venerdì 31 luglio 2009

Unknown heroes…

A shepherd in the mountains with his lambs; a wolf catches a lamb and tries to escape with it; the shepherd simply starts running to save his lamb: he has purchased to wolf for miles and miles; the wolf has probably been scared by this so heroic shepherd, it has left the lamb and has escaped not to be caught by him. This is how the lamb has finally been saved.
This also how the shepherd discovered that he has feet as he said: he thus decided to take part to athletic competitions and he has even won some medal. Nobody believed he could even finish the races. They even did not want to let him take part to the race as they were afraid he could have some health problem, a heart attack or so as he was not very young, according to athletic standards… But he has won!!!
Of course it was a local competition, not the Olympic games. But this is not a Hollywood movie: it is just a real scenario!!!
I just like this kind of stories: some kind of contemporary revelation! Just believe…

giovedì 30 luglio 2009

Ξεφτίλα!

Football matches are back and sadly hooligans too…
Ούτε στην Τουρκία δεν γίνωνται αυτά!
Είσαστε ζώα! Είσαστε Τούρκοι!


Supporter of Ανόρθωσης talking about Ολυμπιακός hooligans/supporters.

Holidays

E difficile avere vacanze intelligenti dopo 11 mesi di lavoro cretino…
Heard on RAI Radio 1.

mercoledì 29 luglio 2009

Knowledge?

Non temere di restare sconosciuto agli uomini ma di non conoscergli.
Heard in Siti terrestri, marini e celesti - RAI Radio 2

Panier! Panier!

“Panier! Panier!” as my nephew says each time he sees basketball on TV…

And last weekend Greece won another title…
I guess many people in the streets in Greece were watching the game.

Like this semi-final against the U.S of A. we won in 2006.
A nice small street not far from Λευκό Πύργο in Θεσσαλονίκη

Sadly we lost the final to Spain a few days later.
P9010061.jpg

The reader’s imagination…

A long time ago (I still was a schoolboy) one of our teachers told us that it was better to read books than to watch movies… because a movie is just a book made into a movie by someone else, and so we just see the result of someone else’s imagination. So we should, according to him, read books as our imagination was better than other people’s imagination.
I disagree with it for 2 reasons:
  1. it is somehow pretentious to say that our imagination is better than the imagination of great cineast like Fellini, Pasolini, Wenders, Angelopoulos, Egoyan &c
  2. if our imagination is better… we should stop reading books which are simply stories imagined by other people: we should write our own books that nobody else would read…
Another solution which is half way between watching a movie and reading a book is to listen to a movie…
The Italian radio-TV RAI does it: it broadcast on its radio channels the “soundtrack” of the TV series shown at the same moment on their TV channels (as if we were watching TV without the image…) but it also adds to it an off-voice describing what we need to understand the story.
I often listen to the Commissario Montalbano like this: the laws of physics are strange enough to allow me to listen to RAI Radio 1 in medium waves during the evening/night, but not during the day… And it is indeed half way between reading a book and watching a movie: one has in mind Montalbano’s face, one hears his voice but one still has to imagine the action, what he and other characters of the story do. One just has to close one’s eyes and one sees the movie! No need to wonder what he looks like, what his voices sounds like &c. It just as if a friend of mine tells me what some other friend has done. And it makes Montalbano even closer to me…

Radio is really better than TV!

martedì 28 luglio 2009

sabato 25 luglio 2009

REAL SCENARIOS

ΑΛΗΘΙΝΑ ΣΕΝΑΡΙΑ
Τα καλύτερα σενάρια τα γράφει η ίδια η ζωή. Τα «Αληθινά Σενάρια» συνεχίζουν για 8η συνεχή χρονιά στην ΕΤ-3, παρουσιάζοντας ανθρώπους η ζωή των οποίων θα μπορούσε να γίνει κινηματογραφική ταινία. Πρόκειται για απίστευτα, κι όμως αληθινά, ρεπορτάζ που γίνονται η αφορμή για να αναδειχτεί το μεγαλείο του ανθρώπου και της θέλησής του.
Τη φετινή τηλεοπτική περίοδο τα «Αληθινά Σενάρια» και ο Νίκος Ασλανίδης πραγματοποιούν αποστολές σε διάφορα σημεία του πλανήτη.
Παρουσιαστής: Νίκος Ασλανίδης
REAL SCENARIOS (ΑΛΗΘΙΝΑ ΣΕΝΑΡΙΑ) is a broadcast (on Greek TV as you can guess…) talking about great lives of simple people, stories that could become movies… I sometimes watch it on Saturdays during lunch time: the Greek satellite channel ΕΡΤ World shows no blockbuster movies or series (probably for copyright reasons…) and no advertisements (as it is mostly watched by Greeks abroad and advertisements are just not aimed at them) and so one can see either very good cultural programs or football/basketball matches…
Some time ago REAL SCENARIOS (ΑΛΗΘΙΝΑ ΣΕΝΑΡΙΑ) interviewed several musicians playing in the streets of Θεσσαλονίκη and what a shock (and what a good surprise of course) it was for me to see… the σαντούρι/santoor player I had met in Θεσσαλονίκη 3 years ago, in September 2006! He was playing near the White Tower almost each evening: I sat there and listened to him 2 or 3 evenings during my stay there; and I noticed I was not the only one who enjoyed listening to him… He is Iranian and he has been living in Greece for 7 or 8 years.
santoor player
Well, it might not be a very spectacular scenario but it is a real scenario and I just wanted to write something about it…
Life always writes very surprising scenarios indeed.

