Wednesday, 15 February 2017

I Miti di Italia con Luca Santese e Pasquale Bove!

 tutti i fotografie del Pasquale Bove

Da ora in poi, io scrivo le recensioni di libro in Italiano. Inizio con Italy e Italy. Le fotografie sono di Pasquale Bove e il libro curato di Luca Santese.




Ci sono molti fotografie en il libro, quasi quattrocento. Le fotografie sono del Rimini en gli anni 1990s. è un libro sul italianata e i miti del' Italia; una paesa dove la musica, il sesso, le droghe sono la vita Italiano!




Questo libro è una storia nostalgico pero Santese capisci questa nostalgia. è una nostalgia che se sa (??).  è una Italia che sa i miti del'Italia e le cose cattivo del'Italia. Ci sono crimine e corruzione pero anche il libro mostra la credenza del molti Italiani che la viva era migliore nel passato. Ahh, Italia con  le vacazione marviolloso, con la musica, il sole e il glamour, uno mondo dove la familia e suprema e non sono immigranti o uno disastro bancario.



Pero questa credenza e uno mito! Questo e chiara in Italy and Italy.. Più le cose cambiano più rimangono le stesse! Si, sono molti contento di questo!

 Compra il libro qui. 




E in Inglese con Google Translate 


And in English with Google Translate

From now on, I write the reviews of the book in Italian. Beginning with Italy and Italy. The photographs are by Pasquale Bove and edited book of Luke Santese.

There are many photographs en the book, almost four hundred. The photographs are of Rimini en the years 1990s. is a book about italianata and the myths of the 'Italian; a paesa where music, sex, drugs are the Italian life!

This book is a nostalgic story pero Santese understand this nostalgia. is a nostalgia that if you know (??). It is an Italian who knows the myths del'Italia and bad things del'Italia. There are crime and corruption but also the book shows the belief of many Italians that the living was better in the past. Ahh, Italy with acomodation marviolloso, with the music, the sun and the glamor, one world where the familia and supreme and are not immigrants or a bank disaster.

But this belief, and a myth! This is clear in Italy and Italy .. The more things change the more they stay the same! Yes, many are happy about this!

 Buy the book here.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

British Photographic Culture: Made by Europeans?


pictures by Mimi Mollica

Here in the UK we are very quickly approaching a Brexit. We're in the process of leaving Europe has started and there really isn't that much opposition to it at a political level. The Labour Party, our main opposition party, is voting for it with the government (except for the 50 MPS who opposed their leader) - part of a tradition where the opposition votes with the government on policies they are supposed to be against. They voted for government benefit cuts a couple of years ago. This is in keeping with that dumbass decision.

The idea that because of the Brexit vote, the people have decided and we should all shut up and get on with life is laughable.

This decision determines where I can live, where I can get health care, where I can travel.

It determines where my non-British friends can live and raises the possibility of them being forced to leave a country they call home.

It determines where my daughter can live, or get an education - already her opportunities have been shut down completely. She won't be able to study in Europe on the much cheaper courses that have been opening up. The UK will be her only simple option.

On top of that, the decision has caused such a huge amount of heartache, anguish and stress to people who are at the knuckle end of Brexit, for whom it really matters, it is heartbreaking.

The idea that people should stop talking about it and accept the decision of a slender majority of voters (and a massive minority of the British people) is laughable, is contemptible and is selective and anti-democratic. You fight for what's right, not what the Daily Mail and anti-Europe political leaders decide. The selfishness of the arseholes, of the two main parties, who say it's the will of the people is despicable,

Keep on complaining. Keep on being a noisy bastard. Keep on lettiing people know what the real human costs of Brexit are. Never shut up!

That's not being melodramatic, that's being realistic. These are headlines that you get every day in the UK in newspapers like the Daily Mail. These headlines lead to racist attacks, discrimination, abuse andheartbreak for people who imagine the UK to be their home.

And they apply to everyone who is a migrant (and not just a refugee) here. My wife is a migrant, her parents were refugees, my mother is a migrant, I've been a migrant. It's life itself. Why the fuck should I, or anybody who supports and has lived by migration, shut up because somebody tells me to. How anti-democratic, how narrow-minded, how closed!

Why should anyone support a decision that was fomented by racist in politics and the press, and enabled by feeble political leaderships. I don't support the totality of these headlines below and it doesn't matter to me, or anybody I respect, if 52%, 60%, 80%, 90% support these sentiments. Humanity, principles and belief in a world that goes beyond the market come above 52% I'm afraid!



