Category: Italy

“Il Colpo,” un racconto di Isidora Tesic, edito da Interlitq

Il Colpo

un racconto di Isidora Tesic

27/04/2022

 

Quella strada è senza direzioni. Il paesaggio ha qualcosa di malarico, l’aria è rugginosa, la vita acida. L’uomo si trova lì da qualche tempo. Quota cinquantatré anni, portati per dovere. La strada si dilegua dopo alcuni chilometri in direzione nord-est. Tutto attorno c’è solamente argilla grigia, granulosa. L’uomo ha montato una tenda sul ciglio della strada.

Il sole rotea, le notti si riversano contuse e violacee. Lì il buio appare spesso illuminato da chiarori abbacinanti. La distesa allora si incendia come per un fuoco pallido, biancastro. L’argilla s’increspa, si deforma. Dal suo torbido sembra che sorgano infinite trascurabili creature, che scivolano lungo la superficie. Si allontanano sempre dalla luce. L’uomo è intimamente uguale a una di quelle creature. Nudo, molle e pauroso. Ma non si muove mai.

Da qualche parte ha una famiglia. Nella distanza sono anonimi, corpi un tempo amati e ora soltanto alieni. Se hanno ancora una vita è una vita ologrammata, facilmente replicabile, facile e basta. L’uomo li ama e ne ha paura in egual misura. Gli sopravvivranno, forse di molto.

Di giorno sta seduto accanto alla tenda e guarda fisso l’orizzonte. Se i giorni passano, si sciolgono lungo le verticali del suo organismo. Continuano a rimanergli attaccati come trasparenti sanguisughe.

L’uomo ha un fucile da caccia che apparteneva a suo padre. Arrugginito, scarico. Forse ci sono delle cartucce da qualche parte nella tenda. Sta appoggiato ai suoi piedi. Lui non lo guarda mai. L’ha portato just in case ma il caso non è ancora arrivato. L’orizzonte rimane morbido, senza pericoli. Talvolta, all’ora della posta, si sente un colpo in distanza. Ogni tanto compare anche una fioritura rossa in cielo, un bocciolo sanguiniforme pieno di presagi. Lui osserva dalla sua sedia da campo, con il fucile ai suoi piedi e aspetta.

Suo padre era un uomo tranquillo e rovinato. Guardava con disamore alle cose vive, belle e selvatiche. Da piccolo l’uomo lo accompagnava. Entravano nell’alba, in silenzio, scrutando il sottobosco senza fretta. Se una beccaccia si alzava in volo, il padre prendeva la mira quietamente e il colpo partiva quasi sempre. La preda finiva in un istante al di là della canna del fucile. Non vedevano mai l’agonia ma la migrazione era rapida ed efficace. Il cane riportava sempre indietro una regina già morta, molle.

Nelle terminazioni nervose rimaneva certamente uno stupore terrificato, lo spettro volubile della salvezza. Ma la carne, come tutte le carni, non tratteneva il dolore né l’istinto. Restava svuotata e pietosa, rassegnata alla ciclicità dell’esistenza.

Il padre si sistemava il fucile sulla schiena. Il male, la violenza e il sangue rimanevano fluttuanti ad angosciare tutte le creature. Li seguivano fuori dal bosco, fino alla porta di casa e poi dentro.

L’uomo presagiva che tutta la sostanza del mondo si potesse sempre disgregare così. Che sotto la superficie apparente si potesse sfaldare in miseria e perdizione con o senza interventi. Semplicemente seguendo un istinto originario e insondabile di estinzione.

Qualche volta, e sempre più spesso con il passare anni, l’uomo aveva sentito un periodico disfarsi, pericolosamente simile a una tarlatura interiore, rimanendo in apparenza sanissimo, fortunato e senza pietà per se stesso.

Il corpo si era pian piano plastificato, assumendo tutte le posizioni convenienti per un essere umano adulto, soddisfatto della propria esistenza.

Ma la pelle era rimasta tesa su intercapedini, permeabile e sensibile agli eventi che gli piombavano addosso, imboccando il quid spellato, infetto e devastante, il dolore di essere vivo.

