May 26, 2017

The Civil War

The civil War Loving San Francisco
     In the days of colonization, both people in the North and people in the South kept slaves. Little by little the northern States became industrialized and slavery was gradually abolished.
     The South, on the contrary, remained essentially rural, and the landowners, who needed slaves to cultivate the land and chiefly to produce cotton, didn’t want to abolish slavery.
Abraham Lincoln November 1863     In 1860 Abraham Lincoln became the sixteenth President of the United States of America. He was a well-known lawyer who had always fought against slavery and so it happened that the southern States, which needed negro slaves, withdrew from the Union and elected their own President, Jefferson Davis.
     Civil war was inevitable and, in fact, it broke out a few months later, and lasted four years. In the end the southern commander, General Lee, had to surrender to the northern General Grant. 
     In this war thousands of soldiers died and a great number of houses and farms were set on fire chiefly in the South. But slavery was abolished at last. 

May 22, 2017

The making of Australia

Australia. History
     The settlement of Australia by the Aborigines is at least 25,000 – 40,000 years old. They immigrated from South East Asia and there were about 300,000 of them when Europeans arrived.
     The Dutch came in 1616, and in 1644 Australia was called New Holland. The British first arrived in 1688. It Was in 1770 that James Cook, a British explorer, took scientists to study the plants, animals and native people, in his first ship, the Endeavour. He wanted to claim the land for Britain and, in April 1770, he charted the east coast of Australia, and named it New South Wales. There was a scientist on the ship, Joseph Banks who was so fascinated by the range of plants in a bay, that the British named it Botany Bay.
     Sailing north, the ship was damaged when it ran into coral on the Great Barrier Reef. After repairing the ship they sailed back to Britain, arriving in July 1771. In London, Joseph Banks suggested that Botany Bay would be a very good place to start a colony.
James Cook Australia Trip
     In 1788 the first feet of eleven ships from Britain landed in Botany Bay to establish the colony of New South Wales. There were about 1,050 people, mostly prisoners from British prisons sent to begin a colony. They moved from Botany Bay to Sydney Cove where there was fresh water and better soil. The settlers called the place The Rocks. Later free settlers began to arrive from Britain wanting to start a new life. Most immigrants to Australia for the next 150 years were of British origin. 
Source: Excursion, an old Italian book. 
Captain James Cook portraitJames Cook Australia

May 20, 2017

Simple origami: shirt with tie in your car

Hang it in your car, near the window.
The classic T-shirt says “Baby aboard”, but we have to make the difference. 
In this case the message (in English) is: “Little boy aboard”.
Bimbo a bordo maglietta camicia cravatta origami Auto - Blog

May 18, 2017

Sports in Britain

British sports
     Sport plays an important part in many British people’s lives. Most towns, cities and villages have their own sports centres, cricket clubs and football clubs, and many big firms have their own sports facilities. Sport is also considered important in children’s education, for developing important qualities such as team spirit and as a way of keeping physically fit.
     Many secondary schools in Britain have a gym, playing fields and some have a swimming pool. Most school children spend about half a day a week playing games. In the past boys learned football, or cricket, while girls played hockey or netball. Now this is changing and children have more choice. Many schools offer other sports such as badminton, tennis, boxing, judo and rugby.
     Apart from practising a sport, British people also like watching sporting events live, or staying at home and watching them on TV.
     For sports in which people want to participate, Britain offers facilities for almost every sport and leisure activity. Around the coasts and lakes there are opportunities for swimming, surfing, sailing and water-skiing; in the mountainous regions there is skiing, climbing, and hiking; rivers are very good for fishing; while pony-trekking, riding and walking are very popular. 
     Source: Excursion, an old Italian book. 