There has been an increase in racism since the Brexit vote. I know people who, within days of the Brexit vote, experienced it for the first time. And every post-open borders European migrant I know experienced a huge amount of anxiety because of the vote.

That abuse and the possibility that people who have lived here half their life, or all their life, might not be able to live here any more is not unthinkable. In the past, British People would get deported from the Netherlands because they were looking for work. I remember hitching through Germany and getting checked for how much money I had. It's not long ago and it was in a far friendlier time.

So although it might seem a long way off (and how distant did Brexit and Trump and Theresa May seem a year ago), the possibilities are very real. And should be confronted. So don't shut up.

One of the most upsetting parts of all this from a UK point of view is the number of European (and other nationalities) photography professionals we have in the UK. Not only do they add to our visual understanding of Britain, they also add hugely to the photographic and visual culture of the country. They break through some of the barriers we little-britishers create for ourselves and get things done simply by getting things done. And when they go, those things don't get done. European migrants to Britain create culture and that culture is lost when they go. Or even when they don't come.

In Bristol we have people like Alejandro Acin and  Rudi Thoemmes, In Cardiff, people like Maciej Dakowicz, Joni Karanka, and Bartosz Nowicki set up the Third Floor Gallery, in Bristol there's Rudi Thoemmes and Alejandro Acin who set up IC Visual Labs. If you saw Juno Calypso speak there a couple of weeks ago, or are going to see Rob Hornstra tomorrow night, you have Alex to thank.

Then there's Federicca Chiocchetti, Bruno Ceschel, Federica Seravalle, Philipp Ebeling. Luca Desienna, Mimi Mollica - all of whom have enlivened and enervated British, European and global photography from these shores. And there are many, many more.

I think there are a few people who are more comfortable without the competition to be honest, because they do sometimes show us up. What is it they do that we don't do. And if you're open-minded and honest with yourself, you extend that to what can I learn from their approach? And generally it's something to do with drive and not caring too much about what other people think or say - especially when it is a defence mechanism against British snobbery, laziness and complacency.

So hats off to everybody who has come to the UK from Europe and added to our culture, enriched our culture.

And if you're in the UK, support them by attending their events or buying the books or just showing that they are valued and you are not a see-you-next-tuesday who reads the Daily Mail.

You can do that by attending ICVL events (but Rob Hornstra is sold out tomorrow) or by buying books like Mimi Mollica's brilliant Terra Nostra.

It's launching tomorrow (but that's sold out as well I think) and you can buy it here.

Read Sean O'Hagan's Review here.



Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Espanol es impossible! Un resena del Passport del Alexander Chekmenev


todos los fotografias del Alexander Chekmenev

Hoy escrivo en espanol. No puedo escriver en espanol, pero hay no problema for esto blog, la Piedra Rosetta di Fotografia. Pero quiero decir pardono me a todos los personas qui hablant espanol en el mundo. Pardono me!

 

Entonces, hoy el libro fotografia que Yo reseno es Passportde Alexander Chekmenev. Es muy bien. Al frente del libro, hay fotografias passoporto pequenos del personas muy viejos. Pero, estas fotografias son viejos tambien, del annos 1994-95. Chekmenev tomo las fotos en la decada 1990s quando los personas Ucraino no son Soviet  mas.

Los personas en los fotos no son ricos, pero son muy pobre y quantos son infermos. Chekmenev tomo sesenta fotos en una dia. Es multi fotos por un dia.

Pero, Chekmenev ha fotografia los cuartos donde los viejos vivan. No son grande pero son pequeno y muy pobre. Es muy triste.

Entonces, el libro es muy bueno y mi espanol es muy malo.

 




 

Y en Ingles con Google Translate

And in English with Google Translate

Today I write in Spanish. I can not write in Spanish, but there is no problem for this blog, the Rosetta Stone of Photography. But I want to say pardon me to all the people who speak Spanish in the world. Pardono me!

So, today the photograph book that I re-read is Alexander Chekmenev's Passport. Is very good. To the front of the book, there are small passoporto photographs of the very old people. But, these photographs are also old, from the years 1994-95. Chekmenev took the photos in the 1990s when the Ukrainian people are not Soviet anymore.

The people in the photos are not rich, but they are very poor and how many are inferences. Chekmenev took sixty photos in one day. It's multi photos for a day.