venerdì 24 luglio 2009

Statues and birds…


Why do birds always land on statues?
Especially on the heads of those great people one wants to celebrate by building these statues…
Maybe they just do that to tell us these people are not so great compared to history,
compared to the great creator who gave life to these small birds…

Με γέλασαν τα πουλιά, της άνοιξης τ' αηδόνια
Με γέλασαν κι μου 'πανε, πως φέτος δεν πεθαίνω.
Da Parigi

C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL MITO

Radio, especially public radio stations like for example ΕΡΤ, RAI or BBC, are full of treasures: this program, Alle Otto Della Sera, on Rai 2, every evening at 8, is one of them…
And thanks to internet one can listen to these programs again, even yearts after they have been broadcasted!
If you want to improve your italian and learn something about mythology, listen to this series entitled C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL MITO:

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C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL MITO

Normalmente, tale espressione viene usata per designare quel grandioso, smisurato corpus di racconti mitici che il mondo classico ci ha tramandato. Si tratta di racconti che hanno per interpreti soprattutto dei ed eroi, ma anche uomini e donne normali, le cui vicende hanno trovato modo di assumere valore eccezionale. In questa maniera sono considerati racconti 'mitici' tanto il conflitto fra Zeus e Prometeo per la spartizione delle carni del sacrificio quanto le sventure di Edipo parricida e incestuoso; tanto la scomparsa di Persefone all'Ade quanto il folle amore di Narciso per la sua propria immagine. In questo nuovo ciclo di Alle Otto della Sera, Maurizio Bettini racconta i miti classici assieme alla cultura che li ha prodotti, per illustrarli alla luce dei modelli che essi presuppongono, e per spiegare la cultura classica attraverso la forma che le è più congeniale: quella narrativa.

Credits: di Maurizio Bettini, regia di Angela Zamparelli, a cura di Giancarlo Simoncelli

giovedì 23 luglio 2009

Golden fruits

Un soir de novembre à Paris, froid mais sans pluie, sans trop de nuages.
Un arbre qui, avec le soleil en arrière plan, est tellement sombre qu’il en parait brûlé, mort
Mais ce même soleil, en illuminant ses feuilles presque mortes, semble les transformer en feuilles d’or.
Da Parigi

ΠΑΛΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΞΕΦΤΙΛΑ!

A song dedicated to those who were born before dying.
What a strange dedication; even stranger from a man who suicided a few time after this concert…
Just enjoy this song:

ΠΑΛΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΞΕΦΤΙΛΑ - Νικόλας Άσιμος

mercoledì 22 luglio 2009

Words…

Chaque fois qu’un mot vient d’être prononcé,
vite en inventer un autre pour réparer le désordre qui vient d’être perpétré.
Etc.


Yves Simon

martedì 21 luglio 2009

Eternity

«On ne saurait aller au ciel si on ne le porte pas en soi; seul l’éternel pousse à l’éternité», écrivait Else Lazsker-Schüller. Etre aveugle à la foi, c’est être un autocriminel, disait-elle encore.

