Category Archives: A La Une

THE SMOKEY TIMES I HAVE LOVED

Lamberto Tassinari

At the beginning there was nothing but smoke. Everyone was smoking so I did too. I smoked a lot even before being able to have sex. Smoke was for lovers, as Virginia. As a smoker I began with Jubek filtro, a short and funny cigarette created during Fascism to celebrate, I suppose, the African appendix, the newborn Empire. Smoking was strictly forbidden; paternal, maternal or societal authority would intervene smacking the kid, the adolescent smoker caught with the vice. To smoke, we would hide in an immense, abandoned Medicean fortress and, sitting in a circle like little indians, we would inhale a bitterish smoke and sometimes consume jocular, rapid handmade sex. The smoke would come out like a jet, expelled and propelled densely from our mouths and noses. These were very heavy times. The so called Modernity was already dead, over-killed by the horror and nonsense of the war which had ended only fourteen years before. But the ordinary people had forgotten the dead. We are lazy and slow. Each generation must start from the beginning and learn for itself. It’s not stupidity, it’s distraction; life makes us forget so that we can invest our energy in the business of living. Italy then had great passions, ideals and practical goals to achieve: smoke was absolutely necessary, it was so natural and it connected so naturally to things.

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First, there was the American smoke during the years of Liberation. It was a blond and sweet tobacco that pervaded the air after the lean years of autarchy. Then there were the passionate, political years with its ideological smoke which, as everyone knows is black and filterless, black finger tips and poor, needle-smoking-times. It was for serious smokers only. I was a teenager then and I knew that women were looking for men that acted like real men. I would do my best and buy, two, three, five cigarettes, never an entire package and hide them on top of a cup- board in my room. I would smoke my Camels in front of the girls or in crowded trains and bars always holding my head like Bogart. All around me they were making a nation. Nobody would talk about cancer. Smoke then was not linked to hospitals, and statistics but to true love, beauty and romantic Hollywood deaths. Smoke was a social link at a lower and more popular level. And the offering of the small, round, white cylinder or the fire to go with it was enough to initiate a (hi)story. I never liked home-made cigarettes just as today I dislike domestic wine.

Cigarettes have to be identical, anonymous, inter- changeable, reproducible ad infinitum. I have always been obsessed by the different shapes, colors and names of objects surrounding me but a cigarette always remained a cigarette, it was immutable. People now are rolling them not for rebellious or economic reasons. They are simply searching for something personal, something upon which to leave their imprint. They content themselves with their own rolled cigarette. The majority however refuses and cannot tolerate smoke. It makes them feel guilty, they suffer a cosmic guilt. Society holds no vision, no real enemy, no future. So they hate smoke which is the target of their emptiness, their frustrated sense of morality. People need a passion now that the great ideals and battles are over, an organized and scheduled passion against nuclear death, pollution death, smoke death. People think that the body now has to be saved since the soul is already gone. Mass unhappiness. Nowadays the multitudes show the same sensibility and anguish once shown by the isolated artist.

Millions are suffering the poet’s sufferance. But it is not the same. Can smoking, this modern and progressive vice, save us from the insidious inflation of melancholy? Can the noise of the flintstone wheel percussed by the yellow thumb regenerate the heavy sense of life that used to possess humanity? Can the witty flame of a lighter and the burning of a gentle tobacco make times roar again? I’ll try. Rest assured, I’m not a nostalgic, nor a conservative, nor a man of principles, my faith has always been weak… But now I cannot tolerate anymore this outrageous attack against modernity. I confess, smoking was my last political gesture, my last hope in mankind, my last action, my last intention. So I will try, I’ll take out a hidden package of twenty Camels, I’ll open it slowly with shaking fingers, and then the bold, shiny Ronson will click. Smoke will appear in a spring afternoon and fill the sunny basement with floating gray-blue forms, and modernity will be safe, for a while.