But, Chekmenev has photographed the rooms where the old people live. They are not large but they are small and very poor. It is very sad.

So the book is very good and my Spanish is very bad.

 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Importance of Failing: Giovanni Caroto's Young Boy with a Drawing.



I first saw this picture on Great Works by Tom Lubbock in the Independent. I still miss Tom Lubbock's writing on art and I still miss the Independent.

The picture is Portrait of a Young Boy holding a Child's Drawing (circa 1515), Giovanni Francesco Caroto and it shows a young boy with a drawing.

It's fabulous. It is one of the those pictures that absolutely nail something that we should know but we often sometimes forget - that people in the past are very much like those in the present, or that people in the present are very much like those in the past.

And the drawings they do as children are very much the same as children do now.

It's also the first depiction of child art in European painting and that's significant.

In the article, Lubbock talks about the allure of that childlike primitivism featured in Caroto's painting and the difficulty of trying to capture that childlike art.

'But the most telltale characteristic, and by far the hardest to imitate, is simply the quality of a child's drawn line. It's wrong to think of it as wildness. That wouldn't be so tricky. You can lose control and fling your flailing arm at a page at any age.
Child art is not pure wildness. Children are trying to get something right. They want to but they can't.'
He also. They want to but they can't. It's the same in photography as in art. We all want to but we can't. We can't fail in the same way that children fail - fail while trying, so not failing at all. And it seems that in his depiction of a child drawing, Caroto is failing in some way too. As Lubbock says. 
'And of course, this drawing is not a drawing. It's a painting of a drawing, made in the infinitely correctable medium of oil paint. Caroto has closely observed how children draw. He probably hasn't tried to unteach his own hand. He has faked it. And his careful copying has preserved for us evidence that while art styles change, children 500 years ago failed much as they do today.'


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Ricardo Martinez. Le Plus Beau Model du Monde.


par Catherine Balet - apres Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. C'est un peu comme Juno Calypson, n'est-ce pas?

Bonjour, aujourd'hui, sur le "Rosetta Stone de Photographie" (merci pour ca, Monsieur Feurhelm), je fais une revue sure le livre, Looking for the Master in Ricardo's Golden Shoes par Catherine Balet.

Le premiere fois (pardon moi, mes amies francophones, mais il n'y aurai pas des accents en mes revues francais - pour example ou sont les accents ici sur le 'c' en francais et l'u' en ou. En Italienne et Allemagne je veux essayer un petit peu parce qu'il y a seulement un ou deux accents. Mai Francais est trop sophistique. Il y a quatre accents! Imaginee!)...


par Catherine Balet - apres Wily Ronis

Alors, je retourne a la revue du livre. Oui, le livre est formidable! Les images sont les recreations des photographies celebres mais avec un model tres charmant et intelligent. Ca c'est Ricardo Martinez, l'homme avec les chaussures d'or en le title!

Alors, Balet a recree photographies comme les trois agriculteurs par August Sander. C'est mon favorite. Ou il y a un recreation de Rineke Dijkstra, de Diane Arbus, de Muybridge, de Strand, de Steich, de tous les celebres  photographes.

par Catherine Balet - apres Sebastiao Salgado

Le style et le costume, et la lumiere sont tres precise. Mai les photographies aussi ont du caractere parce qu'il y a Ricardo dans les images. Ricardo a les chausseurs d'or, c'est vrai, mais il est plein de charisma donc les images ne sont pas recreations seulement. Ricardo est comme un garcon mechant, avec un air de espiegle!



Oui, j'ai recontre Catherine et Ricardo a Photobook Bristol il y a deux annees. Ricardo etait le plus beau model pour le promotion de Gazebook, une fete de photolivres en Sicily. Malheuresement Photobook Bristol ne serait se passe pas cete annee parce qu'il n'est pas d'argent, mais Gazebook Sicily serait se passe parce que les italiennes veux chercher l'argent!

Acheter le livre ici. 

Et pardon moi pour mon francaise. Je l'ai apprende en l'ecole! Mai, aujourd;hui, sur le jour que les Anglais commencent render a les Brexiteers, je veux me sentir plus europeen que un petit anglais.

Merci a Google Translate pour le version Anglais ( Mais toutes nous Anglephones devons apprendre les langues etrangers tout suite!)

Thanks to Google Translate for the English version (But all of us Anglephones must learn foreign languages ​​all suite!)



Ricardo Martinez. The Most Beautiful Model of the World.