May 14, 2017

Shakespeare. Focus on The Tempest

Prospero, Duke of Milan, deposed from his throne by his brother Antonio, has been shipwrecked on a lonely island with his daughter Miranda. Thanks to his knowledge of magic, Prospero has released the spirit Ariel who was imprisoned by a witch called Sycorax, and who now becomes Prospero’s servant. He also has another servant, Caliban, the witch’s own son. Caliban is a monstrous creature and was the sole inhabitant of the island until Prospero’s arrival. Prospero has spent twelve years on the island and during these years he has perfected his knowledge of magic.
The Tempest William Shakespeare
The play begins with a storm raised by Prospero’s magic which causes the ship carrying Antonio, Alonso King of Naples, his brother Sebastian as well as Alonso’s son Ferdinand to be shipwrecked off the island. The passengers are miraculously saved but are dispersed about the island in different groups. The members of each group believe themselves to be the only survivors. This gives rise to three sub-plots:
1) Ferdinand meets Miranda and the couple fall in love but Prospero puts a spell on Ferdinand to protect his daughter’s virtue before finally permitting the couple to marry at the end of the play.
2) Meanwhile on another part of the island Antonio and Sebastian, the villains of the play, are planning to kill Alonso and his honest counsellor Gonzalo, but they fail.
3) Caliban persuades two Of the ship’s crew, Stefano, a drunken hurler, and Trinculo, a jester, to try to murder Prospero and take control of the island. This plot forms a comic counterpoint to Antonio’s conspiracy.
At the end of the play, after Prospero has used the spirit Arid to manipulate events and defeat the various conspiracies, all the characters are finally reunited. Prospero forgives Antonio on the condition that he returns his dukedom to him, and before they all embark tot Italy, he sets Caliban and Ariel free, renouncing both his political and magic powers.
Features of the play
The text probably derives from more than one source. Some passages echo the English translations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, while among its other influences are Montaigne’s Essays as well as travel literature, particularly the accounts of the shipwreck of the Sea-Adventure off the coast of the Bermudas in 1609, before its passengers arrived safely in Virginia.
William Shakespeare
The Tempest is a complex play where illusion and reality intermingle. It is a play about power in all its forms: the power of European culture over non-European cultures, the power of language and the power of the artist to create illusion. The relationship between Prospero and Caliban reflects the power of the colonisers over colonised peoples, while the figure of Ariel stands as a metaphor for the powers of art and language that the artist may borrow to create his works but can never master completely. Just as Prospero must set Ariel free at the end of the play, so too must Shakespeare set his play free once it is complete, thus relinquishing his control over its ultimate meaning. Art and language have a life of their own, beyond the author.
On a different level, Prospero’s release of Caliban at the end of the play is accompanied by an acknowledgement that he too contains something of Caliban’s savage uncontrollable nature. This has been much commented on, particularly in post-colonial readings of the play. 
Source: Thomson – Maglioni, Literary Links. Literature in time and space, Cideb, an old Italian book 2000. 

May 10, 2017

The Spanish Armada

Spanish Armada Invincible Armada
England and Spain had been at war for several years when in 1588 a mighty fleet sailed from Spain to conquer England. On that occasion the Island was saved by her ships and brave seamen.
The Spanish Armada, which was composed of 130 ships, sailed up the Channel to meet the English fleet which was waiting at Plymouth.
The English ships were as numerous as the Spanish galleons but the former were smaller than the latter and therefore they could steer more rapidly to escape the enemy’s fire. Moreover, the English were led by Lord Howard of Effingham and by many famous seamen such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins. 
The two fleets fought against one another for nine days but in the end the Spaniards had to take shelter in Calais. There they were attacked by six English ships loaded with gun powder and sent to drift among the enemy fleet. The final battle was fought off Gravelines where most Spanish ships were destroyed by the English and the others were driven away by a strong south-west wind. Spain was no longer a sea power. 