Dentro di lui queste piccole, vertiginose gole si schiudevano, via via più insaziabili. L’uomo ci sprofondava, sgretolandosi, incapace di aggrapparsi alle fenditure, di rallentare in qualche modo la sua corsa verso il fondo. Dall’interno-corpo vedeva la sua vita scivolargli di dosso a tradimento, fluttuando verso l’alto, cerulea, disincantata, sfilandosi dal suo controllo e mostrandosi, infine, per quello che veramente era: melliflua e senza promesse. Quanto credeva di essere riuscito a ottenere rimaneva a galleggiare accanto al corpo, fuori dalla sua portata, inservibile e incapace di proteggerlo, mentre tutti gli abitanti secondari della sua vita, pieni di aspettative e affamati, rimanevano a volteggiare come imperturbabili uccelli di rapina. Da sotto la fodera della carne, solo l’orribile, finale scoperta che nulla sarebbe mai stato sufficiente.

Dall’orizzonte arriva una luce grinzosa. Ogni tanto sussulta. L’uomo continua a guardare verso quella luce. È tenera, brillante. L’orizzonte va a fuoco in modo morbido, rassicurante. Sospira. Ora che è lì, non ha più alcun motivo di allarme. Non sente più frulli d’ala sopra la testa. In qualche modo un altro giorno sta per terminare. In lontananza sembra che riecheggi l’ultimo colpo, forse si sente un brusio. L’uomo socchiude gli occhi e rimane ad attendere.

****

La famiglia gli sta accanto. Il venerdì è giorno di visita. Lo sfiorano, mormorano qualcosa, ma senza particolari speranze. L’uomo è sospeso al di là della canna del fucile da quando era a quota cinquantuno. Se solo quel giorno avesse preso meglio la mira.

 

Biografia

Isidora Tesic nasce a Brescia nel 1996. I suoi racconti e poesie sono stati pubblicati su varie riviste, tra cui Nazione Indiana, Il primo amore e Nuovi Argomenti. Dal 2015 collabora con Q Code Magazine.

University of Bologna Student, Paul Azemata Amune, Publishes Paper in Global Studies

 

University of Bologna Student, Paul Azemata Amune, Publishes Paper in Global Studies

 

Populism and the Rise of Xenophobia among Italians toward Immigrants

 

Abstract

Over the years, like other parts of the European Union, Italy has experienced a sharp increase in the number of immigrants entering its territory. Immigration becomes a keenly contested topic. This paper focuses on understanding people’s genuine real-world concerns by briefly identifying three specific areas that could logically explain how Italians perceive immigration. They include security, identity, and jobs. The far-right populist politicians and the media have exploited these concerns as they continue to fan the flames of fear. This has consequentially led to several incidents of intolerance meted out to immigrants and other minority groups such as Muslims and the Roma community creating an atmosphere where these minority groups are perceived and treated as intruders. Empirical data have shown that immigrants contribute to the economic growth of Italy. They also show that immigration does not increase the crime rate and likewise does not pose a threat to the social fabric. Multiculturalism beyond integration is proposed in this paper to enhance the peaceful co-existence between the minority groups and the Italians.

 

Excerpt

In the wake of an Italian government coalition in 2018 between the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League saw the rise in violent attacks of foreigners. An anti-racist organization, Lunaria quarterly report, captures the number of racially motivated attacks against foreigners. The report states that the violence against immigrants has risen sharply in Italy, tripling between 2017 and 2018. It counted 126 physical attacks, particularly on migrants in 2018. It previously recorded twenty-seven racially motivated attacks in 2016 and forty-six in 2017 (Tondo 2019). Tondo (2019) noted that in the first two months of Matteo Salvini, (former Interior Minister well known for his anti-immigration rhetoric) entry into government, Lunaria 2018 figures recorded twelve shootings, two murders and thirty-three physical assaults against migrants. There was an instance that occurred shortly after the government instalment in 2018, involving Soumayla Sacko, an agricultural worker and a trade unionist from Mali, he was shot and killed in the southern Italian municipality of San Calogero (Robertson 2018). His death triggered a mass protest in Milan, in which protesters recited anti-racist slogans and posters read “Lega e Salvini assassini” (The League and Salvini are murderers).