By Catherine Balet - after Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. It's a bit like Juno Calypson, is not it?

Hello, today, on the "Rosetta Stone of Photography" (thank you for it, Mr. Feurhelm), I make a review on the book, Looking for the Master in Ricardo's Golden Shoes by Catherine Balet.

The first time (forgive me, my francophone friends, but there will not be accents in my French magazines - for example where are the accents here on the 'c' in French and the ' Germany I want to try a little bit because there are only one or two accents.May Francais is too sophisticated.There are four accents! Imaginee!) ...



By Catherine Balet - after Wily Ronis

So I go back to the review of the book. Yes, the book is great! The images are the recreations of the famous photographs but with a model very charming and intelligent. This is Ricardo Martinez, the man with the golden shoes in the title!

So, Balet has recreated photographs like the three farmers by August Sander. He's my favorite. Or there is a recreation of Rineke Dijkstra, Diane Arbus, Muybridge, Strand, Steich, all the famous photographers.



By Catherine Balet - after Sebastiao Salgado

The style and costume, and the light are very precise. May the photographs also have character because there is Ricardo in the images. Ricardo has gold shoemakers, it's true, but it is full of charisma so the pictures are not recreations only. Ricardo is like a wicked boy, with an air of spiegle!


Yes, I met Catherine and Ricardo at Photobook Bristol two years ago. Ricardo was the best model for the promotion of Gazebook, a festival of photolibraries in Sicily. Unfortunately Photobook Bristol would not happen this year because it is not money, but Gazebook Sicily would happen because the Italian want money!

Buy the book here.

And forgive me for my French. I learned it in school! May, today, on the day that the English begin to render to the Brexiteers, I want to feel more European than a little English.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Juno Calypso: "In photography you're not allowed to laugh"



picture by Alejandro Acin

I saw Juno Calypso speak in Bristol (twice - once at UWE where I teach on the journalism course) and once at the Arnolfini.

She spoke to packed houses both times including to over 200 people at a sold-out Arnolfini. It's the biggest crowd there's been at an IC Visual Labs or Photobook Bristol Event and a lot more tickets could have been sold.

So what is it about Juno Calypso that makes her so popular!

It's the work. It is instantly recognisable. Mention mirrors and green bum and everybody will know who you mean. Everybody will remember it too. It goes beyond the mirrors and green bum though. Calypso says her work is about the mythologies of romance, of love, of femininity, but it's also highly cinematic work that dramatises those things but also links in to Calypso's world view and the complete weirdness of the locations and styling she uses.It hits all the big spots of gender, identity, and space but does it with humour, with the personal mixed with the sinister underbelly of those virtual sets that she photographs herself in, all told through stories in which gender, identity and space do not get a mention. Instead we hear about why baby oil gets repeated showings in her pictures - she used to have an older boyfriend who had a bottle of baby oil that would always be at completely different levels. She eventually worked out it was because he was fucking absolutely everyone. So there's baby oil in a few of the  pictures - "Sad Sex" in a bottle.

That helps explain the audience. There were a lot of young women there. In contrast, the people who buy her photographs, explained Calypso, are "drunk rich white men in suits" - there's a six-word critique of the art market for you.


A Dream in Green by Juno Calypso: "I wasn't going to show anyone this picture. It was going to be just for me."

The other reason peope came was because she's an entertaining speaker. She's really funny, and she's also very direct. At UWE she talked about the value of great teachers and a good photographic education.

But she also wondered why there is that spirit of gravity in certain sectors of photography. "You can turn People on. You can freak people out. You can make them smile. But  in photography you're not allowed to laugh" she said. "At university, you'd have breaks and everyone's joking and laughing and then you go into the seminar and everyone's deadly serious. Noone cracks a smile. Why is that?"

It's a great question. Why is it that normal, interesting, funny people suddenly start making work and saying things like "I'm interested in the politics of non-space"  and we don't wet our pants laughing and say "no, you're not." Because actually, and quite obviously they are not remotely interested in it. There are maybe 7 people in the world who are really interested in non-space (or whatever, put any word that sends shivers down your spine in here) in a meaningful way. So why say it. It's just something they say because somehow they think they are suppposed to say it. Why do they think that? Who's put that idea into their heads?

And there is a world in which this is something you are supposed to say. But it is self-defeating. The audience is small and self-selecting, it limits the work and it stops communication. Calypso could have spoken about her work in a drier way because it does reflect questions of gender and identity, but it would have been painful to sit through. Those ideas are embedded in the work, and leading with the personal and cultural insights into how and why the work was made was more engaging, interesting and life-affirming and honest.