La comédie du bonheur,
Rolland Jaccard

The Future of Financial Services Regulation

Sometimes it is good to remember some basic notions…

Some General Principles

We must begin with an understanding of the role of financial markets in our economy. It is hard to have a well-performing modern economy without a good financial system. However, financial markets are not an end in themselves but a means: they are supposed to perform certain vital functions which enable the real economy to be more productive, including mobilizing savings, allocating capital, and managing risk, transferring it from those less able to bear it to those more able. In America, and some other countries, financial markets have not performed these functions well: they encouraged spendthrift patterns, which led to near-zero savings; they misallocated capital; and instead of managing risk, they created it, leaving huge risks with ordinary Americans who are now bearing huge costs because of these failures.
These problems have occurred repeatedly and are pervasive, evidence that the problems are systemic and systematic. And failures in financial markets have effects that spread out to the entire economy.
We thus have to understand why markets have failed so badly and what can be done about these failures. Markets only work well when private rewards are aligned with social returns. Incentives matter, but when incentives are distorted, we get distorted behavior. In spite of their failure to perform their key social functions, financial markets have garnered for themselves in the US and some of the other advanced industrial countries 30% or more of corporate profits—not to mention the huge compensation received by their executives. But the problem with incentive structures is not just the level but also the form—designed to encourage excessive risk taking and short-sighted behavior.

From: Joseph E. Stiglitz: Testimony on "The Future of Financial Services Regulation"
pdf

lunedì 20 luglio 2009

Scandalizzarsi

Non penso che il Cristo si scandalizzasse mai. Anzi non si è mai scandalizzato. Si scandalizzavano i farisei.

Alberto Moravia

Montesquieu, Lettre CXXXIV

Yesterday I returned to the same library, and met a man very different from him whom I had seen the first time. His manner was simple, his countenance intelligent, and his address most courteous. As soon as he understood my desire, he set himself to satisfy it, and even, as I was a stranger, to instruct me.
- “Good father,” said I, “what are those large volumes which fill all that side of the library?”
- “These,” said he, “are interpretations of the Scriptures.”
- “What a quantity there are!” rejoined I; “the Scriptures must have been very obscure formerly, and cannot fail to be very obvious now. Do any doubts remain? Are there any points left in dispute?”
- “Any, good heavens! any!” cried he; “there are almost as many as there are lines.”
- “Indeed!” said I; “then what have all these authors done?”
- “These authors,” he replied, “did not search the Scriptures for what ought to be believed, but for what they themselves believed; they did not regard the Scriptures as a work containing doctrines which they were bound to accept, but as a work which might sanction their own ideas; therefore it is that they have corrupted its meaning, and twisted every text. It is a country which all sects invade as if bent on pillage; it is a battlefield on which hostile nations encounter each other in endless engagements, attacking and skirmishing in every possible manner.
What can I add? Nothing…

Thoughtless and clear lies

“How do they try to say that they do not confront people violently or to blame others? All of this took place in front of people’s eyes,” Karrubi told supporters, according to Aftab. “They kill the youth in front of people’s eyes and then say that they didn’t have firearms. As a member of this system, I am embarrassed of these thoughtless and clear lies.”
“It reminds me of the time just prior to the victory of the Islamic revolution,” Karrubi said, according to Aftab.
“Now it seems that all those events are repeating themselves. They have lied to the people, to the point that any false rumors will be taken as truths.


