Short Italian Quotes

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On March 23, 1950, Italian poet Cesare Pavese wrote: 'Love is truly the great manifesto; the urge to be, to count for something, and, if death must come, to die valiantly, with acclamation--in short, to remain a memory.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Mr Benz, the parapet of an Italian bridge doesn’t look like the proper place for you,” said Chase.
Stefania Mattana (Cutting Right to the Chase Vol.2, (Chase Williams detective short stories 2))
We all have the little grey cells. And so few of us know how to use them.
Agatha Christie (The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman - a Hercule Poirot Short Story (Hercule Poirot))
Whispers was one of these short Italian guys in his early thirties that you’d see all around South Philly, just trying to get by with one hustle or another. This is not the same Whispers they blew up when they bombed his car around the same time. This is the other Whispers. I didn’t know the one they blew up; I just heard about it. I
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
Pope Benedict XVI was the first to predict the crisis in the global financial system…Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti said. “The prediction that an undisciplined economy would collapse by its own rules can be found” in an article written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [in 1985], Tremonti said yesterday at Milan’s Cattolica University. —Bloomberg News, November 20, 2008
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
Many a time Russ reached up and pinched my cheek and said, “You should’ve been Italian.” He’s the one named me “The Irishman.” Before that they used to call me “Cheech,” which is short for Frank in Italian — Francesco. After
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
whatever," Winslow snorted. "The first team that got judged, from the Italian place on East Thrity-Sixth? They came back in here looking like whipped dogs. Come on, I Know i'm not the only one here about to wet myself." There was a short pause while they all looked at Win, and the way he was sort of dancing in place. "Dude," Danny finally said, "Maybe you just need to pee.
Louisa Edwards (Too Hot To Touch (Rising Star Chef, #1; Recipe for Love, #4))
Pope Benedict XVI was the first to predict the crisis in the global financial system…Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti said.
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
Mio padre va nella camera di mia sorella per parlare con lei. Julia lo guarda. –  Ciao, papà. Ti serve qualcosa? –  Sì, Julia. Tuo fratello adesso si sta vestendo.  Voglio che prendiate questi.
Olly Richards (Italian Short Stories For Beginners: 8 Unconventional Short Stories to Grow Your Vocabulary and Learn Italian the Fun Way!)
Suddenly she saw a man who was snapping her picture. She stared at him and realized that he was short, had black hair, a hard face, and was wearing a gray suit. He looked to be of Italian descent. Could he possibly be Benny the Slippery One Caputti?
Carolyn Keene (The Thirteenth Pearl (Nancy Drew, #56))
As for describing the smell of a spaniel mixed with the smell of torches, laurels, incense, banners, wax candles and a garland of rose leaves crushed by a satin heel that has been laid up in camphor, perhaps Shakespeare, had he paused in the middle of writing Antony and Cleopatra — But Shakespeare did not pause. Confessing our inadequacy, then, we can but note that to Flush Italy, in these the fullest, the freest, the happiest years of his life, meant mainly a succession of smells. Love, it must be supposed, was gradually losing its appeal. Smell remained. Now that they were established in Casa Guidi again, all had their avocations. Mr. Browning wrote regularly in one room; Mrs. Browning wrote regularly in another. The baby played in the nursery. But Flush wandered off into the streets of Florence to enjoy the rapture of smell. He threaded his path through main streets and back streets, through squares and alleys, by smell. He nosed his way from smell to smell; the rough, the smooth, the dark, the golden. He went in and out, up and down, where they beat brass, where they bake bread, where the women sit combing their hair, where the bird-cages are piled high on the causeway, where the wine spills itself in dark red stains on the pavement, where leather smells and harness and garlic, where cloth is beaten, where vine leaves tremble, where men sit and drink and spit and dice — he ran in and out, always with his nose to the ground, drinking in the essence; or with his nose in the air vibrating with the aroma. He slept in this hot patch of sun — how sun made the stone reek! he sought that tunnel of shade — how acid shade made the stone smell! He devoured whole bunches of ripe grapes largely because of their purple smell; he chewed and spat out whatever tough relic of goat or macaroni the Italian housewife had thrown from the balcony — goat and macaroni were raucous smells, crimson smells. He followed the swooning sweetness of incense into the violet intricacies of dark cathedrals; and, sniffing, tried to lap the gold on the window- stained tomb. Nor was his sense of touch much less acute. He knew Florence in its marmoreal smoothness and in its gritty and cobbled roughness. Hoary folds of drapery, smooth fingers and feet of stone received the lick of his tongue, the quiver of his shivering snout. Upon the infinitely sensitive pads of his feet he took the clear stamp of proud Latin inscriptions. In short, he knew Florence as no human being has ever known it; as Ruskin never knew it or George Eliot either.
Virginia Woolf (Flush)
Mesoamerica would deserve its place in the human pantheon if its inhabitants had only created maize, in terms of harvest weight the world’s most important crop. But the inhabitants of Mexico and northern Central America also developed tomatoes, now basic to Italian cuisine; peppers, essential to Thai and Indian food; all the world’s squashes (except for a few domesticated in the United States); and many of the beans on dinner plates around the world. One writer has estimated that Indians developed three-fifths of the crops now in cultivation, most of them in Mesoamerica. Having secured their food supply, Mesoamerican societies turned to intellectual pursuits. In a millennium or less, a comparatively short time, they invented their own writing, astronomy, and mathematics, including the zero.
Charles C. Mann (1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus)
Pope Benedict XVI was the first to predict the crisis in the global financial system… Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti said. “The prediction that an undisciplined economy would collapse by its own rules can be found” in an article written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Michael Lewis (The Big Short)
Fashion and snobbery are also valuable as a defense against literary indigestion. Regardless of their quality, it is always better to read a few books carefully than skim through many, and, short of a personal taste which cannot be formed overnight, snobbery is as good a principle of limitation as any other. I am eternally grateful, for example, to the musical fashion of my youth which prevented me from listening to Italian Opera until I was over thirty, by which age I was capable of really appreciating a world so beautiful and so challenging to my cultural heritage.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
When I think of New York City, I think of all the girls, the Jewish girls, the Italian girls, the Irish, Polack, Chinese, German, Negro, Spanish, Russian girls, all on parade in the city. I don't know whether it's something special with me or whether every man in the city walks around with the same feeling inside him, but I feel as though I'm at a picnic in this city. I like to sit near the women in the theaters, the famous beauties who've taken six hours to get ready and look it. And the young girls at the football games, with the red cheeks, and when the warm weather comes, the girls in their summer dresses . . .
Irwin Shaw (Short Stories of Irwin Shaw)
You don’t look Italian,” I tell him. "Half.” “Which half?” He thinks for a moment, and I see a ghost of a smile appear on his face. “The pigheaded side.” “I thought you said you were only half Italian?” He bursts out laughing. It’s short, as if he’s regretted allowing me to make him laugh, but the satisfaction’s already mine.
Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca)
Ciao, bello!' The coal-eyed beauty who had kissed Jason through the Fiat's window appeared through the crowd, her pretty red mouth smiling. Utterly ignoring Storm, she perched herself on the table next to Jason. 'Ciao, bella,' he smiled. 'Vuoi ballare?' 'She wants me to dance,' he explained to Storm, peering round the girl's adolescent bottom. 'I know,' she replied shortly. 'I've got a degree in Italian.
Madeleine Ker
And it's so pretty and secluded," went on Mrs. Digby, "with these glorious rhododendrons. Look how pretty they are, all sprayed with the water--like fairy jewels--and the rustic seat against those dark cypresses at the back. Really Italian. And the scent of the lilac is so marvellous!" Mr. Spiller knew that the cypresses were, in fact, yews, but he did not correct her. A little ignorance was becoming in a woman.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Hangman's Holiday: A Collection of Short Mysteries)
As for free will, there is such a narrow crack of it for man to move in, crushed as he is from birth by environment, heredity, time and event and local convention. If I had been born of Italian parents in one of the caves in the hills I would be a prostitute at the age of 12 or so because I had to live (why?) and that was the only way open. If I was born into a wealthy New York family with pseudo-cultural leanings, I would have had my coming-out party along with the rest of them, and be equipped with fur coats, social contacts, and a blase pout. How do I know? I don't; I can only guess. I wouldn't be I. But I am I now; and so many other millions are so irretrievably their own special variety of "I" that I can hardly bear to think of it. I: how firm a letter; how reassuring the three strokes: one vertical, proud and assertive, and then the two short horizontal lines in quick, smug succession. The pen scratches on the paper... I... I... I... I... I... I.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Shigureni is a variety of stewed meat where ginger has been added to the traditional soy sauce-and-sugar simmering sauce. Thick, sweet and accented with ginger's uniquely spicy tang, there are layers of flavor to please the tongue! Light yet thick, tangy yet sweet... all the various flavors patter across the tongue like a short afternoon drizzle- thus its name, shigure, which means "fall shower." "It's a dish renowned for its exceptionally deep and compelling flavors." "Ooh, you just know it's gonna be good. That's Takumi-chi for ya! He's a master of both Italian and Japanese cooking!"
Yuto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 27 [Shokugeki no Souma 27] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #27))
We need a test!" I jump up out of the chair and pat my body down. "Where's my wallet?" "In your pocket," she replies dryly. "I'll be back!" I race out of the house and drive the short distance between Dom's estate and the nearest village. After I find a drug store and buy one of each kind of pregnancy test they have, I race back to my hopefully pregnant wife. "That was fast," she murmurs with a grin. She was still sitting in the lounge chair, sipping her coffee. "Should you be drinking coffee?" I ask. "Let's not get crazy," she responds. I need coffee. "I got one of each kind," I announce and opened the bag, sending small white and blue boxes scattering. "Uh, Caleb, we only need one." "What if we can't figure them out?" I ask and pick one up to examine it. "All of the instructions are in Italian." She laughs hysterically and then stands, wiping her eyes. "It's not funny." "Yes, it is. Pregnancy tests are pretty universal, Caleb. You pee on it and a line either appears or it doesn't." She rubs my arm sweetly and kisses my shoulder before plucking the box out of my fingers. "I'll be back." "I'm coming with you." I begin to follow her but she turns quickly with her hands out to stop me. "Oh no, you aren't. You are not going to watch me pee on this stick." I scowled down at her and cross my arms over my chest. "I've helped you bathe and dress and every other damn thing when you were hurt. I can handle watching you pee." "Absolutely not." She shakes her head but then leans in and kisses my chin. "But thank you for helping me when I was hurt." She turns and runs for the bathroom and it feels like an eternity before she comes back out, white stick in her hand. "Well?" I ask. "It takes about three minutes, babe." She sits in the lounge chair and stares out over the vineyard.