That voice is also apparent in the way she talks about her work. She recognises the strength of the work but there is a lack of preciousness to it. "I took this big 5-4 camera with me and unpacked it but then just used the Canon 5d. It looks the same! Nobody can tell the difference," she said.

So it was great to have this different voice speaking about photography. Perhaps that voice is one of the most important things in photography. It's not just about the images, it's about how you frame them, how you talk about them, how value them. There is more than one way of talking about photographs. You don't have to talk about them with a single monotone voice. You can be interesting, you can be funny, you can be irreverent. Because photography, especially now, is not  a single monolithic audience of sober-minded people obsessessed with gender/space/identity. In fact very few people are interested in gender, space and identity. These are not interesting subjects. It's the stories which manifest gender, space and identity that are interesting and these are should be full of  life, love, tragedy, humour... And that's what Juno Calypso has. And that is why so many people came to see her talk.


:


IC Visual Labs review of the talk. 

Juno Calypso interview on Port Magazine

"Everyone was taking about Bristol. I'd never been they but we all knew you had the best fucking ketamine." Juno Calypso on Bristol

.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Primo Levi and How to tell a story



There was a piece in the Guardian on the distrust of statistics and the rise of emotion in politics. It made  a division between statistics and emotion. The overall sentiment of the piece placed statistics on the rational, scientific end of the spectrum, emotion on the other end - the end inhabited by Trump, Brexit and the swivel-eyed loons.

But statistics are emotional, they are value laden, and they carry within their numbers the values. Every morning I listen to the Today Programme on Radio 4, and I hear statistics on the economy, on growth, on GDP, on exports and imports and trade balances, all of which are passed off without a hint at the ideologies, or the destruction they represent. Economic growth is an abstract entity that has destruction embedded within it.

And of course, this way of talking is something that is relatively new. It has been accepted with barely a whimper or a questioning of where it comes from. And it determines our everyday lives, or rather the destruction of our everyday lives.

Numbers also have emotional value. This week the UK Supreme Court ruled that Article 50 (which will lead to the UK leaving Europe) could not just be passed by our unelected prime-minister, but would have to be passed by parliament.

Then yesterday, the disastrous Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, said that all labour MPs would have to vote with the Conservative government for Brexit when Article 50 came up for the parliamentary vote. If waving a white flag is the best policy the Labour Party has, then the 24% they got in a recent opinion poll is looking quite good, really, all things considered.

Except of course, it's not a white flag for Corbyn. Corbyn was always against Europe. while 'campaigning' for the Remain side Corbyn gave the EU a mark out of 10. He's never given anything else a mark out of 10 as far as I know. Not Trident, not the minimum wage, not higher taxation, not immigration, never.

But the EU got a mark out of 10 and the mark Corbyn gave was 7 (or 7.5) out of 10.

That number means something. In the 1950s after Stalin died, Chairman Mao said he was 70% good and 30% in error. Actually he said this under pressure. Mao thought Stalin was fucking great as far as Russians go but couldn't say it due to internal pressure. After Mao died, as China  stabilised politically and started on its path to world economic supremacy, Mao was also given a mark of 70% good. But here 70% meant he was a fucking psychopath nutbag who brought the country to the brink of ruin (or to complete ruin if your life was destroyed in the Great Leap Forward or the Cultural Revolution).

So 70% or 7 out of 10 can mean many things. Seventy per cent at school is an A grade. In Corbyn's case (he has a deputy who waved a copy of Mao's little red book in parliament in 2015 remember - so he knows these things) 70he's s% means the EU is a disaster and you should vote to leave. Except he couldn't just say that could he.

It's not statistics that matter so much as the voice, and the story that accompanies them. Numbers on their own make for a boring story or at least a story that doesn't engage us. A litany of statistics will often patronise us, at best might lecture us, but they won't involve us.

It's Holocaust Day today, and the evolution of the telling of the Holocaust story in images, in stories, in museums is an example of this (Janina Struk's Photographing the Holocaust: Interpretations of the Evidence is a great book on this and on the real uses of photography and the real power of photography both for evil as well as for good).