Queen Enheduanna (Sumerian, c. 2300 BC), a poem by Willis Barnstone

Queen Enheduanna (Sumerian, c. 2300 BC)
Artist: Willis Barnstone

Queen Enheduanna

Earliest known writer, expelled from Ur, Enheduanna writes painted

hymns of exile, “My life is in flame.”

On return, Enheduanna is at “doorsill of heaven.” Again, a grand dame.

 

About Willis Barnstone

Poet, religious scholar, and translator Willis Barnstone was born in Lewiston, Maine, and earned a BA from Bowdoin College, an MA from Columbia University, and a PhD from Yale University. An intrepid traveler, he taught in Greece at the end of that country’s civil war and in Argentina during the “Dirty War,” and was in China during the Cultural Revolution. He later returned to China as a Fulbright Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

The author of more than 70 books, Barnstone has published more than a dozen volumes of poetry, including From This White Island (1959), China Poems (1977), The Secret Reader: 501 Sonnets (1996), Algebra of Night: New & Selected Poems 1948–1998, and Life Watch (2003).

He has also published numerous translations from Chinese, Spanish, French, Latin, ancient and modern Greek, and biblical Hebrew, including a complete translation of the New Testament (which he translates as the New Covenant), as well as memoirs, religious studies, children’s literature, and songs.

 

Multiply and Divide Using Scientific Notation, a poem by David Garyan

06/02/2022
Trento, Italy

 

Multiply and Divide Using Scientific Notation

Only scientists should seriously discuss science,
meaning Judith Butler should stop talking gender.

Only psychologists should seriously discuss psychology,
meaning Harold Bloom should’ve stopped talking behavior.

Only historians should seriously discuss history,
meaning Stephen Greenblatt should forget the history of ideas.

Be an expert only in yourself.

Specialize. Divide. Categorize.

If you’re white, feel only your pain.
If you’re black, do the same.

 

About David Garyan

David Garyan has published three chapbooks with Main Street Rag, along with (DISS)INFORMATION, a full collection with the same publisher. He holds an MA and MFA from Cal State Long Beach, where he associated himself with the Stand Up Poets. He received a master’s degree in International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage from the University of Bologna. He lives in Trento.

Trial by Twitter, an article by David Garyan

Trento, Italy

01/01/2022

Trial by Twitter

an article by David Garyan

On January 1st, 2022, my poem, “American Pandemic (The President’s Prayer),” was published in The American Journal of Poetry, Volume 12; it’s a poem, which, at first, seems to take a stand against science—more specifically vaccines, and perhaps, on the surface, something like that, at least if there’s no deeper contemplation, is happening there. For the record, as I wrote in this complementary piece, I believe in the positive power of science and the effectiveness of vaccines, which I received under the supervision of my parents as a child, along with the COVID jab on my own initiative (two shots of Pfizer).

Leaving all that aside, however, and returning to the work, I wrote this poem not to discredit science and vaccines, but to challenge the assumption that science and vaccines can solve all our problems—that somehow those men and women working in white lab coats are saints and miracle workers. I don’t believe they are, at least not in the grandiose, biblical sense. What do I mean? Before addressing this question, I would like to say that, firstly, there should be absolutely no debate about the good these individuals have done—the increased ease and convenience of life is total proof of this. Secondly, I don’t even claim to say that scientists are somehow bad individuals, because they’re not—many of them genuinely care about improving the planet, but even those with good intentions are often blinded by them and can’t see the actual damage the pursuit of their goals is making; this isn’t something peculiar to science or scientists, but rather it’s a general principle which affects everyone, from religious leaders on down to presidents.

So, what’s the purpose and intention of the poem? Essentially, I composed it as a challenge to the supposed saintliness of science. The pandemic has exposed—aside from the frailty of both authoritarian and even democratic nation states (a cliché argument these days)—not only our total obedience to science, but more aptly, our worship of it, to the point of idolatry. This is strange, because science, after all, isn’t omnipotent; it cannot, for example, read your thoughts or open your brain to find a picture of a horse inside it when you’re thinking of one, at least perhaps not yet. And so, we shouldn’t give it that kind of treatment, until it actually demonstrates these “godly” powers, which might be within the realm of possibilities, but perhaps also not.