Kristen Proby (Safe with Me (With Me in Seattle, #5))
I was a reader before I was a writer, and when I started putting together my first collection of short stories, Fairytales For Lost Children, I drew on my rich history as a reader to try and create my voice. I wanted this voice to reflect my Somali background, my Kenyan upbringing and my London home. This voice would be a mashup of all the elements that formed my youth; the sticky-sweet Jamaican patois, the Kenyan street slang, my Somali and Italian linguistic tics, my love of jazz poetics and nineties hip-hop slanguistics. This language would form the bed on which my narratives of love, loss, identity and hope would rest.
Diriye Osman
We're all so happy you're feeling better, Miss McIntosh. Looks like you still have a good bump on your noggin, though," she says in her childlike voice. Since there is no bump on my noggin, I take a little offense but decide to drop it. "Thanks, Mrs. Poindexter. It looks worse than it feels. Just a little tender." "Yeah, I'd say the door got the worst of it," he says beside me. Galen signs himself in on the unexcused tardy sheet below my name. When his arm brushes against mine, it feels like my blood's turned into boiling water. I turn to face him. My dreams really do not do him justice. Long black lashes, flawless olive skin, cut jaw like an Italian model, lips like-for the love of God, have some dignity, nitwit. He just made fun of you. I cross my arms and lift my chin. "You would know," I say. He grins, yanks my backpack from me, and walks out. Trying to ignore the waft of his scent as the door shuts, I look to Mrs. Poindexter, who giggles, shrugs, and pretends to sort some papers. The message is clear: He's your problem, but what a great problem to have. Has he charmed he sense out of the staff here, too? If he started stealing kids' lunch money, would they also giggle at that? I growl through clenched teeth and stomp out of the office. Galen is waiting for me right outside the door, and I almost barrel into him. He chuckles and catches my arm. "This is becoming a habit for you, I think." After I'm steady-after Galen steadies me, that is-I poke my finger into his chest and back him against the wall, which only makes him grin wider. "," I tell him. "I noticed. I'll work on it." "You can start by giving me my backpack." "Nope." "Nope?" "Right-nope. I'm carrying it for you. It's the least I can do." "Well, can't argue with that, can I?" I reach around for it, but he moves to block me. "Galen, I don't want you to carry it. Now knock it off. I'm late for class." "I'm late for it too, remember?" Oh, that's right. I've let him distract me from my agenda. "Actually, I need to go back to the office." "No problem. I'll wait for you here, then I'll walk you to class." I pinch the bridge of my nose. "That's the thing. I'm changing my schedule. I won't be in your class anymore, so you really should just go. You're seriously violating Rule Numero Uno." He crosses his arms. "Why are you changing your schedule? Is it because of me?" "No." "Liar." "Sort of." "Emma-" "Look, I don't want you to take this personally. It's just that...well, something bad happens every time I'm around you." He raises a brow. "Are you sure it's me? I mean, from where I stood, it looked like your flip-flops-" "What were we arguing about anyway? We were arguing, right?" " don't remember?" I shake my head. "Dr. Morton said I might have some short-term memory loss. I do remember being mad at you, though." He looks at me like I'm a criminal. "You're saying you don't remember anything I said. Anything you said." The way I cross my arms reminds me of my mother. "That's what I'm saying, yes." "You swear?" "If you're not going to tell me, then give me my backpack. I have a concussion, not broken arms. I'm not helpless." His smile could land him a cover shoot for any magazine in the country. "We were arguing about which beach you wanted me to take you to. We were going swimming after school." "Liar." With a capital L. Swimming-drowning-falls on my to-do list somewhere below giving birth to porcupines. "Oh, wait. You're right. We were arguing about when the Titanic actually sank. We had already agreed to go to my house to swim.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Maybe it’s not a coincidence that I’ve always been interested in heroes, starting with my dad, Phil Robertson, and my mom, Miss Kay. My other heroes are my pa and my granny, who taught me how to play cards and dominoes and everything about fishing (which was a lot), and my three older brothers, who teased me, beat me up, and sometimes let me follow them around. Not much has changed in that department. I’ve always loved movies, and when I was about seven or eight years old, I watched Rocky, Sylvester Stallone’s movie about an underdog boxer who used his fists, along with sheer will, determination, and the ability to endure pain, to make a way for himself. He fought hard but played fair and had a soft spot for his friends. I fell in love with Rocky. He was my hero, and I became obsessed. When I decide to do something, I’m all in; so I found a pair of red shorts that looked like Rocky’s boxing trunks and a navy blue bathrobe with two white stripes on the sleeve and no belt. I took off my shirt and ran around bare-chested in my robe and shorts. Most kids I knew went through a superhero phase, but they picked DC Comics guys, like Batman or Superman. Not me. I was Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion, and proud of it. Mom let me run around like that for a couple of years, even when we went in to town. Rocky had a girlfriend, Adrian, who was always there, always by his side. When he was beaten and blinded in a bad fight, he called out for her before anybody else. “Yo, Adrian!” he shouted in his Philly-Italian accent. He needed her. Eventually, I grew up, and the red shorts and blue bathrobe didn’t fit anymore, but I always remembered Rocky’s kindness and his courage. And that every Rocky needs an Adrian.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
Leonardo da Vinci, was brought to the Vatican in 1513 by the new pope, Leo X, and given a list of commissions to create for the greater glory of the pope and his family. After three years of living in the papal palace and exploring Rome, the great Leonardo had produced almost nothing. The furious Pope Leo decided to have a surprise showdown with the capricious artist and intimidate him into completing some of his commissions. In the middle of the night, surrounded by several imposing Swiss Guardsmen, the pope burst through the door to Leonardo’s private palace chambers, thinking to shake him out of a sound sleep. Instead, he was horrified to find Leonardo wide awake, with a pair of grave robbers, in the midst of dissecting a freshly stolen corpse—right under the pope’s own roof. Pope Leo let out a nonregal scream and had the Swiss soldiers immediately pack up Leonardo’s belongings and throw them and the divine Leonardo himself outside the fortress wall of the Vatican, never to return again. Shortly afterward, Leonardo decided it was probably healthier to get out of Italy and move to France, where he spent the rest of his days. This, by the way, is why the great Italian genius’s most famous oil paintings, including the Mona Lisa, are all in Paris, in the Louvre museum.
Benjamin Blech (The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican)
Except for Christianity, the Nazis reject as Jewish everything which stems from Jewish authors. This condemnation includes the writings of those Jews who, like Stahl, Lassalle, Gumplowicz, and Rathenau, have contributed many essential ideas to the system of Nazism. But the Jewish mind is, as the Nazis say, not limited to the Jews and their offspring only. Many “Aryans” have been imbued with Jewish mentality—for instance the poet, writer, and critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, the socialist Frederick Engels, the composer Johannes Brahms, the writer Thomas Mann, and the theologian Karl Barth. They too are damned. Then there are whole schools of thought, art, and literature rejected as Jewish. Internationalism and pacifism are Jewish, but so is warmongering. So are liberalism and capitalism, as well as the “spurious” socialism of the Marxians and of the Bolsheviks. The epithets Jewish and Western are applied to the philosophies of Descartes and Hume, to positivism, materialism and empiro-criticism, to the economic theories both of the classics and of modern subjectivism. Atonal music, the Italian opera style, the operetta and the paintings of impressionism are also Jewish. In short, Jewish is what any Nazi dislikes. If one put together everything that various Nazis have stigmatized as Jewish, one would get the impression that our whole civilization has been the achievement only of Jews.
Ludwig von Mises (Omnipotent Government)
The French language is one of the most widespread languages in terms of its presence around the world. It is the only language that can be found to be used commonly in every single continent. You may or may not be aware of the fact that French is derived from Latin, along with many other languages that it is similar to such as Spanish and Italian. If you already have some knowledge of Spanish or Italian, then learning French could be quite a breeze for you. Many languages change over time as different dialects and forms come into practice simply because of time passing and people changing. The interesting thing about the French language though is that there is a governing body whose main mission is to keep and protect the French language as close to its origin as possible in terms of word additions and changes to things like grammar or sentence structure. There are many changes proposed and rejected by this governing body in an effort to maintain its integrity to the past. This is different from the English language as many new words are being added to the dictionary all the time as societies grow, change and develop. The French language and its prominence are growing rapidly as many of the countries where French is a primary language are developing countries and thus they are growing and changing. What this means for the French language is that it is also growing and becoming more widespread as these countries develop.
Fortunate beyond measure… wise and provident in counsel, well-learned in law, history, humanity and divinity. He understood Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and High and Low-Dutch, besides his native language. He was of quick apprehension, judicious and skillful in nature, elegant in speech, sweet, familiar and affable in behaviour; stern to the obstinate, but calm and meek to the humble. Magnanimous and courageous above all the princes of his days; apt for war but a lover of peace; never puffed up with prosperity nor dismayed at adversity. He was of an exalted, glorious, and truly royal spirit, which never entertained anything vulgar or trivial, as may appear by the most excellent laws which he made, by those two famous jubilees he kept, and by the most honourable Order of the Garter, which he first devised and founded. His recreations were hawking, hunting and fishing, but chiefly he loved the martial exercise of jousts and tournaments. In his buildings he was curious, splendid and magnificent, in bestowing of graces and donations, free and frequent; and to the ingenious and deserving always kind and liberal; devout to God, bountiful to the clergy, gracious to his people, merciful to the poor, true to his word, loving to his friends, terrible to his enemies… In short he had the most virtues and the fewest vices of any prince that ever I read of. He was valiant, just, merciful, temperate, and wise; the best lawgiver, the best friend, the best father, and the best husband in his days.5
Ian Mortimer (Edward III: The Perfect King)
However, the Bleeding Hearts were kind hearts; and when they saw the little fellow cheerily limping about with a good-humoured face, doing no harm, drawing no knives, committing no outrageous immoralities, living chiefly on farinaceous and milk diet, and playing with Mrs Plornish's children of an evening, they began to think that although he could never hope to be an Englishman, still it would be hard to visit that affliction on his head. They began to accommodate themselves to his level, calling him 'Mr Baptist,' but treating him like a baby, and laughing immoderately at his lively gestures and his childish English—more, because he didn't mind it, and laughed too. They spoke to him in very loud voices as if he were stone deaf. They constructed sentences, by way of teaching him the language in its purity, such as were addressed by the savages to Captain Cook, or by Friday to Robinson Crusoe. Mrs Plornish was particularly ingenious in this art; and attained so much celebrity for saying 'Me ope you leg well soon,' that it was considered in the Yard but a very short remove indeed from speaking Italian. Even Mrs Plornish herself began to think that she had a natural call towards that language. As he became more popular, household objects were brought into requisition for his instruction in a copious vocabulary; and whenever he appeared in the Yard ladies would fly out at their doors crying 'Mr Baptist—tea-pot!' 'Mr Baptist—dust-pan!' 'Mr Baptist—flour-dredger!' 'Mr Baptist—coffee-biggin!' At the same time exhibiting those articles, and penetrating him with a sense of the appalling difficulties of the Anglo-Saxon tongue.