In the book, Struk tells how in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the horrific images and figures of murder at the hands of the Nazis were shown around the world. It didn't always have the intended effect. The piles of emaciated, diseased bodies dehumanised the people they had once been, the statistics were too much, Everything was too much. The images that were supposed to be anti-Nazi mirrored the anti-semitism of Nazi propaganda in some ways. And, according to Struk, people resented the propaganda, because that was the voice in which it was presented. The images were true, the figures were true but it was seen as propaganda both in Germany where it was shown, but also in the cinemas in the USA and the UK.

It told the story, but it told the story badly, and from a distant, non-personal point of view. But ways of telling stories changed and became more effective. So now in museums commemorating the holocaust, rather than (or in addition to) the horrific images, you also hear about the lives of real people, of real jews and the lives they led before they were brutally starved, mistreated and murdered.

When I taught ESOL one of the main challenges was how to change the minds of a significant minority of students who had been given the view that the holocaust was a good thing and that the only thing wrong with it was that Hitler didn't finish the job because then Israel wouldn't exist (somebody had told them this).

The statistics, the pictures, the cold hard facts of history never did the job. They were abstract, they lacked humanity, they weren't interesting. What was interesting were stories that resonated with students; "Do you love me" from Fiddler on the Roof resonated with the girls. Part of it goes like this.


(Tevye)
Golde I'm asking you a question...

Do you love me?

(Golde)
You're a fool

(Tevye)
I know...

But do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I love you?
For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house
Given you children, milked YOUR cow
After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?

(Tevye)
Golde, The first time I met you
Was on our wedding day
I was scared

(Golde)
I was shy

(Tevye)
I was nervous

(Golde)
So was I

(Tevye)
But my father and my mother
Said we'd learn to love each other
And now I'm asking, Golde
Do you love me?

(Golde)
I'm your wife

(Tevye)
I know...
But do you love me?



And for the boys, it was Primo Levi's chicken story from the Truce. Levi has been liberated from Auschwitz and is taking the most circuitous route back to Italy imaginable. He's ended up in the USSR and he's marching from one refugee camp to another and one of his friends, Cesare, decides he's had enough of walking along an unwavering straight road with no end in sight. Cesare wants a chicken. A roast chicken. And he wants it now.No matter that he doesn't speak Russian and he has no money. He wants a chicken and he's going to get it from the village he has seen in the distance.

So Cesare goes to this village and after getting shot at and persuading the locals they are not dangerous, get down to the business of bartering some old plates for a live chicken.


'He grumbled and swore. Was it possible that it was so difficult to understand what a chicken is, and that we wanted it in exchange for six plates?  A chicken, one of those beasts that go around pecking, scratching and saying 'coccode-e-eh:' and rather half-heartedly, glowering and sullen, he put on a very second-rate imitation of the habits of the chicken, crouching on the ground, scraping first with one foot and then with the other and pecking here and there with his hands shaped like a wedge. Between one oath and the other, he also cried 'coccodee-eh;' but this rendering of the chicken's cry is of course highly conventional; it is only heard in Italy and has no currency elsewhere?

So the result was negative. They goggled at us with amazement. Why, for what conceivable reason, had we come from the ends of the earth to play the fool on their square? Hopping mad by now, Cesare even tried to lay an egg, pouring far-fetched insults on them all the while, so rendering the meaning of his performance even more obscure.'

With the locals getting more and more disturbed by Cesare's mad chicken dance, Levi saves the day by drawing a chicken in the dirt.

'...then an old woman sprang out of the hut, her eyes alight with joy and comprehension; she stepped forward a couple of paces, and in a shrill voice pronounced: "Kura! Kuritsa!"

She was very proud and happy that she had been the one to resolve the enigma. From all sides laughter and applause borke out and voices cried "Kuritsa! Kuritsa!"; and we alos clapped our hands, caught up in the game and in the general enthusiasm. The old woman curtsied, like an actress at the end of her performance; she disappeared and re-emerged after a few minutes holding a hen already plucked. She dangled it under Cesare's nose, as a double check; and when she saw that he reacted positively, she loosened her hold, collected the plates and carried them off, 

Cesare, who understood these matters because he had once had a stall at Porta Portese market, assured me that the 'kurizetta' , the little hen, was fat enough, and worth our six plates. We took it back to the hut, woke up our companions who had already fallen asleep, relit the fire, and ate it with our fingers because we no longer had any plates.'

Featured post

"I still don't understand why it didn't just end here"

I saw a Twitter post with the picture of Trump mocking a reporter with cerebral palsy. "I still don't understand why it didn'...