The people wearing white coats, hence—the ones who’ve given us vaccines, cures, and medication—are often the same people who’ve given us the pandemics, diseases, and problems in the first place. Thus, referring to COVID vaccines as miracles is like saying nuclear decontamination experts are saints because they’ve developed tools to rid Chernobyl of all its radiation, or, more humorously, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Science itself develops the reactors and bombs, and then fashions the “miracles” to protect us from the very harm that arises from them.

It’s because of science, to begin with, that we have many of the illnesses, pandemics, and environmental destruction that the discipline itself is now trying to rid us of. Except for the biblical flood, which was a deliberate attempt to teach humanity a “lesson,” the unwanted consequences of scientific progress are exactly that—unwanted; indeed, I can’t think of any other time when God had to send his “miracles” to cure his people from the ills he himself created, which, as I try to count them, seem to be rare, and probably non-existent, at least in the Garden of Eden.

The unquestioned belief and faith in the “goodness” of science has become, somehow, more dogmatic than Christian fundamentalism; in this respect, perhaps, we don’t need more science, but less of it. As Gandhi wrote in Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule, a 1910 book in which he discusses not only India, but also modern civilization and colonialism. This work, like many others which show us the uncomfortable truth of who and what we are, was of course banned by the British—not that different from what’s happening today when people are simply silenced for speaking about things that make the government and masses uncomfortable. So, what does Gandhi say here that’s so relevant to our times? Or, the better question to ask would the following: How does he get banned? Well, by stating the following: “Railways, lawyers and doctors have impoverished the country [India] so much so that, if we do not wake up in time, we shall be ruined.” Let’s ignore lawyers for a second, and focus on doctors, who, according to Gandhi, give us the false illusion of health, because instead of listening to the messages and symptoms of our own bodies, we, instead, take medications to silence those very signs that tell us we’re destroying ourselves, all in the attempt to continue living those destructive lives.

Take, for example, individuals who routinely overeat—in the event of chronic pain, they’re less likely to embark on the difficult road of ceasing their unhealthy habit and more likely to follow the convenient way of taking substances that relieve the very symptoms/bodily signals which are telling them to stop eating in the first place, and when those miracles of science slowly begin losing their effectiveness (something they’re bound to do sooner or later) that person will blame the medication’s quality/growing ineffectiveness instead of his own lifestyle.

And so, doctors, according to Gandhi, aren’t so much curing people these days inasmuch as they’re promoting unhealthy lifestyles, and they do this by making us believe that health is no longer about your own ability to protect the body that’s yours, but rather it’s the job of science to do that—so stay out. Science has conveniently labeled those bodily signals which are telling us to change our own lifestyle and conveniently labeled them “symptoms,” in order to take away our own agency and hand it over to science so it can “cure” it.

And how about mental health? Feeling depressed? Like the stomach pain caused by overeating, don’t figure out why you have no energy or motivation. Don’t listen to your own body because you neither know it nor can change it yourself. You’re not a scientist and you’ll undergo Trial by Twitter should you dare step out of line. Indeed, your depression is probably caused by the fact that you’ve ingested too much TV or are leading a generally unproductive life, but don’t you dare make that assumption—these things are neither worth thinking about nor even relevant. Take an anti-depressants and continue your routine, because, you, as a Western individual, one with complete faith in science, can do nothing wrong to yourself, and if you do something wrong to yourself—like overeating which leads to stomach pain or watching too much TV which leads to depression—it’s not your job to fix or even worry about that; it’s the job of science to do that. Is this the altar of saintly science we blindly kneel before?

Already, articles, such as this one in Forbes are beginning to report that psychologists may have been too eager in designating some mental disorders as real disorders, when in fact, something like “ADHD is not a disorder …. Rather it is an evolutionary mismatch to the modern learning environment we have constructed.” Indeed, it’s not depression itself that’s the problem, but the modern world, with all its technology and science, that’s causing the depression to begin with—triggering things in the mind that would never have come to the surface in an otherwise “healthy” environment, not contaminated by the miracles of science. Disorders, however, and more surreptitiously symptoms, pay well, and so why not designate? Why not diagnose? Because to cure, you must diagnose, but who benefits from the cure in this case—the patient or corporations? Why do you need to “cure” something that could’ve been avoided in the first place?