May 6, 2017

The Conquest of the West

The victory of the thirteen American colonies over their mother country in 1781 and the declaration of their independence were followed by a long period of organization for the new nation. In 1789 the constitution of the United States was ratified and George Washington was elected first President.
The first half of the 19th century was marked by considerable territorial expansion: Louisiana was bought from Napoleon for $ 14,500,000 and Florida from Spain for $ 5,000,000. Texas and California were annexed from Mexico.
the conquest of the american west
The Far West was explores and reports of rich gold mines in California started the famous “Gold Rush” which is one of the most colourful pages in the history of the Far West. People began moving westwards. Pioneers packed their families and furniture into big covered wagons, crossed the Appalachians and set out to the West. This Expansion was marked by a long and bitter conflict against the Redskin Indians, who attempted bravely to defend their hunting grounds from the invaders. Many were the great Indian chiefs who led their people against the white men: Black Hawk was the hero of the resistance to the Palefaces east of the Mississippi; Sitting Bull was the great Sioux leader who defeated Colonel Custer; and Cochise at the head of his warlike tribe, the Apaches, spread terror among the Whites in Arizona.
But the Indians’ struggle was a vain one. They were practically exterminated by the white men and only a few survived the massacre. Their descendants can still be found in the reservations of Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Oregon, where they are nothing but a tourist attraction. They welcome foreign visitors and entertain them with their colourful dances, their rainbow-hued costumes, the beat of their drums and their ancient chants. Some are willing to pose for photographs.
This is all that is left of the culture, the customs, the beliefs of a proud and ancient people. 
Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974. 

May 2, 2017

The Mayflower

During the reign of the Catholic King James I the Puritans were persecuted because they wanted to purify the English Church. In September 1620 a group of them, being tired of persecution, sailed from the port of Plymouth on board the Mayflower, a three-masted ship. These Puritans, called The Pilgrim Fathers, were in search of a new land to settle in. It was a very long and difficult voyage across the stormy Atlantic Ocean and many times the ship was on the point of sinking. Nine weeks later, the Pilgrims reached Cape Cod in North America. That spot was rocky and bare but some Pilgrims went ashore all the same, hoping to find a good place where to live. One month later, those who had landed discovered a good natural harbour where all the Pilgrims settled at last. The colony they founded was named New Plymouth. Many other English colonies were funded after this one and all of them were called New England. These settlers together with others coming from many European countries were the founders of the United States of America. 

Apr 28, 2017

The Oregon trail

nasa topo Oregon trail
In the first half of the 19th century thousands of Americans left their homes in the East and travelled westwards. Some of them were going to California where gold deposits had been discovered, some others were going to settle in the Oregon country where they could find fertile land and pleasant climate.
Few migrants travelled alone. Most went in parties with a guide who knew where to find water and grass for the animals. The first large party went over the Oregon trail in 1843. There were 200 families (about 1,000 persons) and they travelled in 120 covered wagons. They had almost 800 cattle and 700 oxen.
Pioneers used oxen to carry their wagons because Indians did not know how to use these animals and therefore they would not steal them. Moreover, oxen would be very useful to pioneers when they reached Oregon and began farming.
The migrants moved like an army; they camped; at night arranging their wagons in a circle to defend themselves and their cattle from the Indians. It was hard to avoid the Indians as caravans travelled slowly and kicked up enough dust to he seen for miles.
Some Indian tribes were very fierce and hated the Whites as, on their way to Oregon, they killed many buffalo that the Indians lived on. 
The Indian chief Colorow said: Colorow owns this country. Buffalo are Indian cattle. White man’s cattle eat all grass. Buffalo die, no food. No hunting, no meat, no robes. 
Oregon trail

Apr 24, 2017

The English at Home

The English don’t like to live in busy city streets. They dislike blocks of flats which are all alike and have no individuality. They prefer to buy or to rent a small house on the outskirts, away from the noise and the traffic of the town centre.
United Kingdom
The typical suburban house is a two-storey building with six rooms and two gardens: a front garden full of flowers and a back garden with fruit-trees and vegetables.
Instead of a number each house has a pretty name which distinguishes it from the house next door: “May Flowers”, “Red Roses”, “The Cottage”, and the like.
The first thing an Englishman does with his house is to surround it with a fence or a hedge in order “to shut out the neighbours” and to preserve his privacy and freedom. Freedom, in fact, for an Englishman means above all the right to live his private life, a private life into which he refuses to admit any but his closest friends.
Behind the closed door of his “castle” the Englishman enjoys being alone with his family, looking after his pets, reading his favourite newspaper, smoking his pipe, or spending a quiet evening sitting in front of the television set.
In summer, when the weather is nice and sunny, he likes to spend his spare time in the garden, watering the flowers, cutting the hedge or mowing the lawn. He loves flowers, and gardening is one of his favourite hobbies.
Sometimes he has tea in the garden with his wife, while his children play on the grass with their pets. Pets live in the house and are considered members of the family. English people are very fond of animals, and you can hardly find any English family who does not have a dog, a goldfish, a bird or even a pony as a pet. 
Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974. 