Charles Dickens (Little Dorrit)
GUAC AD HOC   Hannah’s 1st Note: This is Howie Levine’s guacamole recipe. He’s Lake Eden’s most popular lawyer. 2 ounces cream cheese 4 ripe avocados (I used Haas avocados) 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best) 1 clove garlic, finely minced (you can squeeze it in a garlic press if you have one) cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves 1 Italian (or plum) tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped 4 green onions, peeled and thinly sliced (you can use up to 2 inches of the green stem) ½ teaspoon salt 10 grinds of freshly ground pepper (or tea spoon) ½ cup sour cream to spread on top Bacon bits to sprinkle on top of the sour cream Tortilla chips as dippers Howie’s Note: I use chopped oregano because Florence doesn’t always carry cilantro at the Lake Eden Red Owl. This guacamole is equally good with either one. Heat the cream cheese in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl for 15 seconds on HIGH, or until it’s spreadable. Peel and seed the avocados. Put them in the bowl with the cream cheese and mix everything up with a fork. Mix just slightly short of smooth. You want the mixture to have a few lumps of avocado. Add the lemon juice and mix it in. It’ll keep your Guac Ad Hoc from browning. Add the minced garlic, chopped oregano leaves, tomato, sliced green onion, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together. Put your Guac Ad Hoc in a pretty bowl, and cover it with the sour cream. Sprinkle on the bacon bits. If you’re NOT going to serve it immediately, spread on the sour cream, but don’t use the bacon bits. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until time to serve. Then sprinkle on the bacon bits. (My bacon bits got a little tough when I added them to the bowl and refrigerated it. They were best when I sprinkled them on at the last moment.) Hannah’s 2nd Note: Mike and Norman like this best if I serve it with sliced, pickled Jalapenos on top. Mother won’t touch it that way. Yield: This amount of Guac Ad Hoc serves 4 unless you’re making it for a Super Bowl game. Then you’d better double the recipe.
Joanne Fluke (Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery))
German voters never gave the Nazis a majority of the popular vote, as is still sometimes alleged. As we saw in the last chapter, the Nazis did indeed become the largest party in the German Reichstag in the parliamentary election of July 31, 1932, with 37.2 percent of the vote. They then slipped back to 33.1 percent in the parliamentary election of November 6, 1932. In the parliamentary election of March 6, 1933, with Hitler as chancellor and the Nazi Party in command of all the resources of the German state, its score was a more significant but still insufficient 43.9 percent. More than one German in two voted against Nazi candidates in that election, in the teeth of intimidation by Storm Troopers. The Italian Fascist Party won 35 out of 535 seats, in the one free parliamentary election in which it participated, on May 15, 1921. At the other extreme, neither Hitler nor Mussolini arrived in office by a coup d’état. Neither took the helm by force, even if both had used force before power in order to destabilize the existing regime, and both were to use force again, after power, in order to transform their governments into dictatorships (as we will see shortly). Even the most scrupulous authors refer to their “seizure of power,” but that phrase better describes what the two fascist leaders did after reaching office than how they got into office. Both Mussolini and Hitler were invited to take office as head of government by a head of state in the legitimate exercise of his official functions, on the advice of civilian and military counselors. Both thus became heads of government in what appeared, at least on the surface, to be legitimate exercises of constitutional authority by King Victor Emmanuel III and President Hindenburg. Both these appointments were made, it must be added at once, under conditions of extreme crisis, which the fascists had abetted. Indeed no insurrectionary coup against an established state has ever so far brought fascists to power. Authoritarian dictatorships have several times crushed such attempts.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
My Flush has grown to be passionately fond of grapes, devouring bunch after bunch, and looking so fat and well that we attribute some virtue to them. When he goes to England he will be as much in a strait as an Italian who related to us his adventures in London; he had had a long walk in the heat, and catching sight of grapes hanging up in a grocer’s shop, he stopped short to have a pennyworth, as he said inwardly to himself.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Complete Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
Even normal services such as schools were in short supply. Of the twenty largest cities in America, Philadelphia, the city of Benjamin Franklin and the University of Pennsylvania, spent less on education than all but one. In all of South Philadelphia, home to hundreds of thousands of Italians and Jews, there would be no high school until 1934.
John M. Barry (The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History)
Livia felt her pulse quicken. She began to turn the pages of the paper, searching for a longer obituary. As she read about Isabella's life - of her wartime experiences, of the scandals, the trial - she thought back to those days during the war, when trust in Italy was in short supply, betrayal was everywhere and the world went mad.
Debbie Rix (The Italian Girls)
Those vestal virgins found guilty of being unchaste”—their leader’s voice ricochets off the surrounding walls—“were whipped to death in the public square.” She pauses so they can take photos and ask questions. “Public deaths were popular,” I hear her answer someone. “As were blood shows—known as munera. After lunch we will see the slave quarters beneath the Colosseum.” There are collective oohhs and aahhs, and I wonder if they would watch one, or if I would. The ripping of flesh, the breaking of man. Suddenly I get a cramp. When was the last time I had my period? Three, five weeks ago? I can’t remember. I should have been recording it in that damn diary. One of the tour members is watching the couple, who are back at it. Our eyes meet, and I feel myself blush. He’s short and hefty, wearing pleated pants and a sweat-stained polo shirt. His hand rests on a camera that hangs around his neck. He smiles, waggles his eyebrows. Yes, hi, hello. I give him a polite grimace and turn so I can sit more comfortably. Then slowly, out of the corner of my eye I see him raise his camera and click. I don’t know if he’s taking a picture of me or the couple or the ruins. Maybe all three. When the cramp subsides, the tour has moved on. The couple too. At the entrance, I flag down a cab, feeling more spent than I should. “Signora, signora.” The cabby rattles off something in Italian. Usually a migraine precedes my period, and I think I feel one coming on. “Where to?” he finally asks in English.
Liska Jacobs (The Worst Kind of Want)
Silvia lets out a laugh at something Donato has said. She’s moved so she can stretch her tan legs across him. I’m watching him massage her feet. “Did Donato show you Santa Maria del Popolo?” she’s asking me. “It has my favorite Caravaggio.” Donato says something in Italian, which makes her laugh again. “It’s where Nero’s ghost lives,” one of the British sisters says to me. “Do you know Nero?” I remember Donato pointing out a domineering building in the piazza. But I don’t remember him telling us about any ghosts. Cristiano is rolling a joint on his lap. “Omicida.” He lights it. “He dipped Christians in oil,” another one of them is saying as they pass the joint around. “And set them on fire to light his garden at night.” “He killed his mother.” The smoke is very strong, the air suddenly stagnant. “How do you live with so many reminders of death everywhere?” I ask. The breeze returns and I shiver. “It reminds us to live well,” Donato says, puffing on the joint. “That this life is short. You have to take what you want.” I have not thought about my wants in so long that the flood of them makes me light-headed. A drip-irrigation system for the garden, my own Tiffany stud earrings so I don’t have to always be borrowing Mom’s, one of those mid-century modern houses in Benedict Canyon, a buzzy TV show—Guy.
Liska Jacobs (The Worst Kind of Want)
The time the first Europeans arrived in the New World, farmers there were harvesting more than a hundred kinds of edible plants–potatoes, tomatoes, sunflowers, marrows, aubergines, avocados, a whole slew of beans and squashes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, cashews, pineapples, papaya, guava, yams, manioc (or cassava), pumpkins, vanilla, four types of chilli pepper and chocolate, among rather a lot else–not a bad haul. It has been estimated that 60 per cent of all the crops grown in the world today originated in the Americas. These foods weren’t just incorporated into foreign cuisines. They effectively became the foreign cuisines. Imagine Italian food without tomatoes, Greek food without aubergines, Thai and Indonesian foods without peanut sauce, curries without chillies, hamburgers without French fries or ketchup, African food without cassava. There was scarcely a dinner table in the world in any land to east or west that wasn’t drastically improved by the foods of the Americas.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
Stigmatizing the millions of Italians as ‘consenting victims’ of Berlusconi, denouncing the stupidity of the masses and wrapping oneself in the flag of the divine Left and its democratic arrogance – this is the pose of the enlightened intellectual, who is prepared to leave his country as a punishment (though he does not do so). All this comes from a short-sighted, conventional analysis of political Reason. The ‘blind’ masses, for their part, have a more subtle – perhaps transpolitical(?) – vision, to the effect that the locus of power is empty, corrupt and hopeless and that, logically, one has to fill it with a man who has the same profile – an empty, comical, histrionic, phoney individual who embodies the situation ideally: Berlusconi.(...) But it is just as undeniable that we cannot bear either Berlusconi or the current state of affairs. We have, therefore, to take into account both the obvious fact that we have the system we deserve and the equally nonnegligible fact that we cannot bear it.
Jean Baudrillard (Fragments)
to his great joy that he was the richest prince in Europe, with an inheritance in the vicinity of forty or fifty million thalers (between £8,000,000 and £10,000,000), an almost unheard of sum for the times. The Prince moved his court, his officials, his mistresses and bastards from Hanau to Cassel; and because he was short of space commissioned an Italian architect to present him with plans for a fine new palace.
