made me fly with the immagination.

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«Ahimè, sempre gli uomini accusano gli dei: dicono che da noi provengono le sventure, mentre è per i loro errori che patiscono e soffrono oltre misura.»

How much truth, dear Zeus, how many times do we blame the deities for the misfortunes. But I must say that with Ulysses you cannot deny that you are really ruthless! His indisputable thirst for knowledge, his cunning and courage, combined with his love for his homeland, have always made me cheer for our Homeric hero. The propensity to betray, the know-it-all attitude, on the other hand, led me to hope that I would strike him once and for all.

But at the time of the Odyssey it was still not customary to let the main character die and therefore island after island, vicissitude after vicissitude, our traveling hero faces what seems to the students an interminable journey[1]and which for me was…

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Classics: “Frankenstein, or the modern Prometheus”

I think it should be read more than watched, for this power of the message that for technical reasons is less and less in the mediated versions.

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frank

“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

The eruption of the volcano Mount Tambora in Indonesia in April 1815, in which tens of thousands of people died, caused the emission of enormous quantities of ash. According to climatologists, that eruption may also have played a role in making the summer of 1816 particularly cold and rainy throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It was in that…

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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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Classics: “Pride & Prejudice”

Austen is considered one of the first to tell about the condition of women and the difficulties she encounters in wanting to be free from the usual patterns, the first to incriminate the fact that knowledge was exclusively male prerogative and how marriage was the only beach assigned to women to have respect and a certain self-sufficiency.

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“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”[1]

I have never been a big fan of love stories, but when, for school reasons, I had to read “Pride & Prejudice”, I changed my mind, not all the “pink” genre is to be discarded. There are stories that go far beyond simple sentimentality, that get inside, that transmit us so much that we want to reread them.

And so, it was with Austen’s novel, which I reread over and over until I could almost recite it from memory. Love stories are usually almost always the afflictions of little girls, attempts at emotional pornography when compared to the social anthropology that Austen develops novel after novel.

For two hundred years…

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Classics: “La Divina Commedia”

I loved this Opera so much that I took it at the Maturity exam[5], and even today on the gloomy days, I find myself leafing through it and re-reading a few passages, wondering how he managed to write such a powerful thing, as actual then as now, everlastingly contemporary!!!

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28_divina commedia’Per me si va ne la città dolente,
per me si va ne l’etterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente. 

Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore;
fecemi la divina podestate,
la somma sapïenza e ’l primo amore. 

Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create
se non etterne, e io etterna duro.
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate’. [1]

The Divine Comedy is the most famous Italian opera in the world, perhaps the one to which we are most linked, yet I know so many Italians who have never read it. Not really. Not with the necessary passion.

Most Italians studied it at school, and maybe even hated it a little, having to apply hours and hours and hours paraphrasing it, analysing it, copying its verses or having to memorise it.

And that’s why most people haven’t really read it.

(I hope that also in your country it is…

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Classics: “Harry Potter”

Always.

I think I’ll ever get tired of this saga. To re-read it and rediscover it. To get passionate, cry, laugh, get angry with these magnificent characters.

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<<Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.
Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills. He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large moustache. Mrs. Dursleywas thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours. The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere>>[1]

1920206_599433526802767_1334360920_n Katerina Graphics


I could write a treatise on this story because nothing before or after has moved me so deeply! 7 books (translated into 77…

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Classics: “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

Dorian decides to remain young forever, beautiful forever. He is willing to pay a very high price for this, and I am sure that we are all ready to judge him, to point him out as superficial, diabolic, to rise up on the pulpit and declare ourselves better than him.
But if we were given the opportunity to get away from all sin, infraction, slander? If a painting could pay for our sins? Would we still be so moralistic? Would we still be anchored to our judgment?

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Immagine“What of Art?
-It is a malady.
–Love?
-An Illusion.
–Religion?
-The fashionable substitute for Belief.
–You are a sceptic.
-Never! Scepticism is the beginning of Faith.
–What are you?
-To define is to limit.” 
[1]

Friday, June 20 1890, Oscar Wilde prints the first version of The Picture of Dorian Gray: the extraordinary story of the young Dorian who lives in the Victorian London and who loves beauty above anything else. The novel is still considered today the manifesto of the aestheticism and the poetics of art for art’s sake, for which artistic expression is free and independent of the principles of morality.

“The world has changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history.”[2]

tumblr_inline_oaa8079aum1riixvp_5001890, yet there could not be more contemporary romance! Isn’t the age  we live in based on the image? Is not the appearance to count…

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