from “The Sojourner”

The twilight border between sleep and waking was a Roman one this morning: splashing fountains and arched, narrow streets, the golden lavish city of blossoms and age-soft stone. Sometimes in this semi-consciousness he sojourned again in Paris, or war German rubble, or Swiss skiing and a snow hotel. Sometimes, also, in a fallow Georgia field at hunting dawn. Rome it was this morning in the yearless region of dreams.

– Carson McCullers, The Sojourner (1950)


Vanishing / Svanire

Italian / English reading from Deborah Willis’ short-story collection with the author & Italian translator Paola del Zoppo

Thursday 23 May at 19.00
via del Governo Vecchio, 80

Happy Birthday, Herr Waiblinger

Wunder bietet die Vorwelt dir an,
Und Wunder die Mitwelt

Wilhelm Waiblinger (1804 Heilbronn – 1830 Rome)


Wonder the past offers you still,
And wonder too today

from A Roman Journal

August 27, 1827

The arts are a privilege, and dearly bought, by how many difficulties, by how many stupidities, by how many days of deep melancholy! At a concert we went to last night I watched some of the prettiest women in Rome. Roman beauty, full of soul and fire, reminds me of Bologna; here there are longer moments of indifference or of sadness

– Stendhal, A Roman Journal (trans. Haakon Chevalier)

Rome and a serparo

For, by paying a few hundred lire, I had become a snake-owner too. It was a fine grey animal over a yard long with clever little black eyes: very active, letting slip no chance of nipping my hand with its unarmed (I hoped) gums. But, when I reached Rome, and my destination on the Tiber island, it had vanished. It must have slid gently away to freedom in the tram between the city walls and the Piazza di Spagna. Perhaps, after a panic in the tram, it was put out of the way. But perhaps it is still rattling its way unobserved round the Seven Hills; or it may be curled up among the pillars of the Forum, or, best of all, basking sleepily on a warm and grassy ledge of the Colosseum, beyond the reach of all harm.

– Patrick Leigh Fermor. Words of Mercury. John Murray, 2003.

Foto from

Wilcock at Fanfulla

18:30 at Forte Fanfulla

Il reato di scrivere

Con Edoardo Camurri e Stefano Ciavatta

On the day of your addio

da La Notte di San Giovanni

Quant’era bella e svariata la vita!
Come si succedevano velocemente
le gioie e le delusioni,
come si alternavano le stagioni,
quando il tempo ci bagnava nella sua corrente!

Sul progresso

Beati loro che pensano al progresso:
io solo penso alla morte o al sesso.

– Juan Rodolfo Wilcock. Poesie. Adelphi, 1980

from The Night of San Giovanni

How beautiful and various life was!
How quickly came
the joys and delusions,
how the seasons too commuted,
when we in time’s current were bathed!

On progress

Lucky they are who think about progress:
I alone think about death or sex.

translations Miseraestupendacitta 2011

(photograph found online, uncredited)

April 17, 1919 – March 16, 1978

Nelly Sachs


Dienstag, 8. März 2011

18.30 Uhr

Spuren von Nelly Sachs im Werk von Ingeborg Bachmann und Paul Celan

Vortrag von Thomas Sparr


Fußnote zu Rom

Fußnote zu Rom

Ich werfe keine Muenzen in den Brunnen,
ich will nicht wieder kommen.

Zuviel Abendland,

Zuviel Welt ausgespart.
Keine Moeglichkeit
fuer Steingaerten.

– Gunter Eich. Botschaften des Regens. Gedichte. Suhrkamp, 1955

Footnote on Rome

I won’t throw any coins into the fountain,
I do not want to come back.

Too much West,

Too much world left out.
No possibility
for stone gardens.

(translation Miseraestupendacittà 2010; Michael Hofmann has a different version in his translations of Eich,  Angina Days)

35 years later

“Presto un museo per Pasolini” La promessa di Alemanno

Il sindaco annuncia che la Torre di San Michele a Ostia potrebbe essere il luogo per ricordare lo scrittore friulano. “Non è pensabile che in questa città non ci sia uno spazio a lui dedicato”


(photograph found online, photographer uncredited)

Published in: on October 21, 2010 at 10:02  Leave a Comment  
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