Virginia Cowles (The Rothschilds)
Non necessario.” He snatches the paper from me and wads it into a ball. “I am your map!” “Hey! I wanted to keep that! I was going to put it in my book.” He smashes his lips together in a very artificial pout and sets the crumpled ball in the palm of his hand, offering it to me. “Your book?” I open the map again, but the wrinkles are permanent no matter how much I try to smooth them out. “Yeah, my book. Like a journal? I’m documenting my trip.” “The book under your pillow?” Fear and anger bubble in my chest. “Were you snooping in my room? Did you read it?” “Again, I will tell you that it is my room.” A sly smile takes over half of his face and he slides his hands into the pockets of his tight plaid shorts. I swallow hard. If he hasn’t read it, I don’t want to make such a huge deal out of it that he does read it. And if he has… “Just,” I say, calm but firm, “tell me you didn’t read it.” “Okay, okay.” He weaves his fingers between mine. “I did not read it.” I stare down at our hands. A shiver climbs up my arm and pulses in my chest. This is public. This is weird. And he might have read my journal, the idiota. I should let go of his hand. But I don’t.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
Within several minutes, we’re at the front of the line. I assume we’re going to keep walking, but the young English couple in front of us has me take their picture, and then they offer to take ours. I open my mouth to decline, but Bruno bursts out with a “Grazie!” and unhooks the camera from my neck, handing it to the woman. He leads me to the bench and we sit, the sides of our legs touching. My stomach clenches. This is the kissing bench. Not a single couple before us has smiled for the camera. They kiss for the camera. My eyes lock on the lens like a deer in the headlights. I force a smile, a big one, with teeth. My head nearly vibrates with the strain. This is fine. We’re going to break the trend and smile. Absolutely no kissing. The woman lifts my camera to her face. “One, two--” On two, Bruno reaches behind me and cups the back of my head in his hand, turning me to face him. His other hand is on my cheek. His lips press onto mine. The camera clicks. “WOOOOOO!” echoes around us. One person claps. Bruno pulls away but stares into my eyes for a moment before hopping up and getting my camera back for me. My head is spinning. I’ve been kissed. In Italy. By an Italian! I remain seated, stupefied, until a couple shoos me away for their turn, and soon we’re walking the next section of the path along with the English couple. Bruno chats with them--heavy accent enforced--but their words turn to garble. All I hear is He kissed me. Bruno I-don’t-even-know-how-to-pronounce-his-last-name kissed me! And it was short. Too short. No. Too long. Shouldn’t have happened. Chiara will kill us if she finds out. But she won’t find out. I’ll hide the picture from her. I’ll delete the picture! No, I have to show Morgan. And I want proof for myself. I’ll just make sure Chiara doesn’t see it. It only happened because it’s what you do at the kissing bench when you’re sitting next to the hottest Italian boy you’ve ever seen. I just have to stay away from that bench.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
So what did Mussolini do? He founded, as he put it, the only genuinely socialist government in the world, with the possible exception of the Soviet Union.35 Mussolini attempted to put into effect what he termed the “true socialism” that he said “plutocratic elements and sections of the clergy” had prevented him from implementing in Italy. At Salo, Mussolini outlined a socialist program that went beyond anything he attempted in Italy. The new program of November 1943 called for the state to take over all the critical sections of the economy—energy, raw materials, all necessary social services—leaving only private savings and private homes and assets in the hands of the citizens. The public sector was to be run by management committees in which workers would have a key role. Unions would also be part of the fascist governing assembly. The next step, declared Mussolini’s adviser Ugo Spirito, would be to abolish all private property. Interestingly Mussolini’s closest adviser in Salo was Nicola Bombacci, once a friend and disciple of Lenin who had in 1921 been a co-founder of the Italian Communist Party. Mussolini’s Salo period, although short-lived, proves that he never abandoned his original leftist ideals; he remained to the last a dedicated statist, collectivist, and socialist.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
This,” I said, “was not how it was supposed to be.” The short sentence bounced around the cave,coming back to me Word for Word. “I just want to be honest,”I said. “it seems silly to do anything else at this point. The truth is that we’re not supposed to be here, and we all know that. We’re not supposed to be inside of a church made by old – timey people. We weren’t supposed to bring Jonah here. We weren’t supposed to hide from an Italian park ranger on horseback.” I paused and waited for my echoing voice to quiet. “Also, Maybe this is obvious, but Jonah was not supposed to die. Not yet. None of it was supposed to happen like this. Grace eyed me quizzically. “I don’t mean to be bleak,” I continued “I know it sounds that way. What I mean is that nothing ever happens the way it supposed to. Everything is messed up. Everything is flawed. And if we didn’t have imperfection, I’m not sure what we would have left.” I looked out into the light outside. What I could see of the landscape one year and went to the camera but me. “The way I see it, we have a bunch of imperfect moments all lined up, one after the next, and we feel this strange, imperfect love. Then, before we know it, it’s all over. We give everything we have, but that can never be enough to make things just the way we want them, or to keep someone with us as long as we’d like. But the struggle is worth something. And the love is worth something even though it’s imperfect. And maybe we should try to celebrate this brief, incomplete thing we’ve been given. Maybe that’s all we can do when we find ourselves in the dark.” Everyone remained quiet. I couldn’t tell by looking at them how they felt about what I was saying. Still, no one interrupted me, so I kept going. “Just because something didn’t last as long as you needed doesn’t mean it wasn’t genuine. Jonah and I had an in perfect love. So what? That doesn’t cancel it. And it’s not gone. It’s still here. And, today, I just want to bring it back. I want to make it tangible again for a little while .
Peter Bognanni (Things I'm Seeing Without You)
Ryan had read half his book, listened to all his music, eaten two packets of biscuits and an apple, played seventy-two games of Donkey Kong, completing all the levels, and counted every Italian sports car they’d passed in the last hundred miles. Twenty-four hours of groggy sticky travel, twenty-four hours stuck in this overheated tin can on wheels, and he finally knew what it was like to be utterly and unendingly bored. He propped an elbow on the car window frame and stuck his arm out of the opening. Combing his hand through the slipstream, he let the cool air tickle his fingers as he watched the countryside stream past.
Peter Bunzl (Tales from the Blue Room: An Anthology of New Short Fiction)
Rocky had a girlfriend, Adrian, who was always there, always by his side. When he was beaten and blinded in a bad fight, he called out for her before anybody else. “Yo, Adrian!” he shouted in his Philly-Italian accent. He needed her. Eventually, I grew up, and the red shorts and blue bathrobe didn’t fit anymore, but I always remembered Rocky’s kindness and his courage. And that every Rocky needs an Adrian.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
It’s a sort of literary act of survival. I don’t have many words to express myself— rather, the opposite. I’m aware of a state of deprivation. And yet, at the same time, I feel free, light. I rediscover the reason that I write, the joy as well as the need. I find again the pleasure I’ve felt since I was a child: putting words in a notebook that no one will read. In Italian I write without style, in a primitive way. I’m always uncertain. My sole intention, along with a blind but sincere faith, is to be understood, and to understand myself. […] I start with very short pieces, usually no more than a handwritten page. I try to focus on something specific: a person, a moment, a place. I do what I ask my students to do when I teach creative writing. I explain to them that such fragments are the first steps to take before constructing a story. I think that a writer should observe the real world before imagining a nonexistent one. […] I’ve never tried to do anything this demanding as a writer. I find that my project is so arduous that it seems sadistic. I have to start again from the beginning, as if I had never written anything in my life. But, to be precise, I am not at the starting point: rather, I’m in another dimension, where I have no references, no armor. Where I’ve never felt so stupid.
Jhumpa Lahiri (In Other Words)
Women, our superiors! Yes, my brothers: accept this strange judgement from the mouth of one who has known many of them. They are superior to us in the constancy of their sacrifice, in their faith, their resignation, they die better than us; in short they are superior to us in the most important things, in the practical science of life, which as you know, is a race to death.
Ippolito Nievo (Confessions of an Italian (Penguin Translated Texts))
TO VICTOR HUGO OF MY CROW PLUTO “Even when the bird is walking we know that it has wings.”—VICTOR HUGO Of: my crow Pluto, the true Plato, azzurronegro green-blue rainbow — Victor Hugo, it is true we know that the crow “has wings,” however pigeon-toe- inturned on grass. We do. (adagio) Vivorosso “corvo,” although con dizionario io parlo Italiano— this pseudo Esperanto which, savio ucello you speak too — my vow and motto (botto e totto) io giuro è questo credo: lucro è peso morto. And so dear crow— gioièllo mio— I have to let you go; a bel bosco generoso, tuttuto vagabondo, s erafino uvaceo Sunto, oltremarino verecondo Plato, addio. (((((Impromptu equivalents for esperanto madinusa (made in U.S.A.) for those who might not resent them. azzurro-negro: blue-black vivorosso: lively con dizionario: with dictionary savio ucello: knowing bird botto e totto: vow and motto io giuro: I swear è questo credo: is this credo lucro è peso morto: profit is a dead weight gioièllo mio: my jewel a bel bosco: to lovely woods tuttuto vagabondo: complete gypsy serafino uvaceo: grape-black seraph sunto: in short verecondo: modest))))
Marianne Moore (Complete Poems)
The Greek GDP spiked 25% when statisticians dove into the country’s black market in 2006, for instance, thereby enabling the government to take out several hefty loans shortly before the European debt crisis broke out. Italy started including its black market back in 1987, which swelled its economy by 20% overnight. “A wave of euphoria swept over Italians,” reported the New York Times, “after economists recalibrated their statistics taking into account for the first time the country’s formidable underground economy of tax evaders and illegal workers.”4 And that’s to say nothing of all the unpaid labor that doesn’t even qualify as part of the black market, from volunteering to childcare to cooking, which together represents more than half of all our work. Of course, we can hire cleaners or nannies to do some of these chores, in which case they count toward the GDP, but we still do most ourselves. Adding all this unpaid work would expand the economy by anywhere from 37% (in Hungary) to 74% (in the UK).5 However, as the economist Diane Coyle notes, “generally official statistical agencies have never bothered – perhaps because it has been carried out mainly by women.”6 While we’re on the subject, only Denmark has ever attempted to quantify the value of breastfeeding in its GDP. And it’s no paltry sum: In the U.S., the potential contribution of breast milk has been estimated at an incredible $110 billion a year7 – about the size of China’s military budget.
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There)
In Tokyo, ramen is a playground for the culinary imagination. As long as the dish contains thin wheat noodles, it's ramen. In fact, there's a literal ramen playground called Tokyo Ramen Street in the basement of Tokyo Station, with eight top-rated ramen shops sharing one corridor. We stopped by one evening after a day of riding around on the Shinkansen. After drooling over the photos at establishments such as Junk Garage, which serves oily, brothless noodles hidden under a towering slag heap of toppings, we settled on Ramen Honda based on its short line and the fact that its ramen seemed to be topped with a massive pile of scallions. However, anything in Tokyo that appears to be topped with scallions is actually topped with something much better. You'll meet this delectable dopplegänger soon, and in mass quantities. The Internet is littered with dozens if not hundreds of exclamation point-bedecked ramen blogs (Rameniac, GO RAMEN!, Ramen Adventures, Ramenate!) in English, Japanese, and probably Serbian, Hindi, and Xhosa. In Tokyo, you'll find hot and cold ramen; Thai green curry ramen; diet ramen and ramen with pork broth so thick you could sculpt with it; Italian-inspired tomato ramen; and Hokkaido-style miso ramen. You'll find ramen chains and fiercely individual holes-in-the-wall. Right now, somewhere in the world, someone is having a meet-cute with her first bowl of ramen. As she fills up on pork and noodles and seaweed and bamboo shoots, she thinks, we were meant to be together, and she is embarrassed at her atavistic reaction to a simple bowl of soup.