(First published in ViceVersa magazine N. 18-19, June 1987)

Blu (la notte che siam morti di peste)

Giuseppe A. Samonà

bleu[1]Scende giù in vestaglia tutta scarmigliata lungo il viale che attraversando il bosco collega la sua casa alla nostra, agita un giornale, urla : Il colèra! il colèra! Ed effettivamente la prima pagina dice che a Napoli ce ne sono tre o quattro casi, forse dieci, e le cozze, il vibrione, il panico. Ma se a Napoli è così, cosa succederà a Palermo ? (ulula lei, dilatando l’ultima parola come una terrificante voragine : Palieaimmo…) Palermo, lo sanno tutti, è una Napoli più piccola e violenta, di arcaica, perniciosa isteria, pullula di picciriddazzi polverosi, c’è la milza che puzza di sangue, ci sono i ricci che si vendono per la strada – ne abbiamo fatto una scorpacciata la sera prima, li ha portati lo zio  – e mill’altre schifezze marine, che si mangiano sempre e solo crude (la milza che puzza, picciridazzi, scorpacciate di ricci, pazzi ! pazzi ! pazzi !…). L’epidemia è certa. Hanno già bloccato le navi verso il continente, i treni, da e per, “ da ” soprattutto, e anche la nave, ché mentre stiamo parlando decine, anzi centinaia di morti si ammonticchiano nella stessa Napoli : anche se ovviamente sul giornale, che lei continua a sventolare come una prova, questo non può ancora esserci scritto. Gli altri adulti sembrano scettici : alcuni per spavalderia (il famoso zio arrivato da Palermo annuncia pomposamente che lui tornerà presto in città, perché ha voglia di molluschi vivi, di quelli che bisogna affondarci i denti per domarli, a Mondello, sul lungomare), altri per esorcizzante timore : … e comunque lavatevi le mani, bambini… E tutti più o meno bonariamente la sfottono : il giornale invita alla calma e lei, non da oggi, ha fama di essere un’esaltata – Cassandra, Cassandra… Tutti, ma non noi bambini : corriamo a lavarci le mani e poi eccoci di nuovo fuori, all’ombra del gelso, accucciati ai suoi piedi, sempre i capelli scarmigliati, lei, agitata, la vestaglia semiaperta, ad ammonticchiare morti e disastri per le vie di Napoli, anzi di Palermo, cioè Paleaimmo, scene di orrore, fiumi di fluidi e di merda, e poi orde di topi, i famosi voraci immondi topi ri Paleaimmo – il colèra ormai è peste –  carretti pieni di cadaveri, a volte ancora vivi, o agonizzanti, o sepolti lì per sbaglio, tirati da uomini bavosi, più bava che uomini, con un campanaccio, demoni ghignanti che il morbo ha risparmiato, l’apocalisse. Ipnosi del terrore, il nostro – o anche: attrazione fatata… Noi, i bambini, siamo la tribù, formiche ma volanti in sciame, rapide come la notte, ed è troppo forte quel sentimento dentro di noi, non possiamo neanche far finta che non sia così, anche se certo lo nascondiamo, per paura che ci prendan per pazzi, ci separino, e facciamo il viso spaventato, ammutolito, ad arte, solo di tanto in tanto, al momento opportuno, quando il racconto sembra sul punto di assopirsi sazio, soddisfatto, una domanda semplice, un’esca, ora l’uno, ora l’altra: ma sei sicura ?,  per riaccendere il flusso, le ondate di dolori, di merda, di morte, mentre il giallo del pomeriggio che avanza si scioglie nell’azzuro del cielo, nel verde, nel rosa, nel rosso del lontano orizzonte marino, insieme si mischiano con l’ultima luce del sole, l’affacciarsi delle prime stelle, a comporre un colore mai visto prima: blu – e una carezza tiepida, dolce ci avvolge. Nous sommes comblés.