Apr 20, 2017

Robinson Crusoe. Focus on the text

Robinson Crusoe (by Daniel Defoe) is probably the most famous adventure story in the English literature. It tells the story of a man who is shipwrecked off a desert island where he spends the next 28 years before being rescued. The story is divided into three parts.
Robinson Crusoe. Focus on the text
In the first part we are told briefly about Crusoe’s early life and about how lie runs away from home to sea rather than accept the life of leisure his father promises him. After a series of adventures Crusoe finds himself in Brazil where he becomes a plantation owner, an occupation which he does not really like but which brings him prosperity. From there he sets off for Africa with some other plantation owners to procure slaves to work for them. It is on this journey that he is shipwrecked. Whashed ashore on a desert island, he is the only survivor.
The second part of the book is in the form of a journal in which Crusoe writes about life on the island; how he uses his strength and intelligence to overcome the difficulties of his situation and eventually become master of the island. It is in this part that he encounters a ‘savage’, whom he calls Friday and whom he resolves to convert to Christianity, teaching him the rudiments of his language and culture, including how to use a gun to hunt animals for food and later to defend themselves from attack.
The third and final part of the book tells of their rescue and of Crusoe’s return to Brazil with Friday as his servant.
Stylistic features
Like Defoe’s other novels Robinson Crusoe is written in the first-person in the form of spiritual autobiography. As he does with Moll Flanders, Defoe adds a preface which states ‘The editor believes this thing to be a just History of fact; neither is there any appearance of fiction in it.’ So we are led to believe that this is the story of a real man, and that Defoe is merely the editor.
The style of the narrative is very matter of fact. We are given little or no access to Crusoe’s inner thoughts or feelings, he generally tells us only about his actions and about what physically happens to him. Occasionally he reflects on religious questions. Indeed one of the themes of the book is the Puritan idea of man’s redemption on earth. Another interesting feature is the organisation of the story: there is no real novelistic plot; rather, Crusoe’s journal merely recounts the things that happen to him in a diary-like sequence. In this respect Robinson Crusoe is formally quite unsophisticated, unlike, for example, the novels of Henry Fielding.
Robinson Crusoe’s enduring popularity is undoubtedly due to the fact that, like all classics, in the words of Italo Calvino ‘it has never finished saying what it has to say.’
Below are three of the most common interpretations that have been given to the text.
Interpretations. Three lines.
Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
1) The religious allegory. The book has been interpreted as a religious allegory, a Puritan tract about man’s redemption from sin. The Puritans had a very down to earth view of religion. Their view was that man must save himself from original sin on Earth, regaining the paradise he has lost through his labour and self-reliance. The island on which Crusoe is shipwrecked is at first an ‘island of despair’. But gradually, through his virtues of resilience, intelligence and hard work he gradually transforms it into a paradise of which he is master. As a Puritan, Crusoe’s religious beliefs are very different from those of the Roman Catholic religion. He does not ask God for salvation but relies only upon his own labours.
2) The economic allegory. The book also functions as an allegory of merchant capitalism: the mini-civilisation, which Crusoe establishes on the island, is similar to the society from which he comes. After he has arrived on the island he begins to regard it as his property. He builds himself an improvised house with a fence round it. He gathers wealth in the form of stocks of food and supplies. He even gives himself an arduous work routine, although he has no boss. When he meets the savage, Friday, he employs him as a servant. In this sense Crusoe embodies the values of the self-made man. He is like a businessman who, starting from nothing, slowly builds himself an empire.
3) The imperialist allegory. More recently Robinson Crusoe has been considered as an allegory of British imperialism because it attempts to demonstrate the white, Christian Crusoe’s inherent superiority over the savage Friday, who must be civilised and converted to Christianity. Robinson sees it as his right to be lord and master of the island despite the fact that Friday was there before him. His logic follows that of the British government who saw it as their right to conquer and control most of Africa and later India. The indigenous inhabitants of these countries were generally regarded as savages who had to be civilised. In Robinson Crusoe the savage Friday does not really have a voice. He only learns to speak when Crusoe teaches him English. The master-slave relationship is reminiscent of that between Prospero and Caliban in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest but Friday, unlike Caliban, does not learn to curse his master.  
Source: Thomson – Maglioni, Literary Links. Literature in time and space, Cideb, an old Italian book 2000. 