Matthew Amster-Burton (Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo)
She must be in pieces,” I say. “Which is exactly why I’m asking you to start talking to Kelly. Don’t you see, it’s just drawing things out for Kendra? If she’s holding on to a grudge like this, and you’re egging her on, she won’t get over this whole Luigi thing. She needs to recover, not dwell on it.” Paige shoots me an unexpectedly sharp look. “You sound like someone on daytime TV,” she says. “Next you’ll be telling me she needs closure.” Paige, I decide in that moment, is clever. Not academic-clever, but she’s smart. I should be careful not to underestimate her. I think this whole bouncy-blonde thing is an act she puts on to get what she wants. “Well, doesn’t she need closure?” I ask. “I’m not saying it won’t take time. Probably loads of time. But rubbing in what Kelly did over and over again isn’t going to help Kendra in the long run.” “It’s sort of helping in the short run, though,” Paige observes, pinning up a lock of hair that’s fallen down. Paige is turning out to be a really worthy adversary. I’d be impressed if it weren’t so frustrating. She turns to look at me face-on. Suddenly I feel that we’re rival generals, armies massed behind us, negotiating a peace treaty.
Lauren Henderson (Kissing in Italian (Flirting in Italian, #2))
Potemkin turned the cinema world upside down not just because of its political message, not even because it replaced the studio plaster sets with real settings and the star with an anoynmous crowd, but because Eistenstein was the greatest montage theoretician of his day, because he worked with Tissé, the finest camerman of his day, and because Russia was the focal point of cinematographic thought—in short, because the “realist” films Russia turned out secreted more aesthetic know-how than all the sets and performances and lighting and artistic interpretation of the artiest works of German expressionism. It is the same today with the Italian cinema. There is nothing aesthetically retrogressive about its neorealism, on the contrary, there is progress in expression, a triumphant evolution of the language of cinema, an extension of its stylistics. Let us first take a good look at the cinema to see where it stands today. Since the expressionist heresy came to an end, particularly after the arrival of sound, one may take it that the general trend of cinema has been toward realism.
André Bazin (What is Cinema?: Volume 2)
Short story: The true and incredible tale of David Kirkpatrick, a Scottish ex-boy scout, and miner, serving in WW2 with 2nd Highland Light Infantry and the legendary elite corps 2nd SAS. A man who becomes a hero playing his bagpipe during a secret mission in Italy, March 1945, where he saved the lives of hundreds just playing during the attack. After he fought in North Africa, Greece, Albania, Sicily and being reported as an unruly soldier, (often drunk, insulting superiors and so on) in Tuscany, 23 march 1945 he joined as volunteer in the 2nd Special Air Service ( the British elite forces), for a secret mission behind enemy line in Italy. He parachuted in the Italian Apennines with his kilt on (so he becomes known as the 'mad piper' ) for a mission organized with British elite forces and an unruly group of Italian-Russian partisans (code name: 'Operation Tombola' organized from the British secret service SOE and 2nd SAS and the "Allied Battalion") against the Gothic Line german headquarter of the 51 German Mountains Corps in Albinea, Italy. The target of the anglo-partisan group's mission is to destroy the nazi HQ to prepare the big attack of the Allied Forces (US 5th Army, British 8th Army) to the German Gothic Line in North Italy at the beginning of April. It's the beginning of the liberation of Italy from the nazi fascist dictatorship. The Allied Battalion guided by major Roy Farran, captain Mike Lees Italian partisan Glauco Monducci, Gianni Ferrari, and the Russian Viktor Pirogov is an unruly brigade of great fighters of many nationalities. Among them also not just British, Italian, and Russian but also a dutch, a greek, one Austrian paratrooper who deserted the German Forces after has killed an SS, a german who deserted Hitler's Army being in love with an Italian taffeta's, two Jewish escaped from nazi reprisal and 3 Spanish anti-Franchise who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War and then joined first the French Foreign Legion and the British Elite Forces. The day before the attack, Kirkpatrick is secretly guested in a house of Italian farmers, and he donated his white silk parachute to a lady so she could create her wedding dress for the Wedding with his love: an Italian partisan. During the terrible attack in the night of 27th March 1945, the sound of his bagpipe marks the beginning of the fight and tricked the nazi, avoiding a terrible reprisal against the civilian population of the Italian village of Albinea, saving in this way the life of hundreds The German HQ based in two historical villa's is destroyed and in flames, several enemy soldiers are killed, during the attack, the bagpipe of David played for more than 30 minutes and let the german believe that the "British are here", not also Italian and Russian partisan (in war for Hitler' order: for partisans attack to german forces for every german killed nazi were executing 10 local civilians in terrible and barbarian reprisal). During the night the bagpipe of David is also hit after 30 minutes of the fight and, three British soldiers of 2nd SAS are killed in the action in one of the two Villa. The morning later when Germans bring their bodies to the Church of Albinea, don Alberto Ugolotti, the local priest notes in his diary: "Asked if they were organizing a reprisal against the civilian population, they answered that it was a "military attack" and there would.
Mark R Ellenbarger
The former are given musical characteristics loosely associated with music of the Italian Renaissance. Bianca and her suitors are given an a cappella pseudo-madrigal in “Tom, Dick or Harry,” the bluesy “Why Can’t You Behave?” is transformed into a Renaissance dance (the pavane), and several of the Shrew songs display the long-short-short figure () characteristic of the sixteenth-century Italian canzona
Geoffrey Block (Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from 'Show Boat' to Sondheim and Lloyd Webber)
Just as I thought,” she said in English. He gathered his thoughts with difficulty and managed to say, “Um . . . what?” “You don’t know any Italian.” “Um, well . . .” He couldn’t stop staring at her. His mind was blank. He felt like one of those zombies in the horror movies that he loved to watch late at night: unable to move or speak of his own volition, an empty shell, powerless in the presence of a force much greater than himself. “Only a little bit. I mean, I know words like zucchini and fettucine and linguine.” This was terrible. This was awful. This was why zombies weren’t allowed to speak. “Basically, you know, I can say any ini word,” he said, trying to finish with a display of wit. He had heard somewhere that girls liked it if you could make them laugh. But Silvia did not laugh. In fact, the look she leveled at him was scorching. It was clear that, when it came to witty conversation, he had fallen far short of the mark.
Suzanne Harper (The Juliet Club)
Propelled to search for pockets of religious freedom, the Spanish exiles made their way to various corners of the Muslim Ottoman Empire, including Constantinople, Salonika, and Sarajevo. By the mid-sixteenth century, Constantinople had 50,000 Jews, a mix of Spanish exiles, native Jews known as Romaniot, Italians, and Ashkenazim who were organized into scores of religious communities
David N. Myers (Jewish History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
Uncle Felix used to torture me with long notes, the most tedious, painful, boring exercise known to violinists all over the world. One note, sustained endlessly. No volume change, no variance, no vibrato. Babbo hated long notes almost as much as I did. The music room was on the other side of his library at the villa. One day I heard him heave a book at the wall after I’d been playing long notes for more than an hour. It ruined my concentration, and I stopped, falling just short of my record. Uncle Felix shouted, “You will never master this instrument if you do not master the long note, Batsheva!” I was so frustrated I yelled back, “And you will never master Italian if you only speak in German!” Babbo heard that too. And I was grounded for a week for my impertinence. I play my long notes when I’m alone in my room at the convent, and for the first time in my life, I’m comforted by them. I’m comforted by my ability to master that one continuous sound, though my arm aches and my spirit longs for music. Life is like a long note; it persists without variance, without wavering. There is no cessation in sound or pause in tempo. It continues on, and we must master it or it will master us. It mastered Uncle Felix, though one could argue that he simply laid down his bow. I wonder what the nuns think of this exercise, the long note that wails from my room, night after night. I would think if anyone understood the power of constancy, it would be the nuns of Santa Cecilia.
Amy Harmon (From Sand and Ash)
There were Italians, Finns, Jews, Negroes, Shropshiremen, Cubans—anyone who had heeded the voice of liberty—and they were dressed with that sumptuary abandon that European caricaturists record with such bitter disgust. Yes, there were grandmothers in shorts, big-butted women in knitted pants, and men wearing such an assortment of clothing that it looked as if they had dressed hurriedly in a burning building. But this, as I say, is my own country and in my opinion the caricaturist who vilifies the old lady in shorts vilifies himself. I am a native and I was wearing buckskin jump boots, chino pants cut so tight that my sexual organs were discernible, and a rayon-acetate pajama top printed with representations of the Pinta, the Niña, and the Santa María in full sail. The scene was strange—the strangeness of a dream where we see familiar objects in an unfamiliar light.