È dunque questa la felicità ? Bambini che gridano mamma, mamma mentre il carro si allontana ? e quelli morti ? Gli adulti ? La desolazione altrui ? La disperazione ? No, certo che no, non è così – eppure  (come spiegarlo ?), la coscienza tranquilla, non sentiamo dentro di noi nessuna indignazione, nessuna colpa, ma fuori (sentiamo), sul tetto, i ghiri che passeggiano avanti e indietro. È buio ormai, le stelle il cielo il mare lontano si sono inghiottiti a vicenda, non più mare, non cielo, non stelle, ma (com’è possibile?) è rimasto quel blu, ed è solo, ed è tutto, è come un suono continuo, visibile, un’impenetrabile, avvolgente sfera, con noi dentro, è blu. Ci siamo rifugiati su in soffitta per osservarlo meglio, sdraiati, attraverso la grande finestra obliqua, la tribù è al completo, e i nostri pensieri anche corrono avanti e indietro, come all’unisono, e stentiamo ad addormentarci : sì, siamo felici. Fuori, i ghiri passeggiano avanti e indietro, li sentiamo, e anche i nostri pensieri sentiamo, bum… bum… bum…, come se tutti insieme fossimo una sola grande testa, a disegnare gli eventi straordinari che muteranno, come in un sogno, la routine della vita : partire dalla Sicilia assolata, dove viviamo tutti insieme, comunità di bambini e adulti che solo e sempre giocano fra di loro, per di nuovo separarsi, scuola, lavoro, non più tutti insieme, crescere (è questa la vita)… ecco, questo sarà, è, oramai, impossibile. Siamo assediati – e la spianata, il Castello con i suoi sentieri che ramificano per abbracciare gli altri nostri possedimenti (qui siamo solo fra di noi a correre per i sentieri, e lo spazio sembra infinito) diventa nella nostra immaginazione una terra inattaccabile, dove è sempre estate e che non conosce la malattia e la morte, né il tempo che passa. E poi, pensiamo (sempre), e le nostre mani si stringono a formare una catena umana, e quei pensieri son parole senza bisogno di essere dette, se ci attaccassero (la malattia, la morte, il tempo che passa), combatteremmo: non è forse quello che avevano fatto Aiace, Achille, le Amazzoni, le cui amate avventure si intrecciano da sempre con le nostre ? (Ci anima, va da sé, Il domator di cavalli, ma il suo nome non si può pronunciare, o scrivere: siamo Troiani…) Vivremmo, in quel caso, ma da eroi, combatteremmo insieme, il pericolo della natura ci unirebbe, fra scherzi e prodezze vivremmo – vivremmo, sì, da eroi, fra dèi e deesse, o da eroi moriremmo : e tutti intorno a chi muore per strofinarlo, blu diventa il suo corpo, colore che sfuma, e sfumando diventa blu anche chi soccorre, è un’onda blu che dolce si propaga, ora che l’altro è morto soccorrono lei, lui, e si confonde con gli altri, che galleggiano come tanti iceberg,  di nuovo tutti insieme, nel mare nostro, ed il cielo, le stelle: blu. Isolati, bloccati, attaccati, e combattiamo, il morbo, i l  n o s t r o  l u o g o, quel luogo magnifico, ma siamo caduti, la malattia, l’amore è più forte, o forse no, blu, sì, moriremmo, infine, o moriamo, stiamo morendo, le nostre mani sempre annodate in catena come in un quadro perenne,  morendo… m o r e n d o … E finalmente – ma come? ma quando? – insieme lo sciame si adagia, ci addormentiamo, il rumore dei ghiri ci culla, i pensieri diradati son diventati un unico sogno, quel senso di carezza tiepida che ci avvolge. Siamo blu.

Questo era molti anni fa – perché sì, per fortuna l’epidemia finì per esser poca cosa, anzi, non è neanche veramente iniziata, siamo tornati nel continente dopo pochi giorni, l’estate è finita, il tempo ha ricominciato a scorrere normalmente, e normali, benevoli, son tornati i colori. La tribù si è sciolta, si è dispersa nel mondo e nella vita, molti son morti veramente, anche se non di peste, nessuno comunque è più tornato al Castello. Ma (è strano?) quando mi è capitato negli anni di rincontrare qualcuno di quegli antichi eroi, che fosse dentro l’agone, a comandare uomini e cose, o ritirato a coltivare il suo orto, come per incanto, invece di indagare sui nostri rispettivi destini, subito, sempre, ci siamo ritrovati a rievocare quella notte. Come un apice d’irraggiungibile felicità. Blu.

Vita da pollo

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-white-chicken-image10409889Giuseppe A. Samonà