Let’s return to modernity. Gandhi spoke about railroads. And so, was it not this technology which first connected the world? And, by God, how it truly did connect everyone—pandemics and diseases included, and these, of course, never had to pay for a ticket. During Gandhi’s day, railroads were all the rage—today it’s automobiles and planes, spreading all kinds of germs with greater convenience and ease, when, hundreds of years ago, these friendly viruses rarely left the community. Once again: Is this the saintliness of science that we must worship?

Perhaps it’s still not apparent to most that we’re losing our humanity. The sentiment may seem grand, but what good will it do us to trust blindly in science when that very same blindness more than satisfies the definition of dogma in any religion? Is it not apparent that we’re falling into the same trap of exclusion, intolerance, and narrow-mindedness when we judge people who choose to follow a different creed, except that now the persecution is packaged in a different form of heresy—the refusal to bow down to the altars of medicine, engineering, physics, and chemistry—things which have given us cures, bridges, light, but also atomic bombs, poisons, and Dr. Mengele, who and which, as I’ve written, have yet to demonstrate divinity, and probably never will.

It may be cliché, but there’s a price to pay for everything, and science has largely refused to acknowledge any of its own faults, which is why it’s strange, these days, for the discipline to demand that people worship its teachings like a religion—complete faith in the so-called chemical scriptures. Not that nature can’t wreak its own havoc or create its own poisons, but at least when the forest regrows after a lightning fire, or rivers return to their banks after downpours, nature doesn’t have the arrogance to designate precisely those forces which help it heal from the wounds its own power has inflicted as miracles.

It’s in this respect that I refuse to call vaccines, the people who develop and administer them, and science in general as miracles, because they’re not—even if they do contribute much good to our society. A blind belief, along with a total, unquestioned reliance on these things, much less the elevation of these studies to a holy plateau, is utterly unwarranted, and this remains the message of the poem.

And lastly, let’s assume the government does coerce individuals into doing something which is ultimately good for them, this coercion, nevertheless, can’t be called freedom, because while today that “benevolence” may align with the government’s own goals, tomorrow those goals may diverge, and when scientists begin injecting people to satisfy an entirely different, but necessary agenda (sterilizing people, for example, to control population because the planet is on the verge of collapse) will we blindly follow those measures as well—for the “good” of the planet? That too remains the message of the poem.

The authentic artist has always been and will always be an ardent critic of the blind stupidity espoused by the masses. And, furthermore, it’s the true visionaries who see, and perhaps have already seen, what lies two steps ahead—precisely those dangers which seem absolutely harmless today but will become a force to be reckoned with years down the line. Indeed, it’s the real poets who’ve always been enemies of the government; if they’re not dissidents, they’re existence is worthless. Those, who, today, prop up the governments’ initiatives are nothing more than the American variety of the Soviet Writers Union, which bestowed elite status and material benefits in exchange for cheap literature that promoted the “noble” agendas of the state. Our own apparatchik artists today—in contrast to the hack poets like Mayakovsky and hack novelists like Ostrovski who glorified the construction of a communist paradise—are styling themselves like ones who’ve just gotten out of bed, and they’re nevertheless espousing a similarly unrealistic Eden where no one is ever offended, where everyone is always safe, where everything is forever perfect, because 2+2=5, and all of this will somehow be brought by an incarnation of Lenin, except he’ll be a better communist this time.

For now, everything is okay—get vaccinated and carry a card that prevents those who don’t have it from entering movie theaters and Christmas markets. Anyways, today it’s all for our own good and what’s the harm if it also coincides with the government’s agenda? None whatsoever. When tomorrow, however, the planet’s very existence is really threatened (it will surely come to that point one day) and something drastic must be done to fix the situation, it will no longer matter to the government what people are injected with—only that the problem is solved.

 

About David Garyan

David Garyan has published three chapbooks with Main Street Rag, along with (DISS)INFORMATION, a full collection with the same publisher. He holds an MA and MFA from Cal State Long Beach, where he associated himself with the Stand Up Poets. He is currently studying International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage at the University of Bologna. He lives in Ravenna.