John Cheever (The Stories of John Cheever)
1919, race riots broke out in Chicago and a dock workers’ strike hit New York; the eight-hour workday was instituted nationally; President Woodrow Wilson won the Nobel Peace Prize and presided over the first meeting of the League of Nations in Paris; the Red Army took Omsk, Kharkov, and the Crimea; Mussolini founded the Italian fascist movement; Paderewski became Premier of Poland. Henri Bergson, Karl Barth, Ernst Cassirer, Havelock Ellis, Karl Jaspers, John Maynard Keynes, Rudolf Steiner—indelible figures—were all active in their various spheres. Short-wave radio made its earliest appearance, there was progress in sound for movies, and Einstein’s theory of relativity was borne out by astrophysical experiments. Walter
Cynthia Ozick (Fame & Folly: Essays (Vintage))
I have a complicated spiritual history. Here's the short version: I was born into a Mass-going Roman Catholic family, but my parents left the church when I was in the fifth grade and joined a Southern Baptist church—yes, in Connecticut. I am an alumnus of Wheaton College—Billy Graham's alma mater in Illinois, not the Seven Sisters school in Massachusetts—and the summer between my junior and senior year of (Christian) high school, I spent a couple of months on a missions trip performing in whiteface as a mime-for-the-Lord on the streets of London's West End. Once I left home for Wheaton, I ended up worshiping variously (and when I could haul my lazy tuckus out of bed) at the nondenominational Bible church next to the college, a Christian hippie commune in inner-city Chicago left over from the Jesus Freak movement of the 1960s, and an artsy-fartsy suburban Episcopal parish that ended up splitting over same-sex issues. My husband of more than a decade likes to describe himself as a “collapsed Catholic,” and for more than twenty-five years, I have been a born-again Christian. Groan, I know. But there's really no better term in the current popular lexicon to describe my seminal spiritual experience. It happened in the summer of 1980 when I was about to turn ten years old. My parents had both had born-again experiences themselves about six months earlier, shortly before our family left the Catholic church—much to the shock and dismay of the rest of our extended Irish and/or Italian Catholic family—and started worshiping in a rented public grade school gymnasium with the Southern Baptists. My mother had told me all about what she'd experienced with God and how I needed to give my heart to Jesus so I could spend eternity with him in heaven and not frying in hell. I was an intellectually stubborn and precocious child, so I didn't just kneel down with her and pray the first time she told me about what was going on with her and Daddy and Jesus. If something similar was going to happen to me, it was going to happen in my own sweet time. A few months into our family's new spiritual adventure, after hearing many lectures from Mom and sitting through any number of sermons at the Baptist church—each ending with an altar call and an invitation to make Jesus the Lord of my life—I got up from bed late one Sunday night and went downstairs to the den where my mother was watching television. I couldn't sleep, which was unusual for me as a child. I was a champion snoozer. In hindsight I realize something must have been troubling my spirit. Mom went into the kitchen for a cup of tea and left me alone with the television, which she had tuned to a church service. I don't remember exactly what the preacher said in his impassioned, sweaty sermon, but I do recall three things crystal clearly: The preacher was Jimmy Swaggart; he gave an altar call, inviting the folks in the congregation in front of him and at home in TV land to pray a simple prayer asking Jesus to come into their hearts; and that I prayed that prayer then and there, alone in the den in front of the idiot box. Seriously. That is precisely how I got “saved.” Alone. Watching Jimmy Swaggart on late-night TV. I also spent a painful vacation with my family one summer at Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's Heritage USA Christian theme park in South Carolina. But that's a whole other book…
Cathleen Falsani (Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace)
The short pieces of his black hair are spiked out every which way. The poor lighting from the singular bulb on the ceiling over the shower exaggerates the dark circles under his eyes. He looks rough. And why I find it incredibly hot is beyond me. “Late night?” I ask. I’m staring. I shouldn’t stare. Biting back a smirk at his disheveledness, I pull the band out of my hair, pretending that I need to redo my ponytail. Really, I just need a distraction. “I’m going back to work today,” I say, when he doesn’t reply. He snatches my hand to keep me from putting my hair back up. “It is lovely down,” he says softly. I’m frozen, watching him in the mirror as he smooths a section of my hair, grazing my bare neck with his fingers. Everything Chiara’s said about him rushes to the front of my mind. “Don’t,” I tell him, immediately wishing I hadn’t. His hands are at my waist in an instant and he rotates me, pinning me between him and the counter. “Why?” Because your cousin already wants to kill me for kissing you. Because I like it too much. Because you make me feel wanted. I clear my throat. “Because you haven’t brushed your teeth yet.” I twist my upper body around and grab his toothbrush--the neon green one. I squeeze out a bead of toothpaste from my tube, get the brush wet, and hold it close to his mouth. With the tiniest hint of a smile, Bruno opens his mouth maybe half an inch and shifts his body even closer to mine. His eyes dart down to my lips and back to my eyes, down and up, down and up, leaning closer. I should dodge him but I don’t--can’t. All I can do is stare at his mouth, knowing full well I don’t really care if he’s brushed his teeth yet or not. Our noses nearly touch. He tilts his head to his right, I tilt mine to my right. We’re lined up and ready for impact. His warm breath tickles my chin as he whispers, “Grazie.” He turns his head, wraps his mouth around the toothbrush, taking it from me, and walks out of the bathroom.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
Bruno returns, still clad in only his green towel, hair poofing out a little as it dries. “Everything all right?” I ask, with a stupid smile. I fight my line of sight to stay above the shoulders, but despite my best efforts, my eyes dart down a few times as he strides across the room to his closet. “Yes, clothes. Please,” I say too fast. “Good idea.” Shut. Up. The corner of his mouth hitches up, and his head turns toward my open suitcase on the floor. He bends over and I realize I’m still watching, both to see what he’s doing, and to see if his towel can hang on for the ride. He pulls out a few of my shirts and flings them onto the bed, digging deeper into my suitcase until he pulls out a coral-colored sundress. “Oh, that’s going to look fabulous on you,” I say. “I do not doubt it.” He laughs, turning and holding the dress up to himself, one hip jutting out, then closes the distance between us in a couple of steps. I take the dress from him and do my best to avoid eye contact. But now I’m looking at his chest. His bare chest. His tan, bare chest. And he smells clean, like almonds and oats. A feast for all the senses. Maybe eye contact would be better. I look up into them and immediately regret it. They’re big and golden and deep, and they’re looking at me. I have no clue what’s happening. “You will wear this for me today, yes?” I nod. “Bene.” He walks back to the closet and pulls out a thin white button-down shirt and a pair of navy-blue shorts, then heads for the door. “Wait,” I say, shaking my head out of my daze. He stops just before he passes me. “What’s so special about today? Aren’t we just working?” Darren said he was coming back today and would pop by the restaurant, but we didn’t set a specific time. I assumed I’d be at work all day. “Later, yes,” he says quietly, leaning in like we’re coconspirators. “First, I am taking you on my boat.” I get pulled into the conspiracy and lean in too. “Your boat?” “My boat.” He’s even closer now, still shirtless. His clothes are just an afterthought of wadded-up laundry in his hands. It’s probably such a chore for him to put them on every day. He’s clearly in his element without them. Chiara did say that I had to see Cinque Terre from the sea, that there’s nothing else like it. The anticipation of the photo ops alone is enough to make my answer “Si, si, si,” forget about the half-naked guy standing in front of me. Forget about his lips, inches from mine. Forget that he has his own boat in Italy. “Where are we going?” I stare at his mouth, waiting for an answer. He smirks and I’m pretty sure I’ll follow him anywhere. Bruno traces my jaw with a fingertip and lightly taps the tip of my nose. “You will see.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
ASSIGNMENT NUMERO OTTO: FEEL YOUR FEELINGS Write down the first thing that comes into your mind. Short and sweet. No pondering! Just WRITE IT DOWN! Chiara was right. I like the nice boys. I like Darren.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
I think I may cool off in the water for a few minutes. Do you want to come?” He stands and brushes the sand off his knees. Darren wet? Yes, please. I smile and pop right up. “Andiamo.” ASSIGNMENT NUMERO OTTO: FEEL YOUR FEELINGS Write down the first thing that comes into your mind. Short and sweet. No pondering! Just WRITE IT DOWN! Chiara was right. I like the nice boys. I like Darren.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
I thought you’d be here,” calls a rough voice over my left shoulder. I turn to find Darren only inches away, holding an unlit candle. “Hey,” I say with a smile much too large. “I was wondering if I’d see you today.” “Tate and I have been busy getting everything organized for our trip.” He returns a smile. Something looks different…something with his hair. I hold my candle higher and lean toward him, both to get a better look and to whisper, “Are you wearing a headband?” His hand shoots to the black band of fabric pulled tight above his forehead, curls redirected up and over it. “I was sort of hoping you wouldn’t notice it in the dark. I usually only wear them on dig sites to keep my hair from flying in my face.” “At least it’s not pink,” I tease. “Although I’m sure I have one of those you could borrow. It may even have flowers on it.” “Oh, could I, please?” He laughs, his hand still fiddling with it. “Seriously, should I lose it?” I shrug. “It’s practical. I get it.” He yanks it off and shoves it into the pocket of his shorts. A shake of his head lands everything where it belongs. “Here,” I say, angling my candle toward him. “I already took care of the headband. Fire really isn’t necessary, is it?
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
Seriously, should I lose it?” I shrug. “It’s practical. I get it.” He yanks it off and shoves it into the pocket of his shorts. A shake of his head lands everything where it belongs. “Here,” I say, angling my candle toward him. “I already took care of the headband. Fire really isn’t necessary, is it?” I motion toward the unlit candle at his side. He smiles and raises it to mine. As he watches his wick ignite, I stare at the hundreds of tiny whisker-shadows dancing on his face and the contrast of the smooth, illuminated apples of his cheeks. He looks from his candle to me, his eyes glossy in the orange candlelight. “I was just kidding, you know. About your hair,” I say, reaching to adjust a stray curl. “But this is better.” Darren clutches my wrist and lowers my arm slowly, my eyes forced to meet his. The drums from the parade combine with the thump, thump, thump of my heart in my ears. Our smiles fade and my mouth is suddenly a desert. His fingers slide down my wrist until my hand rests loosely in his. A boom from a drum as it passes causes us both to jump. I exhale and take the opportunity to pull away and redirect my attention. Nearly the whole town joins the parade behind the band, some carrying candles, some walking arm in arm. Some holding hands. Did Darren really just try to hold my hand?