Corro in moto, è sera, l’aria mi accarezza fresca, piacevole, profumo di campagna. Mi inebria, forse vado troppo veloce – l’ho vista all’ultimo momento, quell’ombra. Freno, cerco di deviare, e quasi ci riesco: ma come di striscio colgo qualcosa, e la moto sobbalza, colpita, ed io la trattengo, per non cadere. Mi fermo, due metri più in là, mi volto: per terra, piano, la “cosa” respira ancora, si muove. Dev’essere un gatto, penso – borbotto…-, e mi avvicino. Invece è un pollo, e vive, per fortuna. Vive: e mi guarda ansimando. Lo raccolgo (e lui trema), con le due mani, me lo porto al petto, per riscaldarlo, e mi sembra che i suoi occhi, rassicurati,  dicano: grazie. Già, ma che fare? La sua ala destra si è come dislocata, ed io con dolcezza provo a rimettergliela in posizione: funziona (glielo leggo, di nuovo, negli occhi). Pure, ancora, non riesce a camminare, zoppica, ché l’ala gli pesa. Così, decido di riportarlo alla fattoria – la s’intravede in lontananza (cioè, non s’intravede, ma una freccia lo dice: a due chilometri…). Di nuovo, lo raccolgo (docile, lui, si lascia raccogliere) e me lo raccolgo nel bavero, amorevolmente, solo la testa resta fuori. Poi, riprendo la moto, e timido, per non spaventarlo, mi avvio. Torniamo a casa, che gli dico (sì, oramai mi sono affezionato a quel pollo ferito). E lui, come fosse felice, mi guarda, si guarda intorno, assapora l’aria fresca, piacevole, profumo di campagna. Siamo amici.

La donna che mi accoglie, un donnone, ha gote rubizze, collo tozzo, e gambe e braccia, come il seno, robuste: È – penso – di selvaggia bellezza. E le dico: Si dev’essere perso…, forse vi appartiene.  Mentre, con gesto amorevole, le porgo il mio pollo ferito.

Eccolo, finalmente – dice lei, allungando amorose le mani. E raccoltoselo al seno con gesto sapiente rapida gli tira il collo. E lo uccide.

Heurs et malheurs d’un poulet

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-white-chicken-image10409889 Giuseppe A. Samonà

C’est le soir, je roule en moto, l’air frais me caresse agréablement. Je suis comme enivré par les parfums de la campagne, je vais peut-être trop vite – cette ombre, je l’ai vue au dernier moment. Je freine, j’essaie de dévier, j’y parviens presque: mais je touche quelque chose sur le côté, la moto fait une embardée, je la retiens pour ne pas tomber. Je m’arrête deux mètres plus loin, je me retourne: par terre, doucement, la “chose” respire encore, elle bouge. Ce doit être un chat, me dis-je, et je m’approche. Mais non, c’est un poulet, et il est vivant, par chance. Il est vivant et me regarde, haletant. Je le soulève des deux mains (il tremble), je le serre contre moi pour le réchauffer, et il me semble que ses yeux, rassurés, me disent: merci. Mais que faire? Son aile droite paraît disloquée, j’essaie délicatement de la remettre dans sa position: ça marche (de nouveau je le lis dans ses yeux). Mais il n’arrive toujours pas à se mettre sur ses pattes, son aile lui pèse. Alors je décide de le ramener à la ferme qu’on entrevoit au loin (en fait on ne l’entrevoit pas, mais une flèche l’indique: à deux kilomètres…). Je le soulève à nouveau (et lui, docile, se laisse prendre), je l’enveloppe dans mon écharpe, amoureusement, seule la tête reste dehors. Puis je reprends la moto, et timidement, pour ne pas l’effrayer, je me mets en route. On rentre à la maison, lui dis-je (oui, je me suis désormais attaché à ce poulet blessé). Et lui, comme heureux, me regarde, regarde autour de lui, il goûte l’air frais, agréable, le parfum de la campagne. Nous sommes amis.

La femme qui m’accueille est grande et forte, elle a les joues rubicondes et le cou épais, les bras et les jambes, comme la poitrine, robustes – une beauté sauvage, me dis-je… Et je bredouille: il a dû se perdre… il est sans doute à vous… tout en lui tendant d’un geste amoureux mon poulet blessé.

Le voici, enfin – dit-elle en avançant amoureusement les mains. Elle le saisit, le serre contre elle et d’un geste sûr, rapide, lui tord le cou. Et le tue.

