If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

29 June 2005

A toast to the Anonymous Commenter...

... who, for those of you who haven't quite figured out how the whole 'comments' thing works, said today (in response to my previous post...):

"Se non ora quando?" is the title of a book by the Italian writer Primo Levi. Supposedly he borrowed it from a east european poet. (-supposedly- since I don't remember now if Levi fictiously pretended to cite a poem written by another author or it was actually real).

Oh, how I desperately yearn to be such an erudite literary scholar that I could pause, pull my spectacles off my face, and respond with authority: "Well, of course, Anon. Commenter, Levi's compelling work (when read in its original Italian, because the subsequent '87 Weaver translation - though solid - still doesn't have quite the passion that Levi's original text did) was exactly the inspiration for my denomination of this journey."

However, friends out there in blogville, know this if you know nothing else: Viaggiatore will always give it to you straight, even when it's not pretty.

And so, here I will somewhat humbly confess that I have no recollection of ever even HEARING of Primo Levi. (Which, humorously and loosely translated from Italian means First Jeans?!?!!) Nor have I heard of (and therefore never read) 'Se non ora, quando?' -- which -- for those of you who haven't caught on yet, translates to: If not now, when? Though it is entirely possible that it was mentioned somewhere along the way to me, it (clearly!) had zero absorption into the grey matter.

Now that I know it's 'out there,' I WILL see the day when I am able to read and absorb it in its original Italian. That day, however, is not today. I can just now triumphantly ask for - and UNDERSTAND! - directions when I'm lost in Perugia (which I was, twice, today.) That aforementioned Weaver translation, (thanks, Google!) however, is absolutely moving to next on my list of books to find. Amazon will be getting an order tonight that will be waiting for me before I get back to the States next weekend.

Crazy. Part of me feels like beating my abjectly ignorant head against a wall, but knows that's ridiculous: we cannot know everything, even regarding subjects about which we are passionate. The other half is humming with a slightly tingly aura of fate/beschert/destiny/former life/divine intervention. I mean, really ... what are the odds of stumbling onto the same title as a book by an Italian author?!

And so, if I were wearing a hat, it would be removed as I bow deeply in appreciation of Anon. Commenter and his/her enlightenment. And as for who 'Anon. Commenter' is in this case, I could probably surmise a logical few names on a short list of those I consider to be literary scholars (or Italian aficionados, or Trivial Pursuit Champions, Literature PhD's, everyone's 'phone a friend' on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, or general savants) who read this here rambling, I may likely be surprised at Anon. Commenter's true identity.

And so, in lieu of singling out Anon. Commenter in person -- I raise a glass to all of you who are here: may we all surprise ourselves - and others - regularly. Be just a little more than you seem. And if you are not more than what you seem, for heaven's sake, be mysterious.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like (and have liked also)to sign my comment as
"Innocent Abroad".

Feel free to tell me if someone else had the same idea.

I'll graciously toast to you too.

....and now, I'll misteriously disappear for ever in the same way I misteriously appeared; my only regret is :I'll miss your next lesson about Irony, this one was a bit weak.
Excessive, but weak.

12:19 AM  

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