Apr 16, 2017


Scarcelle Pasqua con ovetto Silvana Calabrese Blog

     Easter or Resurrection Sunday is a holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion as is describing in the Holy Bible.
     It represents the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent (a forty-day period of prayer and fasting.
     The whole week before Easter is named Holy Week.

     In proximity of this holiday the cuisine is extreme, but the results are spectacular and impeccable taste. Native of Puglia is the scarcella, an Easter cake baked and variously decorated on which lies a boiled egg or small chocolate eggs. 
     In the group of typically Italian Easter cakes it places the dove, whose mixture lies inside a mold and decorate with almonds and sugar grains.
Scarcelle e colomba Pasqua Silvana Calabrese - Blog

Apr 12, 2017

Stand by me soundtrack – Ben E. King

Stand By meWhen the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin', darlin', stand by me, 
oh now now stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry, no I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin', darlin', stand by me, oh stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me-e, yeah

Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand by me,
oh now now stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darlin', darlin', stand by me-e, stand by me 
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Apr 8, 2017

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe was a sailor. During one of his voyages he was shipwrecked in a storm and all his companions were drowned.
He reached a desert island and, before the ship sank, he succeeded in bringing ashore some tools, guns, food and also a cat and a dog. After living alone for many years, one day he saw some canoes approaching the island. He hid behind a bush and from there, shortly after, he saw some savages landing. They had some captives with them and Robinson realized that they were going to kill and eat them. Al of a sudden one of the captives ran away. Two cannibals pursued him and were going to catch him but Robinson fired at them and saved the captive. As all this happened on a Friday, Robinson named the savage he had saved Friday and took him as his servant. Robinson taught Friday to speak English and baptized him. 
The two men lived together on the island until a ship anchored off shore. The crew had mutinied and were going to kill their captain. Robinson and Friday saved him and so they were able to leave the island. 
Robinson Crusoe Loving San Francisco

Apr 4, 2017

“Will Hunting” Monologue, Robin Williams

will hunting
Sean and Will sit in the bleachers at the mostly empty park. They look out over a small pond, in which a group of schoolchildren on a field trip ride the famous Swan Boats.
WILL: So what's with this place? You have a swan fetish? Is this something you'd like to talk about?
SEAN: I was thinking about what you said to me the other day, about my painting. I stayed up half the night thinking about it and then something occurred to me and I fell into a deep peaceful sleep and haven't thought about you since. You know what occurred to me?
SEAN: You're just a boy. You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about.
WILL: Why thank you.
SEAN: You've never been out of Boston.
SEAN: So if I asked you about art you could give me the skinny on every art book ever written...Michelangelo? You know a lot about him I bet. Life's work, criticisms, political aspirations. But you couldn't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. And if I asked you about women I'm sure you could give me a syllabus of your personal favorites, and maybe you've been laid a few times too. But you couldn't tell me how it feels to wake up next to a woman and be truly happy. If I asked you about war you could refer me to a bevy of fictional and non-fictional material, but you've never been in  one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap and watched him draw his last breath, looking to you for help. And if I asked you about love I'd get a sonnet, but you've never looked at a woman and been truly vulnerable. Known that someone could kill you with a look. That someone could rescue you from grief. That God had put an angel on Earth just for you. And you wouldn't know how it felt to be her angel. To have the love be there for her forever. Through anything, through cancer. You wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in a hospital room for two months holding her hand and not leaving because the doctors could see in your eyes that the term "visiting hours" didn't apply to you. And you wouldn't know about real loss, because that only occurs when you lose something you love more than yourself, and you've never dared to love anything that much. I look at you and I don't see an intelligent confident man, I don't see a peer, and I don't see my equal. I see a boy. Nobody could possibly understand you, right Will? Yet you presume to know so much about me because of a painting you saw. You must know everything about me. You're an orphan, right?
Will nods quietly.
SEAN: (cont'd) Do you think I would presume to know the first thing about who you are because I read "Oliver Twist?" And I don't buy the argument that you don't want to be here, because I think you like all the attention you're getting. Personally, I don't care. There's nothing you can tell me that I can't read somewhere else. Unless we talk about your life. But you won't do that. Maybe you're afraid of what you might say.
Sean stands,
SEAN: (cont'd) It's up to you. 
And walks away.