(GS/SJ)

OPEN LETTER to Stephen Greenblatt

John FlorioLamberto Tassinari  www.johnflorio-is-shakespeare.com

You asked me recently why I maintain that I am afraid of you. As usual, I was unable to think of any answer to your question, partly for the very reason that I am afraid of you, and partly because an explanation of the grounds for this fear would mean going into far more details than I could even approximately keep in mind while talking. Franz

OPEN LETTER

Dear professor Greenblatt, Yes, this is the incipit of Kafka’s letter to his father. Why do I quote here this powerful, cruel confession? Because my little letter too is about authority, power, fear and love of art. You are the indisputable authority of the Shakespearean studies and ipso facto, the keystone of the grand, albeit crumbling Stratfordian edifice. Thirty years ago, when the majority of English literature teachers in schools and universities were traditionally dealing with the romantic image of the isolated, universal genius, you started, to paraphrase the title of Duff Cooper’s book, a “saving sergeant Shakespeare” campaign, a literary operation aimed to sustain the Stratfordian identity of Shakespeare which was in peril. Within a few years, with the contribution of a handful of scholars, you dramatically reshaped the Shakespearean aura in order to save the identity of the author. Your strategy consisted essentially in imagining and portraying the “real” world in which Shakespeare, the mystery man, lived and wrote. A diminished Bard emerged from this operation, an almost surreal author candidly described by the critic Harold Bloom in the following terms … it is as though the creator of scores of major characters and hundreds of frequently vivid minor figures wasted no imaginative energy in inventing a persona for himself. (…) At the very center of the Canon is the least self- conscious and least aggressive of all the major writers we have known With the new Shakespeare, everything important and meaningful had to be newly imagined, and you were fantastic at that as your 2004 best seller biography Will in the World. How Shakespeare became Shakespeare shows. As a kind of postmodern Fernand Braudel, you knead the history of the English Renaissance you master perfectly with an extraordinary intimate knowledge of Shakespeare’s works, then transplant the anemic man from Stratford within that historical- literary compound, shamelessly using the glue of the numerous may well’s, could have’s, perhaps’, no doubt’s, evidently’s and likely’s. To perfect your revisionist labour you craftily called your product, Will instead of the canonical William. Such a familiarity with an author considered until recently a god, helped seduce your readers and the media, convincing almost everyone that you had brought to life the real Shakespeare. Thanks to some subtle manipulations, and mainly omissions, the Bard became the impure, plagiarist, collaborative playwright we now know: a perfect, postmodern Shakespeare for the twenty-first century. Soon though you realized that the downsizing wasn’t sufficiently safe. Indeed, your 2004 Will in The World has several flaws, the more serious and inexcusable is your total lack of consideration of Montaigne’s influence on Shakespeare. Obviously you were aware of Montaigne’s fundamental contribution to modernity and to Shakespeare’s works, but you refused to acknowledge his importance. I strongly believe you did so because admitting the French philosopher’s influence on the plays, would have been too risky a concession for the already shaky Stratfordian mythology. Therefore you decided to name Montaigne only once while referring, quick as a flash, to John Florio: Born in London, the son of Protestant refugees from Italy, Florio had already published several language manuals, along with a compendium of six thousand Italian proverbs; he would go on to produce an important Italian-English dictionary and a vigorous translation, much used by Shakespeare, of Montaigne’s Essays. Florio became a friend of Ben Jonson, and there is evidence that already in the early 1590s he was a man highly familiar with the theater.(p.227) Which is a bold statement indeed for Florio albeit with no interpretive consequences on your theory. Of course, none of the thousands Shakespearean critics denounced your omission, not on account of respect or fear of you but because they wanted to avoid a dangerous, internecine war which could have jeopardized the object of your common study and careers. In the years following your biography, the Stratfordian mythology crisis worsened with more attacks from all sides: several books by Oxfordian scholars, the good scholarly reputation earned by Diana Price’s Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography, the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt about the identity of William Shakespeare, the movie Anonymous, just to mention the more significant blows. There was also, in 2008 and 2009, my book and my website on John Florio, pounding at the periphery of the Shakespearean universe. As your revisionist Shakespeare became a baroque, bizarre writer, an unsatisfactory Bard in the long run, you judged that a bolder sortie was inevitable and in April 2014 you dared to publish Shakespeare’s Montaigne, a dense