Mehdi Karoubi/مهدی کروبی

domenica 19 luglio 2009

Ελενη Καραΐνδρου: Trojan Women



Ελενη Καραΐνδρου: Τρωάδες

«Οι "Τρωάδες" είναι έργο σπαραχτικό... και ενώ η μουσική σε κάνει να αναλύεσαι σε δάκρυα, υπάρχει μέσα της κάτι που σε λυτρώνει. Σχεδόν σαν βάλσαμο» (στο βρετανικό «BBC Music Magazine»).
«Παρά το πένθιμο φόντο των "Τρωάδων", αυτό που φτάνει με μεγάλη δύναμη στον ακροατή είναι η ποιητική ομορφιά της μουσικής...
Οι "Τρωάδες" σε αγγίζουνε το ίδιο είτε ακούγονται στο περιβάλλον, για το οποίο γράφτηκαν, είτε από μόνες τους» (στο αμερικανικό μουσικό περιοδικό «Global Rhythm»).
Πρόκειται για τη μουσική που η Ελένη Καραϊνδρου έγραψε για τις «Τρωάδες» του Ευρυπίδη που ανέβηκε (σε μετάφραση του Κ. Χ. Μύρη και σκηνοθεσία του Αντώνη Αντύπα) στο Αρχαίο Θέατρο της Επιδαύρου το καλοκαίρι του 2001, αλλά και σε δεκαπέντε άλλα σημεία της Ελλάδας και της Κύπρου. Το κορυφαίο αντιπολεμικό έπος αποκτά μια θαυμάσια μουσική επένδυση, εμπνευσμένη από τη βία, την αγριότητα, την εκμετάλλευση, τη σκλαβιά και τα μαρτύρια του ανθρώπου από τον άνθρωπο.
Οι «Τρωάδες» του Ευριπίδη "διδάχθηκαν" στα 415 π. Χ., στη σκιά της ολοκληρωτικής ισοπέδωσης της Μήλου από τους Αθηναίους, η οποία ήθελε να διατηρήσει την ουδετερότητά της στον Πελοποννησιακό Πόλεμο. Οι "Τρωάδες" μεταφέρουν τη φωνή των γυναικών της Τροίας αλλά στην πραγματικότητα αποτελούν μια έμμεση καταδίκη της συμπεριφοράς των συμπολιτών του στη Μήλο και ίσως μια προειδοποίηση προς τους Αθηναίους για τις ολέθριες συνέπειες της ύβρεώς τους.
Πράγματι οι Αθηναίοι θα γνωρίσουν συντριπτική ήττα στη σικελική εκστρατεία που θα ακολουθήσει. και η λαμπρή περίοδος της Αθήνας αρχίζει να φεύγει... Ένα μάθημα του 415 π.χ. που δόθηκε πολλάκις και σε διάφορες ιστορικές περιόδους, κι όμως, ακόμα και στις μέρες μας φαίνεται σαν να μην έχει διδαχθεί ποτέ.
Δεν είναι τυχαίο ότι η Ε. Καραϊνδρου ξεκινά το σημείωμά της στο ένθετο του δίσκου με τον τίτλο «Ωδή των Δακρύων». Σημειώνει χαρακτηριστικά: « ( Το Έργο) φώτιζε την ιστορία της ανθρώπινης οδύνης ανά τους αιώνες, φέρνοντας στ' αυτιά μου τον ήχο της κραυγής ενός ποιητή, που μέσα από το έργο του έκανε μιαν υπέρβαση καταλύοντας τον χρόνο…
Γνωρίζοντας αρχαία Ελληνικά, είχα την τύχη να διαβάσω το πρωτότυπο κείμενο, ωστόσο, όταν στα χέρια μου έφτασε η ποιητική απόδοση στα Νέα Ελληνικά του Κ.Χ.Μύρη, άρχισαν ν' αναβλύζουν από μέσα μου οι πρώτες μελοποιήσεις και να έρχονται στ' αυτιά μου οι πρώτοι ήχοι οργάνων. Και τα όργανα παρουσιάζονταν από μόνα τους, ξεπηδούσαν από ανάγκη του υποσυνείδητου και φόρτιζαν με την ηχητική τους παρουσία την οδύνη της ανθρώπινης περιπέτειας σε τούτη εδώ τη συγκεκριμένη γη, της πατρίδας τη γη. Λύρα πολίτικη, κανονάκι, άρπα, νέι, σαντούρι, ούτι, λαούτο, νταϊρές, νταούλι, ήχοι που χάνονται στα βάθη των αιώνων.
Ήχοι που χαϊδεύουν τα παράλια της Μ. Ασίας, ταξιδεύουν στη Μαύρη Θάλασσα, φωλιάζουν στους τρούλους της Κωνσταντινούπολης και ενώνονται με το λυγμό της Σμύρνης που καίγεται. Ήχοι αναγνωρίσιμοι, όχι μόνο στην Ελ­λάδα αλλά και στα Βαλκάνια και σε όλες τις χώρες που βρέχονται από τη Μεσόγειο... Ήμουν Βέβαιη ότι μόνο αυτοί οι ήχοι μπορούσαν να ζωγραφίσουν τα ψυχικά τοπία των Τρωάδων, των γυναικών αυτών της Φρυγίας, που αιχμάλωτες δίνουν μάθημα ήθους και ψυχικού μεγαλείου στους Έλληνες κατακτητές».
Έτσι, λοιπόν, ο εκμηδενισμός της ανθρώπινης αξιοπρέπειας και η οργή που βγάζει αποτυπώνονται με τέλειο τρόπο στη μουσική της Ελένης Καραϊνδρου. Χωρίς υπερβολές (αντιθέτως, αρκετά λιτά), πλάθει λίγες, αλλά αρκετά σχηματοποιημένες εικόνες που τις απλώνει σε όλο το έργο.
Πάντως αξίζει να επισημάνουμε ότι παρά τα μουσικά όργανα που επιλέγει η μουσική της δε θυμίζει παραδοσιακά τραγούδια. «Χρησιμοποιεί τον ήχο των οργάνων αυτών, τα οποία "εμποτίζουν" τις μελωδίες της με το ιδιαίτερο ηχόχρωμα και την τεχνική τους. Ένα γοητευτικό μουσικό αποτέλεσμα, που έρχεται να ενωθεί με την αρχαία φωνή του Ευριπίδη και να τη φωτίσει από μία ακόμη σκοπιά. Όλα δείχνουν ότι οι φωνές των γυναικών της Τροίας ηχούν και σήμερα, αφού και σήμερα υπάρχουν κάποιοι που χρησιμοποιούν τη δύναμή τους για να καθυποτάσσουν όσους δεν είναι με το μέρος τους, άρα είναι εναντίον τους.», σημειώνει ο Χάρης Σαρρής στο in.gr.
Ο δίσκος κυκλοφόρησε ένα χρόνο αργότερα, το 2002, από την ECM Records (ECM New Series) σε παραγωγή του Manfred Eicher. Παίζουν οι μουσικοί: Σ.Σινόπουλος: ποντιακή λύρα,. Μ.Μπιλτέα: άρπα, Χ. Τσιαμούλης: νεϋ, ούτι, Π. Δημητρακόπυλος: κανονάκι, Α. Κατσιγιαννης: σαντούρι, Α. Παπάς: μπεντίρ, Β. Ηλιοπούλου, υπό την διεύθυνση του Αντώνη Κοντογεωργίου. Μαζί με το «Λιβάδι που δακρύζει» αποτελούν την «Ελεγεία του Ξεριζωμού»