Mar 30, 2017

S.O.S. Save Our Souls

It was a stormy night on the Atlantic Ocean.
The liner Carmania which was crossing the Atlantic bound for Europe, picked an S.O.S. signal coming from the ship Volturno. This liner was asking for help as she was on fire.
In spite of the storm, the Carmania proceeded at her maximum speed towards the ship on fire.
But she was not the only liner to go to the rescue.
At dawn ten vessels could be seen around the Volturno.
Something terrible had happened on board the burning ship: some passengers had thrown themselves into the sea to escape the fire and had been drowned; others had tried to save themselves in the life-boats, but most of these had capsized. The ships around could do nothing because of the rage of the storm. 
All the passengers would have died if a tanker hadn’t arrived. She poured her oil on the water and so the waves abated. All at once the ten liners lowered their life-boats and so all those who had remained on hoard the Volturno were saved. 

Mar 24, 2017

Gulliver’s Travels. Focus on the text

Gulliver's Travels (by Jonathan Swift) is divided into four books:
Gullivers travels
In Book 1 the hero, ship’s surgeon Lemuel Gulliver, tells of his shipwreck off the island of  Lilliput. The Lilliputians, he discovers, are a tiny people, only six inches high. During his stay on Lilliput he learns about the local customs and culture, and about the country’s political system. He offers to help the people in their war against another island, Blefuscu, after which he returns to England.
In Book 2 Gulliver sets off for India but after a series of misadventures finds himself abandoned on the island of Brobdingnag whose inhabitants are all giants. The situation of Book 1 is reversed, as Gulliver finds himself regarded  as something like a living doll for children to play with. He is sold to the Queen and has some interesting discussions with the King about the political situation in Europe, before returning once again to England.
Book 3 sees Gulliver land on the amazing flying island of Laputa with its capital Lagado which is populated by philosophers and scientists, all involved in bizarre and ultimately futile scientific research and speculations.
From here he Journeys to another two islands, Glubdubdrib and Luggnag, each with their own absurdities.
Book 4 finds Gulliver in a land ruled by intelligent horses who  call  themselves the Houyhnhnms and who are served by a filthy, bestial, subhuman race called the Yahoos. Again Gulliver spends his time trying to learn the language and ways of the Houyhnhnms, and assimilates them so well that when he returns home to his wife and children he finds himself disgusted by their humanness.
Gulliver’s Travels has for a long time been considered a children’s classic because of the wonderfully absurd imagination of its images and the simplicity of its prose. But its dense mixture of fantasy, political satire and moral fable render it a highly complex work and there has been much debate among literary critics in the centuries alter its publication as to what Swift’s intentions in writing it actually were. Many have regarded it as a misanthropic hook, a vicious attack on the human race as a whole.
The hook’s defenders, on the other hand, say that the book is a satire of man’s hypocrisy, vanity and cruelty, his small-mindedness and absurd pretensions.
According to this last scheme the four voyages might be read as follows:
First Journey
The diminutive Lilliputians, although a well-organised society, can be seen to represent cruelty, pettiness and provincialism (arguably the way Swift saw the England of his time). To their eyes Gulliver is like a giant baby, a huge body controlled by its physical needs. Their only use for him is as a weapon to destroy their enemies.
Second Journey
The giants of Brobdingnag represent human vanity and self-love. Gulliver’s descriptions of their bodies (which to him are enormous) reveal a mixture of fascination for, and disgust and repulsion towards the human body, which may be seen as an obstacle to spiritual growth. But here the diminished Gulliver is identified with the Lilliputians. This parallel is further emphasised by the King’s response to Gulliver’s account of England, when he says that the majority of the English appear to be ‘the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.’
Third Journey
Gulliver's Travels
The Laputans can be seen as a parody of the pretensions of abstract intellectual thinking, which has no connection to reality (the island flies above the ground), and also as a satire on Britain’s military and colonial ambitions (the king threatens to land the island on any dissenting subjects, literally crushing them to death).
Fourth Journey
The land of the Houyhnhnms where horses rule over a bestial subhuman race is one of the best examples of Swiftian reversal. We are made to see Gulliver from the perspective of the horses whose only experience of the human race is with the savage Yahoos. Gulliver tries to convince them that his own race dry not at all like the yahoos but from the horses’ point of view, the picture he portrays of the violent and vicious society he conies from merely confirms that underneath the masquerade of civilisation, humans are indeed lost like the Yahoos – only more sophisticated it their barbarism. 
Source: Thomson – Maglioni, Literary Links. Literature in time and space, Cideb, an old Italian book 2000. 