anthology of John Florio’s translation of Montaigne’s Essays. So, you did jump from zero Montaigne in 2004 to a book on Florio’s Montaigne in 2014: a really dramatic veer! Why? I believe it was because the postmodern Shakespeare you created was insufficient to stem the growing doubts about Stratford. Omission is your key-tool: in your introduction to Shakespeare’s Montaigne, as well as in Peter Platt’s biographical note, there is no mention of the historical discussion on the Montaigne-Shakespeare rapport, just a hurried admission: “Scholars have seen Montaigne’s fingerprints on many other works by Shakespeare whether in the echoing of words or ideas” . Your readers are not aware that Montaigne’s influence on the bard has always been a conflicting issue amongst scholars. One more omission, particularly nasty, concerns a book traditionally “censured” by Shakespearean scholars, Shakspere’s (sic) Debt to Montaigne the fundamental 1925 book by George Coffin Taylor who demonstrated ninety years ago the extent and depth of Montaigne’s influence on Shakespeare! Your rapport to John Florio too is, unsurprising, ambiguous as you try to repress what, I suspect, is your persistent, hidden doubt that Florio is more than a translator… Of the Italian Jewish writer you say this: “Montaigne was Florio’s Montaigne. His essays, in their rich Elizabethan idiom and wildly inventive turns of phrase”; and “the brilliance of Florio’s achievement”; “[Florio’s] translation seemed to address English readers of Shakespeare’s time with unusual directness and intensity”; “Shakespeare is mining Florio’s Montaigne not simply for turns of phrase but for key concepts” but at the same time you maintain that “there was a huge gap between them” [Montaigne and Shakespeare]. Your mind swings over and over as you seem to conclude that there was no real need for Shakespeare to have read Montaigne because they are “two of the greatest writers of the Renaissance” and somehow telepathically connected, two twin souls! And again: “But if Montaigne and Shakespeare were diametrically opposites in these and other ways (…) nonetheless there is a whole world that they share.” Which is a quite ambiguous position. An ambiguity though which reflects Florio’s own ambivalence towards Montaigne. Florio’s Essays are an immense, open source for the playwright but Shakespeare’s diversions from Montaigne on many points are already contained in Florio’s translation. For instance, Florio’s “politico-religious bias appears from time to time (…) ‘les erreurs de Wyclef’ become ‘Wickliff’s opinions’ as Frances Yates pointed out in her 1934 biography. Shakespeare’s religious, political, cultural, psychological variations from Montaigne that you track down in King Lear, Hamlet, The Tempest and elsewhere belong to Florio’s Montaigne which in the opinion of many scholars is almost an original book rather than a mere translation. As for your collaborator Peter Platt, he calls John Florio: the extraordinary Florio. One fundamental question remains unanswered: which other dramatists of Shakespeare’s time were influenced so profoundly by Florio’s Montaigne? Isn’t it bizarre, that amongst all the Montaigne’s readers in Renaissance England, only the uneducated, untraveled, monolingual Shakespeare bore the marks of the French thinker’s influence? With John Florio as the true Shakespeare you don’t have to suppose, as you unbelievably do, that Shakespeare looking over Florio’s shoulders read Montaigne’s translation “well before the first printing” in 1603! Today the sudden landing of Montaigne on your desk, dramatically exposes your personal, private will! What could happen now, professor Greenblatt, should you unearth more of previously undetected or overlooked influences on Shakespeare? What would be the new face of Shakespeare if you would suddenly “discover”, for instance, that Giordano Bruno who spent two years with Florio at the French embassy, has a strong presence in Shakespeare’s work? In your biography Bruno, alike Montaigne, is mentioned only once. You don’t ignore that the strong influence of Giordano Bruno on Shakespeare is hardly a recent discovery. Actually it was demonstrated by a host of scholars, from the German Falkson and the French Bartholmess in 1846 throughout Tschischwitz, König, Carrière, to Sacerdoti and Gatti-Cox in the 1990s. And what about the powerful influence that all things Italian, language and culture, had on Shakespeare? Lastly, what do you think of the hypothesis advanced by Saul Frampton in 2013 – and recalled by Peter Platt – that John Florio was the editor of the First Folio ? The real purpose of your rushed anthology, I suppose, is to freeze Florio in the role of Shakespeare’s almost involuntary helper. But, remember, in doing so you are just delaying Florio’s revelation. Actually, thanks to your initiative John Florio, until now completely unknown by Shakespeare’s lovers, is exposed worldwide to your readers, becoming the most intriguing figure of the English Renaissance, the closest to Shakespeare! By igniting people’s curiosity you provoke new doubts about the Stratford man and in doing so hasten his vanishing. How long, professor Greenblatt, till you’ll give us a book on Shakespeare’s Bruno or, why not, on Shakespeare’s Florio?
Best regards,
Lamberto Tassinari