Για τον επίλογο αφήνουμε το λόγο και πάλι στην κορυφαία ελληνίδα δημιουργό: «Και τότε, εκείνο το βράδυ στην Επίδαυρο, στις 31 Αυγούστου 20οι, είδα στρατιές λαών ξεριζωμένων να διασχίζουν αργά τη σκηνή του αρχαίου θεάτρου και να περνάνε αμίλητοι: Αρμένιοι, Πόντιοι, Έλληνες της Σμύρνης, Εβραίοι, Κούρδοι, Κοσοβάροι, Αφγανοί... Είδα την περιφορά του μικρού Αστυάνακτα νεκρού, και δάκρυσα για τη γενοκτονία των λαών κι ένιωσα ευγνωμοσύνη που αξιώθηκα να βιώσω μια τέτοια οδυνηρή στιγμή αυτογνωσίας...»
  1. Voices
  2. Lament
  3. Desolate Land
  4. Lament II
  5. Hecuba's Lament
  6. Parodos - The Land I Call Home
  7. Parodos - Home Of My Forefathers
  8. Parodos - I Wish I'm Given There
  9. Cassandra's Theme
  10. Cassandra's Trance
  11. First Stasimon - An Ode Of Tears
  12. First Stasimon - For The Phrygian Land A Vast Mourning
  13. Andromache's Theme
  14. Andromache's Lament
  15. Terra Deserta
  16. Astyanax' Theme
  17. Hecuba's Theme I
  18. Hecuba's Theme II
  19. Second Stasimon - Telamon, You Came To Conquer Our Town
  20. Second Stasimon - The City That Gave Birth To You Was Consumed By Fire
  21. An Ode Of Tears
  22. Desolate Land II
  23. Lament III
  24. Third Stasimon - In Vain The Sacrifices
  25. Third Stasimon - My Beloved Your Soul Is Wandering
  26. Hecuba's Theme
  27. Lament For Astyanax - Oh Bitter Lament My Bitter Boy
  28. Exodos
  29. Exodos - Accursed Town
  30. Astyanax' Memory
Euripides' play follows the fates of the women of Troy after their city has been sacked, their husbands killed, and as their remaining families are about to be taken away as slaves. However, it begins first with the gods Athena and Poseidon discussing ways to punish the Greek armies because they condoned Ajax the Lesser for dragging Cassandra away from Athena's temple. (From some ancient Greek paintings many people believe Cassandra was raped by Ajax the Lesser, but it does not say that in this story.) What follows shows how much the Trojan women have suffered as their grief is compounded when the Greeks dole out additional deaths and divide their shares of women.
The Greek herald Talthybius arrives to tell the dethroned queen Hecuba what will befall her and her children. Hecuba will be taken away with the Greek general Odysseus, and her daughter Cassandra is slated to become the conquering general Agamemnon's concubine. Cassandra, who has been driven partially mad due to a curse by which she can see the future but will never be believed when she warns others, is morbidly delighted by this news: she sees that when they arrive in Argos, her new master's embittered wife Clytemnestra will kill both her and her new master. However, because of the curse, no one understands this response, and Cassandra is carried off.
The widowed princess Andromache arrives, and Hecuba learns from her that her youngest daughter, Polyxena, has been killed as a sacrifice at the tomb of the Greek warrior Achilles.
Andromache's lot is to be the concubine of Achilles' son Neoptolemus, and more horrible news for the royal family is yet to come: Talthybius reluctantly informs her that her baby son, Astyanax, has been condemned to die. The Greek leaders are afraid that the boy will grow up to avenge his father Hector, and rather than take this chance, they plan to throw him off from the battlements of Troy to his death.
Helen, though not one of the Trojan women, is supposed to suffer greatly as well: Menelaus arrives to take her back to Greece with him where a death sentence awaits her. Helen begs her husband to spare her life and he remains resolved to kill her, but the audience watching the play knows that in the Odyssey, Telemachus will learn how Helen's legendary beauty wins her a reprieve.
In the end, Talthybius returns carrying with him the body of little Astyanax on Hector's shield. Andromache's wish had been to bury her child herself, performing the proper rituals according to Trojan ways, but her ship had already departed. Talthybius gives the corpse to Hecuba, who prepares the body of her grandson for burial before they are finally taken off with Odysseus.
Throughout the play, many of the Trojan women lament the loss of the land that reared them. Hecuba in particular lets it be known that Troy had been her home for her entire life, only to see herself as an old grandmother watching the burning of Troy, the death of her husband, her children, and her grandchildren before she will be taken as a slave to Odysseus.

