domenica, dicembre 16, 2018

My Brilliant Friend, L'Amica Geniale TV series by Saverio Costanzo

I can just treat My Brilliant Friend, L'Amica Geniale TV  series by Saverio Costanzo  because I am waiting for the italian or maybe American copy of the first book of the series.

This TV series is, for viewers, plenty of interesting reflections and considering that it is strictly connected with the books let's try to examine some of the most crucial points.

The series is amazing, touching, plenty of poeticity inserted in a difficult situation for the protagonists. The soundtrack is divine.

There are a lot of disturbing  situations, it is true, but the friendship of these girlfriends is wonderfully well reported and told. The narrator, Elena, gives her best, for trying to define in all its possible shades the beauty of her friendship with Lila.

Let's see the most important thematic.

Friendship: a friendship in grade to survive per decades.
It's not just important and precious this aspect marked with emphasis; it's a rare existential aspect. I knew just the case of my cousin still in contact with a schoolmate for more than 40 years.
Often, it is impossible between two girlfriends, because people change; they change cities and where they don't change cities, or places, they just don't tend of staying connected anymore and sometimes it's much better.

These girls, Lila and Elena, feel attraction because opposite characters and so their friendship continues endlessly.

If Elena is an introvert and delicate girl not too much creative, Lila, black hair, is a brilliant intelligence and a real fearless warrior with strong opinions and a strong character; profound eyes in grade to penetrate other people's soul, ironic and sardonic, Elena sees in Lila the other part of her; the bold one, the one in grade of completing her.
Lila, at the same time, finds in Elena a stimulating friend for learning much more; Elena is a calm creature, someone with a life less complicated than the one of Lila; someone with which to share and experience some moment of relaxation and normality.

Similar families, the one of Elena is more open in terms of education after elementary and mid-term school.

Elena attends in fact after the mid-term schools the Liceo Classico where the girl studies Greek and Latin. This, after strong discussions in her family and thanks to the pressures of Elena and Lila's elementary teacher.

Lila, hunger for knowledge and much more intelligent than Elena starts to read as many books as possible and she understands more than Elena the meaning of Greek myths and topics, but not for competing with her, but because she knows that these topics are attracting and they deserve her attention. She does want to follow her friend also in this new adventure.

After all, in other conditions, she also would have attended the Liceo Classico without to going to work immediately in the store of her family where they makes artisan shoes.

There is sufferance in Lila but also the knowledge, thanks to her hard soul, that the reality is that one; she knows that life is the one she is living in, and there is nothing to do. She knows that her destiny won't be simple and she fights for searching, where she can, and without illusions, that beauty that the literary world presents her. In the third episodes we noticed that Lila abandons the reading, because unnecessary to her daily life.

The two friends when more little, read and re-read Little Women by Alcott many times. They wish to be real and new Jo March; they dream to write a book, telling their own story, with their own voice.

But life is complicated.

Another thematic that the TV series and I guess the book treats is the one of books; books in houses, libraries, everywhere and the importance of reading as instrument of personal growth.

Now: I don't think that everyone can understand this point, truly profound, of L'Amica Geniale if born in places where books are available and they are the normality and not weird creatures seeing with a lot of suspects.

If for people of culture books are normal, you must know that, in houses without books, the normality is that one and books are strangers, and creatures not well seen, sometimes, by adults.

A kid or a teenager who will fight against the entire family because he/she wants to read will meet a lot of problems, because probably born in a social tissue where books are not contemplated and so not "understood:" books are considered by many a damage for the grown of the kid or teenager. I have personally seen teenagers who gave up to reading because parents opposed strong resistance.

Poverty: the base of all it's poverty.
Poverty means sacrifices and buying books is not a joke. Money is necessary for other important voices in the daily life of these families.

The TV series launches various messages in this sense; the use of used books thanks to the massive visit to libraries; the gentle teacher who shares her old classics books with Elena for example for being read during her summer vacations in Ischia; money is not spent and children continue to read and understand reality.
At the moment it's possible to find other modalities for reading at a cheapest price than not in the past.