Mar 20, 2017

“The Devil’s advocate” Monologue, Al Pacino

I want you to be yourself. You know, boy, guilt is like a bag of fucking bricks. All you gotta do is set it down… Who are you carrying all those bricks for anyway? God? Is that it? God? Well, I’ll tell ya, lemme give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He’s a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts! He gives this extraordinary gift and then what does he do? I swear for his own amusement his own private cosmic gag reel – he sets the rules in opposition. It’s the goof of all time! Look. But don’t touch! Touch. But don’t taste! Taste. Don’t swallow! And while you’re jumping from one foot to the next, he’s laughing his sick fucking ass off! He’s a tight ass, he’s a sadist, he’s an absentee landlord! Worship that never!
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven, is that it?
Why not? I’m here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began! I’ve nurtured every sensation Man has been inspired to have! I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I’m a fan of man! 
I’m a humanist. Maybe the last humanist. Who, in their right mind, Kevin, could possibly deny the 20th century was entirely mine? All of it, Kevin, all of it! Mine! I’m peaking here! It’s my time now. It’s our time. 
The devil's advocate

Mar 16, 2017

The English at Table

english breakfast
English women don’t devote so much time to cooking as women on the Continent do, and they often use tinned food. Still they are very fond of making cakes, puddings and innumerable cups of tea.
Early in the morning, while they are still in bed, the English like to have their first cup of tea with a biscuit. Later on they have breakfast, which is a more substantial meal than on the Continent. Some people eat porridge or corn-flakes with hot or cold milk to begin with. Then the main course is served. It generally consists of eggs and bacon, sausages with tomatoes, and a few slices of toast and butter. Coffee and tea are the most popular drinks at breakfast.
Lunch is usually a lighter meal in England than on the Continent. Many children have their midday meal at school, and most working people, having no time to go back home for lunch, have just a snack at a self-service restaurant or a coffee bar. Fish and chips, cheese, salads, omelettes are among the most typical dishes.
The English drink no wine during their meals because wine in England isn’t as cheap as it’s in Italy. They generally have milk, lemonade, fruit-juice or beer instead.
At about five o’clock, most people have afternoon tea. The English are great tea-drinkers: they have tea at any time of the day: early in the morning, at breakfast, after lunch, in the afternoon, after supper and again before going to bed. They generally drink tea with milk and not with lemon as we do in Italy. Since they are very fond of sweet things they always have cakes and biscuits with their tea.
Dinner is the biggest meal of the day. It generally consists of three main courses: soup, meat or fish with vegetables, and dessert.
The English don’t eat as much bread during their meals as we do. They have sliced bread instead of rolls and usually spread butter on it. 
Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974. 

Mar 12, 2017

Problem child soundtrack Bad to the bone - George Thorogood

Problem childOn the day I was born, 
the nurses all gathered 'round
And they gazed in wide wonder, 
at the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up, 
and she said leave this one alone
She could tell right away, 
that I was bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
B-B-B-B-Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone

I broke a thousand hearts, before I met you
I'll break a thousand more baby, before I am through
I wanna be yours pretty baby, yours and yours alone
I'm here to tell ya honey, that I'm bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone

I make a rich woman beg, 
I'll make a good woman steal
problem child Loving San FranciscoI'll make an old woman blush, 
and make a young woman squeal
I wanna be yours pretty baby, 
yours and yours alone
I'm here to tell ya honey, 
that I'm bad to the bone
Bad to the bone