Montesquieu, Lettre LXXIV

[…]
and I saw a little man, supercilious to a degree. He took a pinch of snuff with such a haughty air, he blew his nose so mercilessly, he spat with such indifference, and caressed his dogs in a style so offensive to the onlookers, that I could not but marvel at him. “Ah! Sweet Heaven!” said I to myself; “if, when I was at the court of Persia, I behaved in this way, I behaved like a great fool!” We would have been the very inferior creatures, Rica, had we offered a hundred little insults to those people who waited upon us daily in token of their goodwill. They knew well that we were above them; and if they had not, our favors would have made them daily conscious of it.
There being no need to secure their respect, we did our utmost to win their affection: we were accessible to the humblest; in the midst of our greatness, usually so hardening, they found we had feelings; only our hearts appeared to belong to a higher order; we descended to their wants. But, when it was necessary to support the dignity of our sovereign in public ceremonies, to make the nation worthy of respect in the eyes of strangers; and lastly, when, in times of danger, we required to animate our soldiers, our bearing became more lofty a hundred times than it had been before lowly; we resumed our haughty looks; and not seldom we were found to play our part at least adequately.

Paris, the 10th of the moon of Saphar, 1715.

The Persian Letters,
Montesquieu

Montesquieu, Lettre XXX

I smiled frequently when I heard people who had never traveled beyond their own door, saying to each other, “He certainly looks very like a Persian.”
The Persian Letters,
Montesquieu
France has not changed a lot since the day these letters have been written…

Montesquieu, Lettre LXVII

Your mother, who was so chaste, gave to her husband, as the sole pledge of her virtue, that virtue itself: they lived happy in each other, and in their mutual confidence; and the simplicity of their manners was to them a thousand times more precious than the false splendor which you seem to enjoy in this sumptuous house.
The Persian Letters,
Montesquieu

Aide-toi et le ciel t'aidera…

Uno dal quale mi fermavo a fare due chiacchiere era Said Ali, un musulmano magro e spettinato, con un calorosissimo sorriso. Riparava orologi in un piccolo buco nel muro a cui aveva dato il nome Un milione di Tic-Tac.
La vita era stata dura con Said Ali, ma lui non gliene voleva. 1 suoi due figli erano improvvisamente diventati schizofrenici, e né maghi né medici erano riusciti a farei nulla, tranne rendere Said Ali ancora un po' più povero di prima. La moglie si disperava per quella disgrazia e passava ore della giornata a pregare Allah perché li facesse guarire. Anche Said Ali era un devoto musulmano e non mancava nessuna delle cinque preghiere giornaliere, ma sulla questione dei figli non era d'accordo con lei.
«Non si può chiedere ad Allah di intervenire nelle faccende umane. Quando io ho da riparare un orologio posso pregare quanto voglio. Lui non può fare il mio lavoro per me. Ha già fatto tanto: mi ha dato gli occhi, gli orecchi, le mani, la mente. Le riparazioni almeno le debbo fare io», diceva.