The families portrayed in L'Amica Geniale or The Brilliant Friend are from a poor rione of Naples.
There is in this sense a certain fatalism regarding life. Life can't be changed, life remains the same experienced by the ancestors and it is better to continue in that way.

The beauty of this TV series to me is this moment of rebellion: two girls Elena and Lilu discover books and culture.

The possibility of seeing under other perspectives the reality that they are living in is a privilege.

No one must search for books  for trying to understand the profound meaning of this world or maybe for being saved by this world. In general writers and creatives are writers and creatives because they fight against personal demons.
Said it, it's not that: books are something else.

Lila for example can't be saved by the young mobster of the rione who wants to marry her; Elena will experience the sad repugnant attentions of a vicious ugly man; good books and for extension culture will give the possibility of seeing reality as if lived into a kaleidoscope, trying to understand what happened, reading facts with a different profundity.

Personally I found hard the first episode of the series, because I would want to see childhood protected; protected by sadness, by horrible facts, a land where all children would stay happy and cheerful, but this one is a fairy-tale, because in certain areas or our country or the world children lose their right to be children pretty soon.

I absolutely hate the obstinacy of the dad of Lila; his desire of marrying her with someone Lila doesn't love at all is pure cruelty; I personally love  these girls, because in their differences they are unique and they permeate the other one in a splendid way. When Elena confesses to Lila she wrote some thoughts Lila had previously expressed to her while they were talking one day and she received an A at school, she told her that for let her know that to her she is like an extension of her soul, someone she admires so badly because of her originality. The uniqueness of her girlfriend is a constant in her existence.


Anna Maria Polidori

The Day I Met Ann Goldstein, American translator of Elena Ferrante and The Brilliant Friend

I confess it: when that afternoon, I went to Civitella Ranieri for the public meeting with Ann Goldstein I wasn't attracted by this public character because of her translations of Elena Ferrante's books, a name this one that didn't ring personally any bell in my mind and that I misspelled when I would have spoken with her later.

Let me add, vice-versa that I was surprised and happy that I would have met the translator of Primo Levi, one of the italian men I admire the most and also Italo Calvino and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

The most, that afternoon that I drove to Civitella Ranieri I was searching for the ex editor of the New Yorker.

Being a little reporter of a regional newsmagazine this time I would have met someone who worked for one of the most important American magazines, the New Yorker.

I read with pleasure their pieces. I started with John Seabrook and his long reportage about Isabella Dalla Ragione's old fruit trees, in Città di Castello  years ago. I translated at that time with the help of a swiss lady, all that piece!

I discovered Solomeo and the reality of Cucinelli thanks to a long reportage realized by the New Yorker, an issue presented me by a friend of an American friend of mine, Constance Grayson during a dinner shared at the house of an Australian lady, Cathy. No idea who that man was since I didn't read that article.

You will think: you live in Umbria but you know these news thanks to American magazines? It must be my destiny, I guess.
Jokes apart, I was absolutely thrilled.

The event was called: The art of the Possible, so what it means to translate from a language to another a book and it took place in a sunny Sept 7th 2017.

I wanted to speak with Ann before to start the meeting and it was possible.

Skinny, delicate, gracious smile, melancholic eyes, I discovered a passionate journalist, plenty of curiosity and capacity of listening.
We talked about her wonderful italian.

She said me she learnt italian in  a few months thanks to her knowledge of old and new languages like french is and her many travels in our country, the place she loves the most.
I personally discovered a sense of normality and a familiar approach that I loved.

The meeting was the most participated one.