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
Would you two just kiss and be done with it already?” Darren and I gape at her. Fire creeps up my neck, and I press my body against the window, as far from Darren as possible. “I thought you were asleep,” Darren says to her. “With the both of you whining like children? Please,” she huffs. “I’m going to the little girl’s room.” She stands and her long legs step over Tate’s without waking him. “Fix this or we’re all going to be miserable,” she whispers to Darren loud enough for me to hear. I face the window, but my eyes focus on Darren’s reflection. He scratches the top of his head through his curls, then slides his hand down, pressing his thumb and fingers over his eyelids. I’ve lost my nerve to bring up Bruno again. “Pippa.” He sighs. “I don’t want to argue with you.” I reach to grip the armrest between us but his hand is already taking up half of it. I’m caught off guard and I can’t decide if it’s more awkward to jerk my hand away or leave it there. Electricity runs up my arm when he hooks my pinkie with his. “Still crooked,” he says. “I’m lucky it’s still there, actually.” “Oh yeah?” “Yeah, some guy tried to bite it off once.” He releases my pinkie and tugs at a loose string on his shorts. “He sounds like a real winner.” I pick at a ripple in the fabric of the armrest. “He’s all right.” “I’m sorry,” he says. I’m surprised by the tightness in my throat. This week is going to kill me. “It’s just the little finger,” I deflect. “I’m sure I’d have survived.” “That’s not what I meant.” I swallow down the lump. “I know. It’s fine.” We sit in silence a moment before he points his pinkie at me and wiggles it closer and closer to my face. We erupt into laughter and Tate jolts awake, giving us the stink eye, which makes us laugh even harder. I’m clutching my stomach when Nina plops back down in her seat. She appraises us with wide eyes until a smirk plays at the corners of her mouth. “Now,” she says, “that’s more like it.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
Wordlessly, Darren sits at the edge of the next bed, which leaves the one between him and the wall for me. I’m going to have to sleep next to Darren. For THREE nights. What if I dream about him? What if I say something during those dreams? What if he says something in his sleep? What if I roll over and bump into him? I set my camera and backpack down on the desk, dig out a pink tank top, matching pajama shorts, and my toiletry pouch, and get ready for bed in the bathroom. When I come back out, Darren’s sitting at the desk, elbow propped on it, head supported in his hand. He’s already changed into a pair of red-and-white plaid pants and a black T-shirt. For some reason, the sight of him in his PJs gives me a little thrill. He motions toward the beds. “They’re passed out.” I glance at the fully clothed spooning figures and look away before my cheeks get the better of me. The clock on the desk shows that it’s only 8:25. I know traveling wears you out but I feel completely wired. “Are you ready to go to bed or…?” I let my voice trail off and swallow. I don’t know why I’m so nervous about sleeping one bed over from him. “You want to go for a walk?” I pinch the fabric of my shorts as if to say, In these? and frown. He looks down at my bare legs, then meets my eyes. “Just throw on your sneakers.” There’s a flutter in my chest, but I imagine myself squashing the little winged creatures. No butterflies allowed. I can do this.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
Matilde leads us into one of the apartment’s two bedrooms, obviously belonging to Bruno and Luca. Bunk beds are stacked in the corner and the walls are covered in soccer posters. “You can have the bottom bed, Pippa,” Chiara says. “You seem to have a problem with steps.” I snatch a pillow and whip it at her, but she ducks in time, the pillow knocking over a stack of sports magazines. “Girls same as boys.” Matilde laughs as she turns back to the living area. We pull fresh clothes out of our luggage and Chiara heads to the bathroom--the only one in the apartment--closing the door behind her and leaving me to change. I shed my shirt and freshen my deodorant, then fan my skin trying to cool off. I feel wet everywhere. I can still hear Chiara shuffling around in the bathroom, so I quickly change my shorts into ones that are more breathable, and then decide to sprinkle some baby powder down my bra. Just as a little cloud of powder hits my chest, a voice that is neither Chiara’s nor her aunt’s announces its presence in the now open doorway. “You are the American girl who is taking my bed.
Kristin Rae (Wish You Were Italian (If Only . . ., #2))
Sinclair said, “There’s an apartment in Hamburg, Germany. A fashionable neighborhood, reasonably central, pretty expensive, but maybe a little transitory and corporate. For the last year the apartment has been rented to four men in their twenties. Not Germans. Three are Saudis, and the fourth is an Iranian. All four appear very secular. Clean-shaven, short hair, well dressed. They favor polo shirts in pastel colors with alligator badges. They wear gold Rolex watches and Italian shoes. They drive BMWs and go out to nightclubs. But they don’t go out to work.” Reacher
Lee Child (Night School (Jack Reacher, #21))
As commander of II Corps, Bradley had an unexpected problem to tackle: the deluge of Italian prisoners. During a single week in Sicily, the number of these prisoners comfortably exceeded the total taken during the whole of the First World War. Many of them were described as being ‘in a mood of fiesta … filling the air with laughter and song’. Some American units were obliged to post signs saying ‘No Prisoners Accepted Here’ or advising those wishing to give themselves up to come back another day.
John Julius Norwich (Sicily: A Short History, from the Greeks to Cosa Nostra)
You cannot make Italians really progressive; they are too intelligent. Men who see the short cut to good living will never go by the new elaborate roads.
G.K. Chesterton (The G. K. Chesterton Collection)
Heart Disease Starts in Childhood In 1953, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association radically changed our understanding of the development of heart disease. Researchers conducted a series of three hundred autopsies on American casualties of the Korean War, with an average age of around twenty-two. Shockingly, 77 percent of soldiers already had visible evidence of coronary atherosclerosis. Some even had arteries that were blocked off 90 percent or more.20 The study “dramatically showed that atherosclerotic changes appear in the coronary arteries years and decades before the age at which coronary heart disease (CHD) becomes a clinically recognized problem.”21 Later studies of accidental death victims between the ages of three and twenty-six found that fatty streaks—the first stage of atherosclerosis—were found in nearly all American children by age ten.22 By the time we reach our twenties and thirties, these fatty streaks can turn into full-blown plaques like those seen in the young American GIs of the Korean War. And by the time we’re forty or fifty, they can start killing us off. If there’s anyone reading this over the age of ten, the question isn’t whether or not you want to eat healthier to prevent heart disease but whether or not you want to reverse the heart disease you very likely already have. Just how early do these fatty streaks start to appear? Atherosclerosis may start even before birth. Italian researchers looked inside arteries taken from miscarriages and premature newborns who died shortly after birth. It turns out that the arteries of fetuses whose mothers had high LDL cholesterol levels were more likely to contain arterial lesions.23 This finding suggests that atherosclerosis may not just start as a nutritional disease of childhood but one during pregnancy. It’s become commonplace for pregnant women to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. It’s also never too early to start eating healthier for the next generation.
Michael Greger (How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease)
Johan Cruyff, although he never played in Italy, had an enormous impact on the Italian game. Ajax’s three European Cup victories in the 1970s revealed a new type of football to the world – ‘total football’ – based on movement, flexibility and a swift, short-passing game. As David Winner has written, ‘total football was built on a new theory of flexible space’. In attack, teams ‘aimed to make the pitch as large as possible’, in defence, they collapsed space.20 This was supposedly the complete opposite of catenaccio, which was based around rigid man-marking, discipline and a mixture of long passing and counter-attacks.
John Foot (Calcio: A History of Italian Football)
Surprised at Kaye’s belated display of maternal instincts, Sean relented, promising he’d get in touch with Lily. Besides, he knew his own mother would never forgive him if he refused such a simple request. As he made his way down the narrow streets to the pensione opposite the Pantheon, where Lily and her roommate were staying, Sean steadfastly refused to acknowledge any other reason for agreeing to take Lily out. It had been three years since they’d left for college, not once had she come home to visit. But Sean still couldn’t look at a blonde without comparing her to Lily. He’d mounted the four flights of narrow, winding stairs, the sound of his steps muffled by red, threadbare carpet. At number seventeen, he’d stopped and stood, giving his racing heart a chance to quiet before he knocked. Calm down, he’d instructed himself. It’s only Lily. His knock echoed loudly in the empty hall. Through the door he heard the sound of approaching footsteps. Then it opened and there she was. She stood with her mouth agape. Her eyes, like beacons of light in the obscurity of the drab hallway, blinked at him with astonishment. “What are you doing here?” The question ended on a squeak. As if annoyed with the sound, she shut her mouth with an audible snap. Was it possible Kaye hadn’t bothered to tell Lily he’d be coming? “I heard you were spending a few days in Rome.” Sean realized he was staring like a dolt, but couldn’t help himself. It rattled him, seeing Lily again. A barrage of emotions and impressions mixed and churned inside him: how good she looked, different somehow, more self-confident than in high school, how maybe this time they might get along for more than 3.5 seconds. He became aware of a happy buzz of anticipation zinging through him. He was already picturing the two of them at a really nice trattoria. They’d be sitting at an intimate corner table. A waiter would come and take their order and Sean would impress her with his flawless Italian, his casual sophistication, his sprezzatura. By the time the waiter had served them their dessert and espresso, she’d be smiling at him across the soft candlelight. He’d reach out and take her hand. . . . Then Lily spoke again and Sean’s neat fantasy evaporated like a puff of smoke. “But how did you know I was here?” she’d asked, with what he’d conceitedly assumed was genuine confusion—that is, until a guy their age appeared. Standing just behind Lily, he had stared back at Sean through the aperture of the open door with a knowing smirk upon his face. And suddenly Sean understood. Lily wasn’t frowning from confusion. She was annoyed. Annoyed because he’d barged in on her and Lover Boy. Lily didn’t give a damn about him. At the realization, his jumbled thoughts at seeing her again, all those newborn hopes inside him, faded to black. His brain must have shorted after that. Suave, sophisticated guy that he was, Sean had blurted out, “Hey, this wasn’t my idea. I only came because Kaye begged me to—” Stupendously dumb. He knew better, had known since he was eight years old. If you wanted to push Lily Banyon into the red zone, all it took was a whispered, “Kaye.” The door to her hotel room had come at his face faster than a bullet train. He guessed he should be grateful she hadn’t been using a more lethal weapon, like the volleyball she’d smashed in his face during gym class back in eleventh grade. Even so, he’d been forced to jump back or have the number seventeen imprinted on his forehead. Their last skirmish, the one back in Rome, he’d definitely lost. He’d stood outside her room like a fool, Lover Boy’s laughter his only reply. Finally, the pensione’s night clerk had appeared, insisting he leave la bella americana in peace. He’d gone away, humiliated and oddly deflated.
Laura Moore (Night Swimming)
Something is simmering wildly throughout the American South. Every time I look around, I see bold new expressions of Southern cuisine waving a proud flag. Every time I look around, I see bold new expressions of Southern cuisine waving a proud flag. And this expression of food has captured people’s attention, because it is the story not only of Southern cuisine, but also of America’s identity. In my short time as a professional chef, I have seen the spotlight pass over every cuisine, from French to Italian to Japanese to Spanish, from nouvelle to comfort to molecular. However, what is happening now in the American South is not part of a trend: It is a culinary movement that is looking inward, not outward, for its inspiration. Every innovation that moves it forward also pulls along with it a memory of something in the past. As Faulkner famously said: "The past is never dead. It’s not even past.
