Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Every time I find a book written by Astrid Lindgren, the author of Pippi longstocking and many more titles, including the two mentioned by Violet, Mio of Mio and the Lionheart brothers ( I checked them out,yes, and now I have to get my hands on them!), as I was saying, every time I find one of her books, and it happens that I find them in several different languages and various editions, at a surprisingly frequent rate,they are pricy. They are rare and pricy. The early editions anyway. The scary stuff doesn't surprise me really if we think that the legacy she shares is made by authors like Grimm brothers, or Perrault ( bluebeard!)and all the rest of them, with
stories that all the major professors and psychologists, and pedagogists, and intellectuals analysed and came to the conclusion that they help us, children,to come to terms with the toughness of life. Then uncle Walt came around and did the opposite! Thank goodness the little marmaid doesn't feel the knives in her feet every time she walks with her brand new feet. Although in all fairness,had Disney only stuck to the original version, all the little girls,now full grown women would have faced the life-long pain that their favourite shoes inflict upon/below them, with much more endurance and knowledge.
My grand-ma carefully executed the same "operation safety" Disney did, when she used to tell me the synopsis of the major Operas and Operettas. So ,for example, when she would tell me the story of La Traviata, Verdi, taken from Dumas, La dame aux camelias, Violetta of course does not die and she certainly doesn't belong to any different social class, but happily marries the love of her life. Considering the fact that in practically 80% of the Operas, the heroine tragically dies and that almost all the Disney's happy endings camouflage a tragedy, I reached the conclusion that life is almost never what we remember it should have been!
And speaking of memory: two good books I came accross with that tackle the memory issue
The Sea, John Banville, where the memory of the past becomes another type of present that unfolds along in a parallel dimension, and A short history of tractors in ukrainian, Marina Lewycka, that helps me remember that learning about the past by reading fiction is fun and effective.
Gianduiotti: are you comfortable in that chair? Every time I go say hi to Davide, owner of the bookstore Therese, in Torino, Italy,I learn a lot. He is the prototype of the old bookseller, but in a young body, he has passion, he believes in the true meaning of community,he is kind,he knows what he sells, he reads a lot and he keeps it small and simple. And he his in your neighborhood!

1 comment:

  1. Buona parte dei libri che acquisto e regalo proviene dalla libreria Therese.
    E' la più comoda e ben rifornita, si trova nel quartiere in cui vivo e da casa ci posso andare a piedi in cinque minuti.
    Inoltre è a due passi dai Fratelli Marx, il vecchio cinema Selene che doveva lasciare il posto ad un supermercato ed è tornato agli antichi splendori, trasformandosi in multisala d'essai.
    Sembra che quella piccola porzione di territorio cittadino abbia sviluppato nel tempo un’energia intellettuale spiccata.
    E hai ragione su Davide.
    Osservandolo, mi sono detto: " Questo ragazzo ha preso da me!" :)