Anna Maria Polidori

Photo credits: Civitella Ranieri Foundation

venerdì, dicembre 14, 2018

The Climate Casino Risk, Uncertainty and Economics for a Warming World by William Nordhaus

The Climate Casino Risk, Uncertainty and Economics for a Warming World is one of the book written by the 2018 Noble Prize Winner in Economics William Nordhaus on the topic.
Sterling professor at Yale University, this intriguing, captivating reading is one of the perfect gift for this Christmas, and it should be read by everyone for trying to better the situation of our Planet.

Little things can make the difference, in fact if people are united and if this problem is shared with everyone and known for finding right solutions.

But what is it happening realistically to our Planet?

Although some politicians are skeptical, followed by a lot of skeptical people, global warming is a reality and there is not too much time left to our imagination before that profound changes will effect our existences and the ones of who will live after us.

Let's remember that quakes, tornadoes, floods, abrupt and dangerous changes of weather in grade of causing a lot of problems, death, damages are the result of this climate casino, as the economist calls the problem.

Nordhaus reflects that also in a past era the Earth suffered of a profound transformation in a few decades; just, now, these changes are strongly helped by men and our massive production of CO2 and these changes are mainly caused by men.
So, what to do?

Carbon, electricity; human existences based on the use of petrol, our lives are permeated mainly by electricity, cars, travels, daily actions we think absolutely innocuous, like the use of a smart phone, a PC.
You won't never believe it but every simple action during our day means a big problem for our Earth including the innocuous use during the winter-time of heating system existing in our cars and houses.

It's the system in which we live in and the one, we thought, could give good answers to us.

With a brilliant explanation, the Earth probably will experience a radical changes in a few decades or less and it will mean a profound stress for people and animals.

People: where there is possibility of cultivating maybe climate changes will mean more warm and less productivity; there will be a consequent migration of people in other places, but at the same time maybe some places considered real Paradises at the moment will disappear.

Some species of animals will disappear or are disappearing, or disappeared recently and climate changes are affecting also Oceans with the acidification of water. What it means: the production of CO2 enters in communication  with the less profound stratification of water causing a toxic chemical mixture in grade of killing seashells and other important animals.

Climate changes will mean also water rising, considering what it is happening in the North Pole and in the Antarctica and when permafrost will be melted new illnesses and viruses completely forgotten memory of a remote past will reappear. Maybe.
For sure mr. Nordhaus focuses the attention on diarrhea and the arrival of malaria also in areas where the illness not yet experienced.

What to do? Recipes for keeping this process under control are not simple. Sometimes it would be better not to increment a new economic growth because a new economic growth would mean more problems because more richness would mean more production of CO2.

At the same time deleting from the daily life a system more than practiced, like it is the one passing through petrol and energy sounds impossible in the immediate and more expensive for governments and private citizens.

Personally I think that big companies should give quick and urgent answers for sorting out a problem that can't wait anymore I would want to see a complete green smart phone rechargeable with solar energy. Big companies should start to use this option green and healthy in every sense.

I thank Yale University Press for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

mercoledì, dicembre 12, 2018

The Practice of Mindful Yoga A Connected Path to Awareness by Hannah Moss

"Mindful Yoga is a primarily spiritual discipline, connecting our body, our breath and our mind so that we can turn our inwards and start getting to know ourselves a little better."
This one the description given by Hannah Moss the author of this new and fascinating book by Quarto: The Practice of Mindful Yoga A Connected Path to Awareness.
Hannah decided of writing this book because once she experienced yoga, but she added it became to her like another insignificant moment of her day. It lost all the fascination it had and most important, the purposes and reasons why she did it. Then thanks to a local teacher she discovered Mindful Yoga, a Yoga in grade to let her keep focused in the present and in her most vivid experiences and positive sensations blocking the sadness and frustrations in grade to keep her body sick.

Mindful Yoga is important because it gives you consciousness about problems. With Yoga you don't escape problems but you see them under other perspectives.
Divided in five chapters you will discover everything about this ancient way of living in grade to help you in a daily base, from breath to posture, and at the end, following the steps of ms Moss you will be regenerated and more conscious of your self.

Highly recommended.

I thank NetGalley and Quarto for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori

martedì, dicembre 11, 2018

Our Little Secret Il Nostro Piccolo Segreto by Ninni Schulman translated by Stefania Forlani

"We knew all, but we haven't done anything" and "What's wrong in some men?" are two phrases that synthesize well the new and waited book by Ninni Schulman, Our Little Secret Il Nostro Piccolo Segreto translated for Marsilio by Stefania Forlani.

We speak of domestic violence; we speak of a thematic, unfortunately  common in our society and that possibility of escapism, the mirage of another life where no one harm a woman, where there is freedom, where a woman or a girl are free from everyone; where brain is washed by sadness, sickness; by an internal pain more strong than the same life. We speak of survivors, but also of broken existences under many aspects, because healing from domestic violence is a long process.

But this book is not just this: it examines the delicate, intricate relationship existing in a couple and that invisible wire that let thinks to a lot of women: "It's all my fault" analyzing courageously what happens when a woman thinks: "Wait: maybe it's not my fault. Maybe I can change my existence and my destiny."

The story is this one: Anna-Karin Ehn is a social assistant and one night she doesn't return home; disappeared in the scene of this hypothetical murder there are evident signs of blood. 

Investigations are conducted by Petra Wilander and Christer Berglund.

It's simple to understand that, after all, the life of this lady was not so simple as at first everyone would have thought that it was.

But it's Magdalena Hansson the most important key of this tale: the reporter is back to work after an absence for maternity.
The case sounds immediately complicated.
Domestic violence, horrible abuses, a suicide.
A complete mess and the devastating mental and physical hell experienced by a lady and her daughter.

It's a strong book this one that should let us reflect about the possibility of being free from a sick man and the modality of our possible escapism from the horror.

Many surprises, I can tell you that there is the happy end.

I highly suggest to everyone this book.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

domenica, dicembre 09, 2018

Il Libro delle Piccole Rivoluzioni Il Magico Potere dei Gesti Quotidiani El Libro de las Pequenas revoluciones by Elsa Punset translated by Laura Scolari

Il Libro delle Piccole Rivoluzioni Il Magico Potere dei Gesti Quotidiani El Libro de las Pequenas revoluciones or in english The Book of Little Revolutions The Magical Power of Daily Gestures by Elsa Punset translated by Laura Scolari is an energetic important and beauty self-help book published by DeAgostini, italian publishing house.

All dedicated to girls and women, the purpose of this book is this one: taking good care of us once and for all, cuddling soul and body at the same time.
Stress, anxious moments, disconnection from the beauty of the world creates ugly situations, depression, stress, apathy.

Don't worry: this book will be of great inspiration and will help you if you need a tool for sorting out some of your problems.

Divided in four sections, nothing is left out, from work, living, growing, personal priorities, negative and positive people, to serenity, joy, happiness, and how to reach, avoid, build a different self, remaining...yourself, but with a different strength.

Many intuitive tips, advice that I am sure  you will find stimulating; other tips inspired by words of wisdom always actual, modern. The main problems for us, women is that at a certain point, we dedicate to other people a lot of time; we are busy and soon we lose the essence of ourselves: who are we? What did we love? What did we want?
What do we desire in this life? How can we rediscover that joy of living that we once had? How can we abandon bad habits?

Posture, chats, being friendly and amicable, teas, yoga, writing down our auto-biography, the ability of saying no, keeping out from our life nasty people with negative energies, this book is a splash in the colors of life.
Sometimes we forget the beauty of life, with its essences, with its delicate touch; when the game becomes too strong, when we are too sad, when we are not in grade to see an escapism we must remember that there is always a way.

Interactive under many ways this one is a wonderful gift for a girlfriend in difficulty!

I thank DeAgostini/DeaPlaneta for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

sabato, dicembre 08, 2018

Le Caffettiere dei miei Bisnonni La fine delle Icone nel Design Italiano The Mokas of my great-grandparents The End of the Icons in the Italian Design by Chiara Alessi

I was prepared to read a book about sweet memories of a family who created an object that will continue to be used per generations although not anymore Made in Italy in the strict sense of the word.
We speak of the italian moka, the caffettiera, where you taste the best coffee that you can dream in this world.
It was the opposite: Le Caffettiere dei miei Bisnonni La fine delle Icone nel Design Italiano The Mokas of my great-grandparents The End of the Icons in the Italian Design by Chiara Alessi is a polemic, disenchanted book about our times, consumers and their relationship with objects passing trhought the history of her family and the one of  historic brands.

Published by UTET this book is wonderfully beauty.

Everything started with Alfonso Bialetti and his moka. The invention would have meant for the second generation of the family incarnated in Renato the chance of feeding wagons of people thanks to the abundant work that there was: million of people at the same time tasted in the wonderful moka the coffee: 300 million caffettiere have been sold thanks to the geniality of a visionary man sold.
At the moment the Bialetti is just the pale memory of the old good times.
Alfonso Bialetti was a relative of Alessi: both of them remembered because they marked the old Made in Italy with good products that, simply, made the history of Italy.

In this sense the author is pretty polemic regarding the new times where objects are not anymore icons; maybe because icons just don't exist anymore, replaced by objects discovered for their functionality and lived without that love, affection that in the past there was for the caffettiera, the moka, for example.
Let's say that our times have lost that preciosity for the objects that there was in the past.

Not only; the author writes of a past, present and future that are a continuous present at the moment. All the possible complexity of time is disappeared.

Icons, writes the author, became icons because they were defined in a certain time where present and time meant a lot.

Present at the moment doesn't give any stability or credibility at the future.

Bialetti with the moka became a synonymy of modernism fighting against classicism; the author remarks that there is not anymore originality and uniqueness, but just products without soul. And people? Consumers? They are confused.

Modern icons, the so-called status-symbols work for remarking that the consumer is in grade of buying it; these modern objects are not symbols as in the past, of an affectionate, indispensable tool in grade to recognize not just a family but a country. A country. It's an enormous concept but real. Why? Because an icon is not just an icon: it's the symbol of a country, of memories, it speaks of the place where it is born in; it serves for obtain the best, but at the same time it incarnates the spirit of the country: and the country whispers through that object.

Icons remains. When an object is beauty, functional, remains young also if time goes by.

An icon is ageless: it's present, past: it speaks of people, aspirations writes the author.

Not only: there is more. In the past objects where made for being part of the daily rituals of a family. They were warm, they were part of the life of people.

At the moment publicity created, writes the author the desire from masses of entering in aliens and unknown worlds; these worlds will remain aliens and an object, also the most expensive one is not chosen because good but because a "status-symbol." In this poor scenario objects don't present anymore any kind of passion and enthusiasm as it was in the past, but worries, stress.

A big role is played by technology and the modifications created in people's behavior; "all and now" are constant of this world. We experience, writes the author a desire of having something that once realized don't interest us anymore. We want something else.

This comparison is very good to me: the author thinks that the consumer is like Vladimiro and Estragone the protagonists of Waiting for Godot by Beckett.
The protagonists wait and wait: they don't know who Godot is...Their waiting is pretty dangerous for their existences.

At the same time the consumer doesn't know what he will buy but he stays in line per hours for buying a product because trendy and because everyone want it.
We desire to desiring. We desire to be like all the rest of people.
Beautiful book this one, written with heart and written with that melancholic touch presented by our modern age.

A society this one, unable to speak to the heart of people (if looked in the surface) and unable to  remain; the only consolation? Our past, made with heart, with friendship, love, work, and real values.
Since we won't return at that point, humanity will be a desolated land with less heart and less humanity.

Many example will involve also other objects of designs.


I thank DeaPlaneta for this eBook.

Anna Maria Polidori