Un altro giro di giostra.
Viaggio nel male e nel bene del nostro tempo
Tiziano Terzani

sabato 18 luglio 2009

Tiziano Terzani, I

Una sera, in casa di amici indiani, raccontai della mia esperienza col reiki e dissi della mia frustrazione: ero venuto in India convinto di trovarci una cultura forte, sicura de sé, capace di resistere alla violenza omogeneizzante delle globalizzazione, e invece, vivendo a Dehli, mi pareva che anche l'India non facesse altro che correre dietro ai prodotti, alle idee e alle mode dell'Occidente.
Il padrone di casa, un barbuto, colto produttore cinematografo, moderno di testa, ma ancora ben radicato nella sua tradizione, non condivideva il mio pessimismo.
“Non preoccuparti", disse. “L'India corre dietro a tutto, ma va molto piano. Vedrai che finirà per arrivare tardi anche al funerale della cultura occidentale."

Un altro giro di giostra.
Viaggio nel male e nel bene del nostro tempo
Tiziano Terzani

Clouds over the hill…

Some pictures taken last night from my window… while I was listening to a nice concert of Δανάη Παναγιωτοπούλου on Δεύτερο 103,7, life from Ανώγεια.
Da Clouds and skies

venerdì 17 luglio 2009

NOCTOC

Let me tell you some words about an incredible “hellenico-persian” blog. And I use this adjective in its cultural sense: Hellenism is not only today’s Greece and Persianism is not only today’s Iran. These two countries have one point in common indeed: they have always had variable geometry borders and their great cultures have influenced many other countries…
And God knows that Cyprus has given and still gives a lot to Hellenism
This blog is ΝΟCΤΟC
I have discovered it by clicking on some link (I don’t even remember where: probably by looking for some information about Persian language) and I found so many articles about Iran and Cyprus. Not to talk about the music he uploads to his Imeem page.
I just wanted to share with you 3 Iranian poems he translated in Greek and published online in Greek and English for the first time; I copy only one of them and simply give you the links to the 2 others for more informations about these poets and also for you to enjoy the beautiful pictures he uploaded with those poems.
Sadly for those who are studying persian like me, he has not added the persian text of these poems…
Κάτω από την διαστατική σκιά του χλωμού φεγγαριού
σε μια ομίχλη που μοιάζει με λάμψη, μελαγχολική και μαγευτική
ήταν κατάκοιτη, και οι μαύρες πλεξίδες της
κυμάτιζαν στον αέρα
μια σκοτεινή σιλουέτα ενάντια στη λάμψη της νύχτας.

Το ρυάκι ξεχειλισμένο από νερό
τραγουδούσε για αυτούς που έφυγαν
για αγάπες του παρελθόντος και για τους νεκρούς
έκρυβε εντάσεις από μυστικούς πόνους.

Κάτω από το κρύο και κουρασμένο σεληνόφως, η πλαγιά του βουνού
σαν μια μακρινή επιθυμία
σαν ένα φωτοστέφανο της ελπίδας
ή σαν γυμνή, ζεστή και τρεμάμενη σε μετάξι
κοιμόταν μέσα στη ζάλη
ενώ το βράδυ περνούσε
πλούσια αλλά ήσυχα λαγκάδια

Αυτή, η ελπίδα μου, η ενσάρκωση των ονείρων μου
κάηκε στις ζεστές φλόγες της δικής της φαντασίας
τραγουδώντας στο λαμπερό μέτωπο του σεληνόφως
το παραμύθι της λύπης μου- για τη δική της συστολή.

Φερεϊτούν Ταβαλάρι
Under the dappled shade of the pale moon
in a mist-like glow, somber and bewitching
she was prostate, and her black brainds
waving in the wind
a dark silhouette against the night's glow.

The brook overflowing with water
sang of the departed
of past loves and the dead
it held strains of secret pain.

Under the cold and tired moonlight, the mountainside
like a distant desire
like a halo of hope
or like a nude, warm and atremble in silk
slept in a daze
while the eventide passed
lush but quiet fields

She, my hope, my dreams' incarnation
burned in the warm flames of her own fancy
singing to the glowing brow of the moonlight
the tale of my sorrow- of her own coyness.

By Fereydun Talallary

Pavese, V

18 nov. 1945
Non ci si libera di una cosa evitandola, ma soltanto attraversandola.
Cesare Pavese
il mestiere di vivere
Diario 1935-1950
Da sinistra Cesare Pavese, Leone Ginzburg, Franco Antonicelli e Augusto Frassinelli negli anni ‘40 sulle colline delle Langhe

Red is the colour of our blood…


These red flowers reminded me an old song by The Nits:
Who knows how memory works and how it links one event to another?





Israeli diplomacy…

This article clearly shows what the Israeli diplomacy (not to say hypocrisy…) really is.
Mitchell said the administration was particularly unhappy about the Netanyahu government's unwillingness to recognize the principle of two states for two peoples.
Mitchell also emphasized that the U.S. does not accept the concept of "natural growth" for the settlements.
"We did not hear from the Bush administration about any of these so-called understandings with Israel on the settlements - all of which were supposedly oral understandings between different people every time," said one senior American official.
"But we've never heard a thing about them - they certainly weren't formal agreements between our governments. The Israelis want us to commit to oral understandings we have never heard about, but at the same time they are not willing to commit to written agreements their government has signed, like the road map and commitment to the two-state solution."
From Haaretz.
No more comment…

Italy's heritage

I’M ONLY here to help,” pleads Mario Resca. “I’m here to serve the country.” His problem is that he has been asked to serve culture. And, for 12 years, he served burgers. In a few days’ time, this former boss of McDonald’s in Italy will be put in charge of 3,600-odd government-run museums and archaeological sites. His appointment by Silvio Berlusconi’s heritage minister, Sandro Bondi, has both astonished and divided Italy’s cultural panjandrums.
Source: The Economist

giovedì 16 luglio 2009

Old stones and young lovers…

Da Salonica

Quoting… Bourdieu

L'amour est-il une exception, la seule, mais de première grandeur, à la loi de la domination masculine, une mise en suspens de la violence symbolique?

La Domination Masculine
P. Bourdieu

The Iliade and other wars

Here is the few lines Alessandro Baricco wrote about war in his summary of the Iliade. I don’t think that more comments are necessary…
L'Iliade raccontava questo sistema di pensiero e questo modo di sentire, raccogliendolo in un segno sintetico e perfetto: la bellezza. La bellezza della guerra - di ogni suo singolo particolare - dice la sua centralità nell'esperienza umana: tramanda l'idea che altro non c'è, nell'esperienza umana, per esistere veramente.
Quel che forse suggerisce l'Iliade è che nessun pacifismo, oggi, deve dimenticare, o negare quella bellezza: come se non fosse mai esistita. Dire e insegnare che la guerra è un inferno e basta è una dannosa menzogna. Per quanto suoni atroce, è necessario ricordarsi che la guerra è un inferno: ma bello. Da sempre gli uomini ci si buttano come falene attratte dalla luce mortale del fuoco. Non c'è paura, o orrore di sé, che sia riuscito a tenerli lontani dalle fiamme: perché in esse sempre hanno trovato l'unico riscatto possibile dalla penombra della vita. Per questo, oggi, il compito di un vero pacifismo dovrebbe essere non tanto demonizzare all'eccesso la guerra, quanto capire che solo quando saremo capaci di un'altra bellezza potremo fare a meno di quella che la guerra da sempre ci offre. Costruire un'altra bellezza è forse l'unica strada verso una pace vera. Dimostrare di essere capaci di rischiarare la penombra dell'esistenza, senza ricorrere al fuoco della guerra. Dare un senso, forte, alle cose senza doverle portare sotto la luce, accecante, della morte. Poter cambiare il proprio destino senza doversi impossessare di quello di un altro; riuscire a mettere in movimento il denaro e la ricchezza senza dover ricorrere alla violenza; trovare una dimensione etica, anche altissima, senza doverla andare a cercare ai margini della morte; incontrare se stessi nell'intensità di luoghi e momenti che non siano una trincea; conoscere l'emozione, anche la più vertiginosa, senza dover ricorrere al doping della guerra o al metadone delle piccole violenze quotidiane. Un'altra bellezza, se capite cosa voglio dire.

Νικόλας and…

his mother? No: it is just his sister Elisabeth, lying in bed as if she was the mother.
A picture I like very much indeed.

mercoledì 15 luglio 2009

O partigiano portami via chè mi sento di morir

Why one should be ashamed to be socialist while the (neo-)fascists are proud of their so nauseous ideology?
Sadly this disease is burning Italia again and again: ministers criticise the 'red' partigiani, telling they were not worth all those honours they receive, but in the same time they honour those who fought with the Nazi…


I thought those gests were made only by brainless hooligans and football players, but it seems some politicians too are brainless.
And one of the consequences of being brainless is being memoryless…

Pavese, IV


Tutto il problema della vita è dunque questo: come rompere la propria solitudine, come comunicare con gli altri.


Cesare Pavese
il mestiere di vivere
Diario 1935-1950

Joseph E. Stiglitz

Amartya Sen, the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in economics, has argued forcefully that famines do not occur in societies in which there is a free press.1 It is not the lack of food in the aggregate that gives rise to famines, but the lack of access to food by the poor in famine regions. A free press exposes these problems; once exposed, the failure to act is absolutely intolerable.
“On Liberty, the Right to Know and Public Discourse: The Role of Transparency in Public Life,”
Joseph E. Stiglitz
(pdf)

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