Francis Lam (Cornbread Nation 7: The Best of Southern Food Writing)
To maximize pleasure and to minimize pain - in that order - were characteristic Enlightenment concerns. This generally more receptive attitude toward good feeling and pleasure would have significant long-term consequences. It is a critical difference separating Enlightenment views on happiness from those of the ancients. There is another, however, of equal importance: that of ambition and scale. Although the philosophers of the principal classical schools sought valiantly to minimize the role of chance as a determinant of human happiness, they were never in a position to abolish it entirely. Neither, for that matter, were the philosophers of the eighteenth century, who, like men and women at all times, were forced to grapple with apparently random upheavals and terrible reversals of forture. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 is an awful case in point. Striking on All Saints' Day while the majority of Lisbon's inhabitants were attending mass, the earthquake was followed by a tidal wave and terrible fires that destroyed much of the city and took the lives of tens of thousands of men and women. 'Quel triste jeu de hasard que le jeu de la vie humaine,' Voltaire was moved to reflect shortly thereafter: 'What a sad game of chance is this game of human life.' He was not alone in reexamining his more sanguine assumptions of earlier in the century, doubting the natural harmony of the universe and the possibilities of 'paradise on earth'; the catastrophe provoked widespread reflection on the apparent 'fatality of evil' and the random occurrence of senseless suffering. It was shortly thereafter that Voltaire produced his dark masterpiece, Candide, which mocks the pretension that this is the best of all possible worlds. And yet, in many ways, the incredulity expressed by educated Europeans in the earthquake's aftermath is a more interesting index of received assumptions, for it demonstrates the degree to which such random disasters were becoming, if not less common, at least less expected. Their power to shock was magnified accordingly, but only because the predictability and security of daily existence were increasing, along with the ability to control the consequences of unforeseen disaster. When the Enlightened Marquis of Pombal, the First Minister of Portugal, set about rebuilding Lisbon after the earthquake, he paid great attention to modern principles of architecture and central planning to help ensure that if such a calamity were to strike again, the effects would be less severe. To this day, the rebuilt Lisbon of Pombal stands as an embodiment of Enlightened ideas. Thus, although eighteenth-century minds did not - and could not - succeed in mastering the random occurrences of the universe, they could - and did - conceive of exerting much greater control over nature and human affairs. Encouraged by the examples of Newtonian physics, they dreamed of understanding not only the laws of the physical universe but the moral and human laws as well, hoping one day to lay out with precision what the Italian scholar Giambattista Vico described as a 'new science' of society and man. It was in the eighteenth century, accordingly, that the human and social sciences were born, and so it is hardly surprising that observers turned their attention to studying happiness in similar terms. Whereas classical sages had aimed to cultivate a rarified ethical elite - attempting to bring happiness to a select circle of disciples, or at most to the active citizens of the polis - Enlightenment visionaries dreamed of bringing happiness to entire societies and even to humanity as a whole.
Darrin M. McMahon (Happiness: A History)
On the one hand, I recognize the power of the placebo effect: if you believe it’s working, it may well work. If you think an object brings you luck, you are more confident. And yet what the Italian students in the “lucky” seats showed wasn’t confidence; it was overconfidence. They thought they were doing better, but the evidence didn’t actually back them up. And then there’s the flip side of the placebo, the nocebo effect: the belief in evil signs or bad luck. It turns out people can literally scare themselves to death. If you think you’ve been cursed or otherwise made ill, you may end up actually getting sick, failing to improve poor health, or, yes, dying altogether. In one medically documented instance, a man was given three months to live after a diagnosis of metastatic cancer of the esophagus. He died shortly after. When his body was autopsied, doctors realized that he had been misdiagnosed: he did indeed have cancer, but a tiny, non-metastatic tumor on his liver. Clinically speaking, it could not have killed him. But, it seems, being told he was dying of a fatal illness brought about that very outcome. In another case, a man thought he was hexed by a voodoo priest. He came close to death, only to recover miraculously after an enterprising doctor “reversed” the curse through a series of made-up words. In yet a third, a man almost died in the emergency room after overdosing on pills. He’d been in a drug trial for depression and decided to end his life with the antidepressants he’d been prescribed. His vitals were so bad when he was admitted that doctors didn’t think he would make it—until they discovered his blood was completely clear of any drugs. He’d been taking a placebo. Once he found out he had not in fact taken a life-threatening quantity of pills, he recovered quickly. The effect our mind has on our body makes for a scary proposition. Belief is a powerful thing. Our mental state is crucial to our performance. And ultimately, while some superstitions may give you a veneer of false confidence, they also have the power to destroy your mental equilibrium. I like to think of this as the black cat effect. You see one cross the parking lot as you walk to a tournament. You brood about the bad luck. Your game is thrown off. You blame the cat. You bust. You feel validated. Superstitions are false attributions, so they give you a false sense of your own abilities and in the end, impede learning.
Maria Konnikova (The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win)
The first and better known is Mesoamerica, where half a dozen societies, the Olmec first among them, rose in the centuries before Christ. The second is the Peruvian littoral, home of a much older civilization that has come to light only in the twenty-first century.* Mesoamerica would deserve its place in the human pantheon if its inhabitants had only created maize, in terms of harvest weight the world’s most important crop. But the inhabitants of Mexico and northern Central America also developed tomatoes, now basic to Italian cuisine; peppers, essential to Thai and Indian food; all the world’s squashes (except for a few domesticated in the United States); and many of the beans on dinner plates around the world. One writer has estimated that Indians developed three-fifths of the crops now in cultivation, most of them in Mesoamerica. Having secured their food supply, Mesoamerican societies turned to intellectual pursuits. In a millennium or less, a comparatively short time, they invented their own writing, astronomy, and mathematics, including the zero.
Charles C. Mann (1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus)
Lorenzo steps closer, his body a breath away from mine as he whispers, "Trust me?" I have no idea what he's asking, but I nod because what else am I gonna do? We're about to go to dinner and pretend like we're happy newlyweds with someone who could blow up my entire social circle, and likely my professional life, with a single well-placed word. Lorenzo walks me backward until my back hits the wall. I gasp, surprised. But he's not done. "Trust me," he orders softly. And with that, he picks me to straddle him and slams my back against the door with a thump. It rattles loudly behind me. "Fuck, Abigail, Quick, mia rosa. Come on my cock before your friends get here or they're going to hear me fucking you deep and hard. I want your cum on me and my cum in you while we sit at this prim and proper dinner, wife." I gasp, both at his filthy talk and the ridge of his cock pressing against my core. "Ungh." I can't make words, am barely making incoherent sounds, and Lorenzo lifts one hand from my thigh to hold my head still. He meets my eyes, one of his brows lifted pointedly. If I couldn't feel his cock, I wouldn't even know what this is doing to him. For all the fire rushing through my body and turning my brain to melted goo, he's clear-eyed and has a plan. I blink and realize what he's doing. Emily needs to think we're newlyweds, and what do newlyweds do non-stop? Fuck. Now that I've caught on, he winks at me and I smile back. He thrusts against me and I bounce on the door. "Yes, hard ... just like that," I moan. He grunts, finding a pace that is actually doing a lot for me even though I just came in the shower a bit ago. I'd be embarrassed at the wet heat of my core, but his cock jumps against me. I like that he's carried away too as he dry humps me, only hinting at what we're playacting. "Take it. Take me, Abigail," he hisses through clenched teeth. Is that for effect or is he holding the reins that tightly? "Yes, my Italian Stallion!" I cry out, clawing at his shoulders for purchase. Confusion mars his face as he mouths, "Italian Stallion?" I shake me head and whisper back, "I don't know, it just came out." He grins like that's the funniest thing he's ever heard and goes back to thrusting against me with renewed furor. "That's it, mia rosa. Are you going to come for me?" Oh shit. I am. Like I am ... for real. Any sane, rational, reasonable person would tilt their hips and move away from the power of his thrusts to save a little face. Do I? Absolutely not. If anything, I'm humping him back, riding him like the pony at my sixteenth birthday party. Don't laugh ... it was an amazing blowout. Like I'm about to have ... "Yes, yes. Right there Lorenz-ohh!" He pulls me tight against him, his cock grinding against my clit as he grunts through several short strokes and says something I don't understand in Italian. Is he? Did he? As I float back to Earth and realize what just happened, there's another knock on the door. This one is harder and louder. "Hey, Abi! We have reservations, you know?" Emily yells through the wood, literally inches away from where I just loudly came on Lorenzo's cock for real.
Lauren Landish (My Big Fat Fake Honeymoon)
Eating for Italians is like sex for a tantric practitioner: the fundamental sacrament, the polar opposite to Protestants à la Babette’s Feast, who eat tasteless food to mortify the flesh and ask God’s forgiveness for any hint of overindulgence. The Italian equivalent of saying grace—a housewife’s, “Don’t wait for me to start, the food will get cold,” as she scurries back and forth from the kitchen—is a paean to the pleasures of the table, which take precedence over any rules of etiquette that might demand the hostess be the first to lift her fork. (The authentic casalinga never sits down at all, but nibbles factory seconds by the stove: burnt toast, clams that failed to open in the frying pan.) A truly good person is un pezzo di pane (a piece of bread), a high-falutin’ intellectual is deflated with parla come mangi (talk like you eat), the core of any celebration is a feast—weddings are short on dancing, long on dining. Italians can and do spend a whole dinner party hashing over the quality of the wine, the garlic, and the brand of spaghetti with no offense to the hostess. Of all foods, the holiest is pasta, whose power can sanctify the most foreign of soils. I have seen a Rome film crew take over a Moscow restaurant, in Soviet times, to boil up a vat of De Cecco linguine brought over for the occasion. I have seen a Neapolitan arrive at a Zanzibar beach village, the kind of place where huge furry bugs would fall from the rafters onto your sleeping face at night, bearing a backpack full of spaghetti, and set off a collective rush to score a camp stove, a giant pot, and tomatoes.
Susan Levenstein (Dottoressa: An American Doctor in Rome)
This,’ answered Ezza gravely, ‘is not the costume of an Englishman, but of the Italian of the future.’ ‘In that case,’ remarked Muscari, ‘I confess I prefer the Italian of the past.’ ‘That is your old mistake, Muscari,’ said the man in tweeds, shaking his head; ‘and the mistake of Italy. In the sixteenth century we Tuscans made the morning: we had the newest steel, the newest carving, the newest chemistry. Why should we not now have the newest factories, the newest motors, the newest finance – and the newest clothes?’ ‘Because they are not worth having,’ answered Muscari. ‘You cannot make Italians really progressive; they are too intelligent. Men who see the short cut to good living will never go by the new elaborate roads.
G.K. Chesterton (The Complete Father Brown Stories)
My father’s mother, Grandma Marietta, was a living portrait of her generation: a short squat woman who toiled endlessly in the home. She shared the common lot of Italian peasant women: endless cooking, cleaning, and tending to the family, with a fatalistic submergence of self. “Che pu fare?” (“What can you do?”) was the common expression of the elderly women.
Michael Parenti (Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader)