In speaking of age, the verb to have be, and the expression, of age, translated by quanti is How He che aveva forse used instead of IIoio old to is Ex. Ha venti anni, diecianni. Alessandria fu fondata da Alessandro il grande, tre centotrenta due anni avanti Cristo, is old is your brother? Urano make his piti distante [0 2 round the sun intorno a pianeta Saturn Saturno giro a fare 29 years 5 mouths, and 17 days; Jupiter 11 years 10 months takes 84 years to revolution mette ; Giove and 14 days; Mars, 1 year 10 months 21 days; the Earth, 1 Marte 85 year; Venus, 7 months 14 days; Mercury, 2 months 27 days.
In The dates of the month are expressed in Italian by the cardinal numbers, preceded by the singular or plural definite article ; number speaking of ihe first day of the month, the or dined in is used. On i, or li venti Settembre, gli Alleati attaccarono e sconjissero i Bussi all'Alma, Il primo di Gennaio si ricambiano in Francia molti regali, the 20tli of SeptemLer, the Alh'ea attacked and defeated the Russians at the Alma.
In Franje, many presents are exchanged on the 1st of January. II, 93, dates, The is preposition on, which omitted in Italian.
A A What o'clock is rendered che ora fate merenda? At what At what next. Two months. Three months. Six months. Two years. Three years. Five years, or a Una Due Once. Each, or a head.
Ten volta. In a fortnight we shall re- have vaca- lions. Germany, we dined at two o'clock, and we supped at Germania desinavamo cenavamo 95 You will find me at home from six to eight o'clock. I Mi six. In Italian the meaning of nouns may be ways, by adding to them certain syllables modified in various ; nouns so modified are curtailed of the final vowel. The and imply terminations one, size, strength, one become masculine. Ino, a poor rhjmster. A etto, iccino, oncello, elio, icello, eretto, little man. The river, the rivulet. An old man, a poor old man.
Some adjectives and Christian names are modified in a Ex. Rich, very rich. Ricco, riccone. Beautiful, pretty. White, whitish. Adverbs also admit of these modifications, Poco, pochino, pochetto, Adagio, adagino. Softly, very softly. Well, pretty well, very well. Greece was more polished than any other nation of antiquity. The personal pronouns following di must be in the ob- jective case, not, as in English, in the nominative. They have been me, wiser than I. When the comparison is made between two mjimtives, two adverbs, or two adjectives, than is translated by che, and also when the two 7iou7is compared are only separated by than.
Before proper names, as in be rendered by di or che ; when di than never. A to be wise person listens more than he speaks. Eomans were more warlike than literary. Niente aperto — The is — He faultless forms. You are richer sembrare migliore abbisognano — than but I I, am — Greater virtue hnaggior bad, — Croesus had more gold happier than you. It is better to rise meglio levarsi di buon ora tardi.
The is smaller llian the earth. Come, as. Quanto, as. Meno, or tanto meno, the less. Tanto, quanto, should be used in forming comparisons of quan- Ex. The more ignorant one maybe they relate to nouns of different gender. Ef]li many as Paris. This room is as long as yours is broad. Si e mostrato quale l'avevamo giudicato, He has shown himself such as judged him to be. Tanto, quanto sono Al tanti nemici quanti par di, man ; tbe only enemy of the poor those of the dissohite are as his unbridled desires.
Si mostrarono valorosi par degli al antichi Spartani, sarete ricompensato al par di vostra sorella. Non They proved themselves as valiant as the ancient Spartans. The inhabitants of towns are not country. She is — as healthy as those of the quello sano The more he studies the more he wishes to study. Quello montagna the distance. The Superlative Absolute By changing the final vowel of formed, Grande, grandissimo. Great, very great.
Piccolo, piccolissimo. Grande, malissimo, very badly. Egli ajjpartiene ad una famiglia assai ricca e molto stimata, Voi mi sembrate oltremodo afflitto, Quando mi vide, ella divenne rossa, I He Ex. You seem very much When grieved. Larghissimo, very wide. Savio, wise.
Savissimo, Bieco, rich. Biechissimo, Largo, wide. A few adjectives form the superlative absolute in errimo. Misero, miserable. Celebre, celebrated. Acre, bitter. Integro, honest. Salubre, salubrious. Miserrimo, Celeberrimo, Acerrimo, Integerrimo, Saluberrimo, very very very very veiy miserable. Tlie study of languages studio 25 is very agreeable and very useful. Tlio ancient Gauls were very occuparono Gallo eminente carica. The happiest of men. The least gay of the party.
Grace is the noblest part of beauty. Tlie article the noun. Jl pessimo, the worst. Jl massimo, the greatest. II minimo, the least. L'infimo, the lowest. Massimo, very great, Minimo, very little. Sommo, very high. Infimo, very low. The language of a people is the most important their history. The twilight in the is much mezzogiorno crepuscolo the figures and — shorter than in the north. Third Person Fern. I speak to you, Henry. Enrico, The The master negligente, Farlo a 59 tragedie deW Al- I not understand him. The milliner has not maker zolaio his boots?
In writing to him, you can inform him of your phan. Advise her to go on the Continent. Eipetetemi la lezione. Consigliatela Ex. Nonmi parlate pili su questo affirmatively, the conjunctive Ex. Le dica la Mi dicano Letthem tell me what they have done. Appena ci vide, invitocci As a pranzo, CI soon as be saw us, he invited us to dinner. Fammi il Do me favore di tradunx la tua the favour of translating thy letter into English. Did you repeat me you see my to her ripetere occupied. The English neuter objective pronouns rendered in Italian by the conjunctive pronoun Zo, it. Your uncle has taken it.
I do not Do you know la so, know Chi vi ha dato questi Who bei fiori? Li ho comprati, Sulla piazza di Palazzo Vecchio a Firenze vi sono delle bellissime statue ; le avete vedute? In the square of the old Palace in Florence there are very beautiful Have you seen them? Ve ne abbiamo avvertito in vano. Dove avete comprato questi aranci Ce li ha regalati il nonno, showed it to me.
Where have you bought tliose Our grandfather has oranges? Dio vel perdoni, Temo cen privi. When He did not allow May God pardon it to you me. I fear he will deprive us of it. Niuna accademia si puo attribuire No academical body can arrogate the Fear warns us composure to us.
His fi lends spoke to him of it in I confidence. Glie sell from monarchs cortigiano nascondere a storico the relative pronoun. When a conjunctive there is, is, it to her. I introduced my wife to them. I gave them the half. Here we Eccoci giunti, arc an But when riposai aWomhra di ti, si, ci, vi, si. She dressed herself elegantly. They vainly flatter themselves that cia, In vano Ex. I translated it myself.
I spoke to him myself. She scolded us herself. I I I sent them to her after breakfast. Ci and vi are not only used as conjunctive pronoims, as we have already seen, but also as relative pronouns, and as adverbs, when they they may However generally answer to the French word y. Ci and upon them. Ora die non pos- una ci sono, voglio restarci fino andremo for, in, at, AVlien I Lave thought of it, I will take a resolution. Ecfore undertaking anything, one They should reflect about alla fine, vi to, it. To non ce la ho mai veduta, Xoi cosa riflettervi, Used cf, Ex.
I have never seen her here. In order to prevent repetition, vi and ci are substituted Vi Ex. We it speak of constantly. After the first act he went away. Ne Avete danari? Have you any Italian books? Avete dei libri italiani? In Italian, possessive pronouns agree with the thing j90ssessed, by the II and not with the possessor; and are generally preceded Ex. Egli amo la stia vita, The article is omitted when the pronouns, loro excepted, precede nouns of kindred or rank in the singular. The dis- His disagreeable pleases me. I voi, sorellaccia now Your una jnacere, and brothers are prefixed to the pronoun.
Her Majesty Queen Victoria. Their cousin lives in Florence. Vittoria, Your Excellency. Our father. I My duty, his honour. Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi, said to disse as she showed to them her sons, "There her friends are f. G'J infamous by condemning Arnaldo da Brescia be burned. Here is your hat, do not take mine. His house is larger than ours. Conosco i suoi fratelli, ma non i I know his brothers, but not yours. When these pronouns article is usually omitted. The I , These papers are mine. Whose box is this? It is hh. Your cousins are pupils of mine.
One of my friends has married a I He friend of yours. One of my servants is sick. Tutte le vostre ragioni non mi appa- my of fellow-students are now professors in the University. He has sold some of his estates. Our every hope. All your reasons do not satisfy me. My Mio carissimo amico, dearest friend.
The customs more simple and healthy of our ancestors were antenato ind. One of my favourite studies is lotany. I was at 1 2 botanica. The ribbons that you have sent to tlie — — nastro mine and not yours. But when They bathed He pronouns in the dative II perrucchiere gli taglio Il chirurgo mi rimise mano, il i case. Le property in the revolu- mo. English the possessive pronoun precedes a noun, the p ossessive pronoun siibject, lost liis foot pains Turn your eyes towards the dome. The hair-dresser cut his hair.
The surgeon set my arm. I pressed her And in this hand. He his lost a naval engagement. He EfjU ha scialacquato tutto il suo, Finche spendete del vostro, I nostri si son portati valorosamente, has squandered all his fortune. Our troops conducted themselves valiantly. Andra a passare Vinverno coi suoi a Parigi, Quando He will go to spend the winter in Paris with his relations. He Anthony found viale del parco, The lui, Ex. Io I am not his friend. Io son sua I am her daughter. Me lo porse colle He sue proprie, or, colle gave it to me with his own hands.
He is charitable to caritatevole verso They endeavoured to every one except to his family. Questa chiesa, This churcli and that college. Give me a dictionary, but not that of youv sister. The tyrants of Italy, and those of Hungary and Poland. Questo cacio, Ex. These figs and these peaches. Cotesto points out an object near the hearer, and distant from the speaker. Where did you buy that watch and that chain? Cotesti ragazzi, e coteste ragazze Those hoys and those intelligent. The formation words beginning with a consonant. We quelle ciriege e quelle bought those cherries and those olives at the fruiterer's.
These cups and saucers do not match. These tumblers and wine-glasses are Queste tazze, e questi piattini sono scompagnati, Questi bicchieri, e questi hicchierini sono di cristallo di Boemia, of- Bohemian glass. That shield and those guns anticJiissimi, fu by one; in questo, co- Ex. Questi of the femi- Ex. Comprammo 75 felice, This quegli or cotesti sfortunato, man was fortunate, that one unfortunate. The former, volete mazzolini, liim, you have, the latter, may be is this may be minatives in the singular.
Racine and Comeille have represented men, the former as they are, the latter as they should be. Is narrazione were ind. Costei, this woman. Costoro, these men, these Colui, that man. Colei, that Coloro, those men, those me. Che farem noi, diceva l'uno aW alWhat shall we do with this fellow said one to the other. Non Do seguitar l'esempio di costei,? Coloro sono appunto usciti di pri- Those fellows are just out of prison.
She who left the comforts of home, to attend the sick malati, and wounded, in the hospitals of the East. Coloro che offendono, raramente perdonano a coloro che essi hanno He Those who rarely forgive ivho, she ivho, those ivho, that ivhich, those which, in reference to an antecedent, are expressed che, quella offend, those they injure.
The carpet I showed you is that che abbiamo portato di Turchia, which we brought from Turkey. That man incontrare the eyes is a who resemble happy are so. That whicli is superfluous often costi more than that which is necessary. What you tell me does not surprise me. That All, all that, all wiucii, Di Le expressed by All that glitters is tiilto not gold. I said all that 1 could to him from his intention. I will do All those, all those which, tutti quelli che. All those that preach the gospel should follow its precepts. Modesty is to merit 25 painting. The highest courage immarjinazione arricchire is eloquenza — which is is that tempered by prudence and humanity.
Chi, Gen. Di chi, Dat. Chi, Abl. Da chi, from whom. The pronoun who, when used without reference antecedent, is of to rendered in Italian by chi, serves for both genders and numbers. From whom have you heard this news, and to peated it? Chi ci ama Ex. Whoever has who flatter that was some one who will told you jesting with you. Chi sono coloro che fecero fiasco nella nuova opera? Di chi sono questi baidi? Who Who Who waj'.
By whom has America been covered? Whose it is subject to be in the Ex. Those who sow reap. Those who conquer Chi requires the verb to which singula? Some are engaged in commerce, some in the line arts, some follow one profession, some another. Those who follow blindly their own passions, are not ciecamente "Who has sent to you to lead others.
Those who sow oppression and tyranny, will inevi- — tragedia tably reap discontent, hatred, and rebellion. Che, Quale, singular. Bi cui, quale. Che, cui, il quale, whom, which, that. Da cui, dal quale, from or by whom or which. Che, i quali, wLo, which, that. Di cui, de quali, of whom, of which.
Che, Da Abl. When The master of whom I have spoken to you. Lc farfalle che or le quali avete ac- The butterflies that you have caught. L'uomo e il solo animale che or il quale conosca il bene, e che or il quale segua il male. Il paese in cui or nel quale dimoriamo, Man is what the only animal who knows and who does what is right, wrong. The country in which we is live. Che, referring to an antecedent, can only be used in the nominative and accusative formed with cui, ; the other cases of this pronoun are accompanied by prepositions some cases be omitted. Cui, as well as che, there is phrase, cui, which can never be the subject, should be used, Luomo Conosco padre, and Ex.
I know the minister whom yonr father praised. When the pronoun relates to one of two nouns of different gender or number, quale, preceded by the definite be used, and not che, in order that it which noun the pronoun II progresso della scienza, ci ha asto- nished the world. The progress of science, which has revealed to us so many secrets of nature. The love of country, which exile cannot eradicate from the heart. Voltaire used to say, I solere ind. England honours. Quale and che are also used as interrogative pronouns quale means ichich of two or many, and requires no article or che cosa only means what.
Which What The exclamations what uomini gli ivhat a la 1! I may be are translated! Quale is le viti, They were in a pitiable condition, some with their clothes torn, some with their headsbroken, and streaming with blood. Some were pruning, some were tying up the vines. Che sventura e per nascita di un eroe! Che or che cosa faremo Quali sono i cavalli che correranno il palio? Quale preferite di questi due quadri?
Che opera hanno dato ; it such as I have to you. True philosophy consists in seeing things as they are. In order to save his country, Brutus feigned madness. I tell! Historians reprerajjpremodestia 80 genio sent men such as they are, poets depict them such as they — dipingere sentare should be. Tutto, lowed storia di tutti le definite article, The costumi di tutte i paese il lated all the customs of When by al The whole country regrets him.
The whole fleet was dispersed. Tutto Tutta is always foland agrees with the noun used adjectively, the whole, by the Ex. All did their duty. I used substantively to signify the whole without the article means everything, ; tutto Ex. He was not even content with the Hanno They have whole. Tutto, and more generally del to signify quite, completely. Noi slam confessed tutto, all. We del tutto hagnati, are quite wet.
The coachman quite angrily replied. The enemy was not completely van- IlcoccJiiere tutto furioso risicose. Il nemico non fu del tutto vinto, quished. They would have robbed us Before a numeral adjective preceded by e is placed. Tlie iclwle used adjectively, the article, but taken substantively, Jirticle also be used to Ex. Tutti e quattro venfjon chiamati Evangelisti, All four are called the Evangelists. The laws of Nature are immutable, and the same for countenance, and fisonomia — stesso legge all people.
Ogni is used adverbially in some locutions, as ogni per ogni dove, in ogni luogo, everywhere, wherever. Ognuno, Ognuno is every one, ; conveys a it and adjectively, and imply a appellerebbe colui un distributive idea. The collective pronouns sense, while ciascuno, ciascheduno, are used both as Vun each. It was then clear to me, that everywhere in heaven Paradise exists.
Every one would call that man a tyrant. Each country has its customs. Each of us has duties to perform. They speak ill of one another. They were never seen separated from each other. Every century, every generation, and every In every age "' secolo — generazione secolo remarkable for some useful discovery. The customs incoraggiare arte. Every truth may be told profondo silenzio durante pasto. Altro, other which. When used substantively, altro and means something negation, it another thing else. Parliamo Another surprise awaits you.
Other hopes and other cares. Have you nothing else to toll me? Let us speak of something else. Un altro sarebbe stato scoraggiato dalla risposta, Altri colsero la gloria delle sue scopei'te, i I Another would have been discouraged by the answer. Others reaped the glory of his discoveries. ALTRI, gli uni. Some are more lively than lie, others thinkers auu and less prosy. Noi We Scotch reflect before we sjicak. AVlioevercovets others' property, becomes morally guilty of theft. Correggere lasciare difetto Let us do to others as — long procession of ants some were setting ; ind. Veruno, niuno, nessuno, no one, nobody, noperson, no, When none.
A Niente, nulla, nothing. Nothing Ex. Do you want not preceded by non. There is only God who can creato something out of nothing. Those who learn nothing. Qualche, alcuno, some, any. Alcuno, alcuni, qualcheduno, are Ex. TVlien some. Ne ho datteri prendetene. I have taken some, thank you. Ambo, entrambi, ambidue, l'uno e l'altro, hoth. These pronouns are followed by the definite article when they before a verb, it is omitted. Furono entrambi condannati a morte, Ambidue le mie sorelle sono maritate, I bit for 1 tion.
I to death. Chiun- whatever, whatsoever, are indeclinable que is ; the first used sulstantively, and qualunque adjedwely. Chiunque lo ha udito, ha dovuto ammirare la sua eloquenza. Qualunque siano i vostri talenti, voi non ne fate uso. Whoever has heard him must have admired his eloquence. Whatever your talents may be, you do not employ them. He will accept any employment whatever. Per quanto vantaggiose siano le vostre offerte, or, per vantaggiose However posals advantageous may your pro- false, Mill be. AVhatever efforts we made.
In every heart, however there are some srerms corrupt, of virtue. Love and vanity are both equally blind. The law will punish monastero punire — them both. Some persons, oggetto — however prosperous they may be, always are dissatisfied. Si, when used SI. Non diventa maestro senza essere si stato prima become a master withhaving been a pupil. Olio does not out scolare, first Insegnando n'impara, We Nei paesi In hot countries, people live almost always in the open air. People say, or it is said, that popular songs reveal the character of a caldi si vive quasi sempre all'aria aperta, Si dice che le canzoni 2' opolari rivelino il carattere di un pojwlo, learn people.
Wheat is Habits are not easily changed in old age. The co? Rare manuscripts have been found. Si corre sempre alle piazze ed ai giardini quando comincia moto, Ex.
Benefits are received with double pleasure when friendsconfer them. Whenever si would cause any ambiguity in the sense of the phrase, the passive verb must be formed with essere or venire; venire is Ex. Gil uomini vengono or sono reputati felici quando sono ricchi; not si reputano, which might mean, men think themselves happy, Sono stati venduti; not si sono venduti, they have sold themselves, They are persuaded. Men are considered they are rich. They have been happy when sold.
They have been viene rubrica. Si may Ex. Some persuade themselves. People flatter themselves. Alcuni si persuadono, gente si lusinga, L'uomo si dimentica spesso, La Man forgets often. The coast from Eeggio to Gaeta is thought about the most delightful part of Italy. The French language parla principalmente la lingua si Troppo se Non se ne Francese, Non mi am not told. The twelfth century, in which presented to us the noble is secolo spectacle of human intelligence struggling with superstition and [che lotta tyranny. Merchants from 2 all countries are seen there. The following table contains a model of those conjugations, may which serve for all the regular verbs.
It will assist the pupil in that in all learning the Italian verbs, to remark, tenses of all verbs the the second person in te, first person plural ends in mo, and the third person, with few excep- tions, in no. The second person plural of the preterite of the indicative, and the imperfect of the subjunctive, are formed by the addition of an s to the second person plural of the present of the indica- amate, you love tive, might love ; amaste, you loved ; ; credete, credeste, che credeste che amaste, that you ; sentite, sentiste, che sentiste.
Andare, lo go; pres. Dare, to give pres. Ridare is conjugated in tlie same way but circondare and N. In the following table of verbs, the irregular tenses only are given ; the other tenses, being regular, arc understood to have the same inflections as those of the regular verbs given in the Table of Conjugations, Accendere, to kindle prct. Accingersi, or accignersi, to prepare one's-self, ref. Alludere, to allude, v. Ammettere, to admit, v. Ancidere, to kill, p. Angere, to afflict, p. Anteporre, to prefer, v. Accorrere, to hasten, v.
Accrescere, to augment, v. Addurre, or adducere, to bring forth, pres. Affiggere, to post up, v. Affliggere, to afflict ; pret. Apporre, to add, v. Ardere, to burn pret. Arrendersi, to surrender, ref. Arridere, to smile, v. Arrogere, to adjust, to add, hns only the sing, of the third person present, arroge. Ascendere, to ascend, v. Ascondere, to hide pret. Ascrivere, to inscribe, v. Aspergere, to sprinkle, v.
Accingersi being conjugated like cingere, the student gularity. Astergere, to clean, p. Astrarre, or astraere, to abstract, v. Astringere, or astrignere, to constrain, stringere. Attendere, to wait, v. Attenere, to keep one's word, v. Attingere, or attignere, to reach, v. Compungere, ovcompugnere, to grieve, v. Chiudere, to shut pret. Cingere, or cignere, to gird pret. Congiungere, or congiugnere, to unite, V.
Connettere, to unite Conoscere, ; ; pret. Conquidere, to afflict, to cast down, ; V. Consistere, to consist, v. Conspergere, or cospergere, to besprinkle, V. Consumere, to consume, Contendere, to Contorcere, to Contrapporre, Contrarre, or v. Convincere, to convince, v. Corre, to gather, v. Correggere, to correct, v. Corrispondere, to correspond, v. Corrodere, to corrode, v. Cocere, to cook, v. Cogliere, or corre, to gather, v. Compiangere, to pity, v.
Comporre, to compose, v. Comprendere, to comprehend, Corrompere, to corrupt, v. Cospargere, to strew, v. Cospergere, to water, v. Commettere, to commit, Commovere, v. Concludere, to conclude, v. Concorrere, to concur, v. Concuocere, to digest, v. Condescendere, condiscendere, to condescend, V. Condurre, or conducere, to conduct, V. Attorcere, to twist, v. Attrarre or attraere, to attract, v. Avvincere, to bind, v. Avvolgere, to envelop, v. Cagqere, to fall, an ancient verb, of which only caggia and caggendo are used by the poets.
Chiedere, to ask pres. Assolvere, to absolve pret. Assorhere, to absorb part, past, as- V. TIO Cuocere, to cook cosse, pret. Decidere, to decide, v. Decrescere, to decrease, v. Dedurre, to deduce, v. Deludere, to delude pret. Dej orre, to depose, v. Deprimere, to depress, v. Deridere, to deride, v.
Descrivere, to describe, v. Dirigere, to direct, v. Disapprendere, to unlearn, or forget, V. Discendere, to descend, Ergere, to erect; p. Escludere, to exclude, v. Esigere, to exact part, esatto. Espellere, to expel pret. Esporre, to expose, v. Esprimere, to express, v.
Estendere, to extend, v. Estrarre, to extract, v. Figgere, to affix, v. Fingere, to teign, v. Fondere, to melt Tpret. Disciorre, and disciogliere, to untie, V. Frangere, to break pret. Discutere, to discuss pret. Disgiungere, and disgiugnere, to separate, V. Dismettere, to dismiss, v. Dismovere, or dismuovere, to avert, V. Dispergere, to disperse; pret. Disporre, to dispose, v. Distendere, to extend, v. Distinguere, to distinguish, v. Distogliere, or distorre, from, V. Distruggere, leg- gere. Elidere, to retrench, v. Eludere, to elude, v. Diffondere, to pour out, v.
Dimettere, to forgive, pardon, v. Disvellere, divellere, or disverre, to pluck up, V. Dividere, to divide, v. Frapporre, to intermeddle, Friggere, to flessi, v. Giungere, or giugnere, to join, or arrive; pret. Illudere, to deceive, v. Immergere, to plunge, v. Impellere, to impel, v. Imporre, to order, v.
IncJdudere, to enclose, v. Incidere, to engrave, v.
Includere, to include, v. She learned the local lingua franca and was very much influenced by Asian mystique. She was never part of the colonial clique and here souvenirs 40 Not sentimental at all! After the war, she met my father in an evacuation camp on Sumatra a meeting with consequences. I was conceived there. Once back in Holland, she always defended the half blood Indonesians who were more or less forced to leave the independent Republic of Indonesia.
Though educated by the colonial Dutch they were often regarded as strangers in Holland. The Dutch post war bureaucracy was very cruel and had no understanding whatsoever for people coming in from the tropics. She hated the condescending manner of Dutch officials regarding people of color. It became part of the National myth that the colored migrants from the Dutch East Indies smoothly integrated into Dutch society.
Indeed the first generation never complained and accepted a humble life in a cold country, but their silence was one of rage. Now their children tell the real stories. My mother told me about another reality. The double life most of these migrants were living: Indonesians at home, Dutch outdoors. My father had great difficulties to adapt to Dutch way of live: the bad and blunt manners Dutch call that: honesty , the bad food, and bad way of dressing up.
My father was more a man of bella figura, perhaps he was an Italian after all. He died when I was 10 years old. He was more sentimental about colonial life than my mother was. But they shared the view that one lives with more countries and cultures in your head a word like identity luckily did not exist in those days. One could be a bare foot child and a shoe child at the same time. Enjoy a rice table with ones fingers and with fork and knife. This idea was very important at home. It shaped my view too. Let s talk about one of the strong issues in your works: travel.
You often tell your interviewers that as a child you already dreamed about traveling, and dreamed about Africa? The people in the house I grew up with often talked about their travels in the tropics. Long boat trips to Papua or Aceh. They had lived among other religions, they knew what a Muslim was, a Buddhist or an animist. And all of them had crossed the world by boat to end up in the swamp called Holland. They longed for wider horizons. Quite a few migrants from the colonies left Holland after a few years and immigrated to Australia, the United States or Canada.
I had aunts and uncles living there. So traveling in my fantasy was not only a boy s adventure I devoured books like Robinson Crusoe ands The Swiss Family Robinson , to travel was also a reality. But not back to my family roots. The colony only existed in the heads of the migrants and independent Indonesia was a forbidden place. So I dreamt of other places. I made my grand tour in direction India, like more hippies, though I had short hair. I never reached India after I traveled through Egypt and Sudan. This 9-month trip was a watershed in my life.
The white European world was smaller than I realized. I studied Dutch literature in those days but when I came back I longed for wider spaces. Than just by coincidence I read a poem by Breyten Breytenbach. He was a critical poet living in a self-imposed exile in Paris. He wrote in Afrikaans, a creole derivate of the 17 th century Dutch and he wrote about color, discrimination and the sensitivity of white settlers regarding matters of race.
Bastards looking for purity, Breytenbach called them. I read more Afrikaans. With a small afford I entered another continent.
I read black African writers. I recognized a lot when they wrote about the colonial experience. Africa was a continent I discovered by myself. No one would say: you don t understand it, you have never been there like family used to say, when they talked about their life in the tropics. I dreamed to visit all the countries, from Cape to Cairo.
Africa brought me to journalism. Travelling for me is not only meeting other people, living in other cultures; it is also discovering unexplored sides of your own character. I become another person when I travel: more open, less assured. I leave my opinions at home and I walk very softly. I am a visitor, with big ears and eyes. Your interest in South African culture and literature grew with the years, so that you even decided to study Afrikaans officially. Would you please tell me the importance of this language and in particular the influence it had on your life and work?
In the days of full-blown apartheid Breytenbach was a dissident, but also an esteemed poet. Friends and foes acknowledged his talent. In his own country he was regarded as an innovator of language, and he won major literary awards. But there was a problem. That was why he had gone to live in self-imposed exile in Paris. For me his Afrikaans was an adulterous form of Dutch, supple and strong, a coloured language rising above the clay soil of Calvin.
So much levity, too, with such a grave subject. What struck me most were his poetical analyses of the classification of people according to skincolour and origin. The East Indian milieu I grew up in was no different. Breytenbach s language, Afrikaans, reminded me of the old petjoh back home the Indo-mix of Malay with garbled Dutch. A language with a shade of brown around the edges, so to speak. I could hear my father s voice in it. I holed up in the library to read more Afrikaans. I wanted to begin at the beginning.
The language did not appear in print until the mid-nineteenth century. As it happens, the oldest printed document was intended for the ear, and consists of instructions, written in phonetic Arabic, for the imam to explain the Muslim traditions to the Cape- Malay faithful. They stuck to their old Dutch bible regardless of whether they could still understand it. Afrikaans first started to appear in print mainly for comic effect just like petjoh, in fact! In the early printed stories and farces the white Afrikaner Boers all speak a stiff kind of Dutch.
Remarkably, there was no hint of colour in the prevailing ideas about the emergence of the Afrikaans language. At the time, in the s, its existence was celebrated primarily as the latest shoot on the Germanic family tree. Admittedly, the Cape Colony had imported a fair number of Malay names, and also the Portuguese had left their mark, but aside from that Afrikaans was supposedly full of seventeenth-century Dutch words.
In some cases it was possible to trace a particular word to a southern or northern dialect in the Netherlands. The South-African scholars of half a century ago kept Afrikaans as white as possible. Research into the influence of Khoi-Khoi and San was still in its infancy. In those days we still referred to Bushmen and Hottentots the latter term having been introduced by Jan van Riebeeck, who was charged with establishing a refreshment post at the Cape of Good Hope.
He reported back to his VOC bosses in Holland that the indigenous population were nothing but a bunch of Hottentots an old Dutch word meaning someone who stammers. He also reported that they were unfit for any kind of work: Hottentots were stuck somewhere between ape and 42 Using them as slaves was therefore forbidden.
As a result, slaves were imported in numbers from West Africa, Madagascar and Malaysia. We now know that those new arrivals made a significant contribution to the development of Afrikaans. Boss simplifies his speech when talking to slave. Slave passes on simplified speech to boss s offspring.
Thus the Afrikaans language came into being, and in a remarkably short space of time, too. But the researchers of the Apartheid era clung on to their idea of a Teutonic language shift. How about that? Denying colour! Where did I witness that before? I decided to study Afrikaans. It was colour that I was after. That was a language where North and South came together.
The foreign and the familiar. And also the concise levity of the Anglo-Saxons. A blend of tongues that was far more permissive than the staid Dutch of the Netherlands. The Afrikaans language and the South Africa I knew on paper seemed to me more hospitable than the colony of my parents and half-sisters. I became a very diligent student. And so that is how it started with aesthetical considerations but the ethical inevitably came into it too.
The good and bad of politics. I wanted to have nothing to do with the policies that were implemented in the name of Afrikaans, because in those days it was still the case that this supposed Germanic offshoot in darkest Africa was fundamental to the identity and apart status of the Afrikaner Boer. Afrikaans literature proved to be far less white than its readership, and even the writers themselves, realised. Their world did not lie in Europe. The Boers did not live in a vacuum, their outlook was peopled by black and brown, whether they liked it or not. And however hard they worked tarring the roads, digging mines, building dams and fences and churches and imposing laws their entire civilization came down to overcoming a fear of the great, often hostile, wilderness surrounding them: Africa.
I decided to study the Afrikaners from an anthropological angle how else would I be able to bear their company for any length of time? So there I was, trying to get to know a white tribe who believed that they were a chosen people. A white tribe dreaming. A tribe that oppressed weaker tribes, enslaved them, excluded them. I studied the wondrous rites of Apartheid.
The many taboos, the sexual predilections of the Afrikaners early marriage and the highest divorce rate in the world , the gossip among the elite. But also the obligations and prohibitions of culture and I had found my life s field of study. Of course I was aware that my quest for colour was subjectively motivated: I, who had been so eager to be part of my family s war, who had joined the kiddies resistance at a tender age, who wished he was brown instead of white, and who sang the prison-camp songs at the top of his voice I was terrified of being drawn into another camp: the Afrikaner camp.
The camp of the baddies. So I took sides with the dissidents. Stood up for the oppressed in word and deed. How noble. To be honest I found more inspiration with writers who did not go out and man the barricades, but who explored their own small world or their own private past. Not so much out of escapism, but out of self-discovery. What was their place in Africa? They were the descendants of colonists. But also pariahs. They too wrote with a knife at their throat. They too voiced the pain of their country.
The language of these poets belonged to a country where their skin was foreign. It was thanks to them that I dared to explore my own backyard: the coloured world of a hostel for repatriates on the Dutch coast. It was not the Dutch language, but Afrikaans that roused the writer in me. All your novels are set in great historical contexts; yet, you are a great observer of small details, of small worlds so as to discover something relevant about yourself and about most of the minority groups and individuals.
Can you talk about this double trend in your writing? All personal things are politics it was an old slogan from the Sixties, but it works somehow in literature. When I write about migrants coming from a lost colony, I also portray post-war life in the Netherlands. One can t escape from that. The same for South Africa: listen to the life story of a black cleaning lady and you hear also the effect of Apartheid in daily life and the relations between white and black.
I believe in the small scale. Under the microscope I understand the big world better. You visited South Africa in two different periods of its painful history: in the early s and in the early s. Your protagonist himself, Mulder, is expecting a new South Africa in his trip back to the Cape, a change everyone had been dreaming about. Are you representing a kind of personal disillusionment in the historical evolution of this country? Personally, I am not disappointed by the new South Africa.
For the simple reason that it is too early to be disappointed. It takes al least three, four generations to heal the wounds of discrimination and poverty. But too many people expected quick miracles: jobs and better housing, less crime. An infrastructure of a happy white few has to be shared with millions more.
This brings tensions and fear Especially among those groups who have the idea they are forgotten: those who are living in backward areas, the colored people from the Cape who don t recognize themselves in black pride and black power, and the white people who have problems to adapt to a more modest status their new country. I wanted to portray these forgotten groups and political non-correct sentiments. In many of your novels you use detailed personal and autobiographical details.
Have you consciously decided about a boundary between what you can and what you cannot confess of your life? I play with that, I believe in metamorphoses. Even when I would confess a personal thing, it would not be my life. It is a life that I live in a novel. It is another I. Which kind of geographical and historical research you did before writing a novel like Tikkop?
I lived in a small fishing community on the Cape shores for three month. I never mention the name of it because I got a lot of sensitive information from inhabitants who don t want to be exposed. I very often do research by living in another town or country. For Il vagabondo I walked hundreds of kilometers in Paris, especially in the banlieue. I got to know some illegal workers in Paris, and I visited their homes and workplaces. In South Africa I visited several fishing communities and joined local meetings. I also met some social workers in the Cape who work with drug addicts.
Historical research was not really necessary. I always make a lot of notes and have meters of old dairies at home. It was forbidden to do that, but during the training for my illegal mission to Apartheid South Africa, I knew that 44 For me life is one big research for a novel. What s for you the threshold between autobiography and fiction? My very personal thoughts and hangups stay sealed behind my lips. Shame is a very important feeling in my life. I was brought up with shame. So I know how to hide or change the too personal in a good story.
If I really want to write about my deepest feelings I can always put them in the mouth of another character. In Il vagabondo, for example, I created a priest out of my religious doubt as an atheist. The same in Tradimento: I can be the revolutionary and the conservative the two contrasting feelings live both in my brain. You have just moved from Paris, a town where you lived for many years, a town where you wrote 4 relevant novels. What are doing next?
Where will you be based? Or, where will you travel to next? After eight years I moved from Paris because Paris wants things I don t want any more. I wrote enough about refugees, and pour buggers. The commitment is still there but artistically I need another subject. My next novel will be about my mother who died at the age of almost hundred years two years ago.
It will not be about my relationship with her, but about her life as a young girl over the color line in the tropics. I do a lot of research for that. I find a lot about it in old newspapers. Our colonial past is still an open wound in the Netherlands and I want to write about that. So, again, a small life will tell a greater story. Robert Crawford. Photo credit: Annaleen Louwes. Interview conducted by. January R. Your new book, Meeting Place, 2 talks a good deal about the architectonics of communication the relationship between setting and speech and you repeatedly invoke a non or posttheatrical modei of appearing to one another.
Would this be an important line of descent linking the two works? In The Road to Botany Bay an opposition was proposed between a history conceived theatrically and a dynamics of placemaking embedded in material practices. As an artist working in public space, he is well-known for Nearamnew Federation Square, Melbourne, Evidently, in the context of the phenomenon of colonisation - where the translation of space into various modes of human production provides the content of what distinctively belongs to colonial history this is a seriously inadequate conception.
To what extent was colonial space mimetic of other spaces or performative improvised in relation to the circumstances of concrete situations? This approach to the understanding of colonial cultures and their geographical constitution had as its corollary a different emphasis in reading the records of crosscultural encounter. Instead of seeing the early ethnographic records of crosscultural encounter as proto-anthropological, I focused on their performative character, classifying them as sites of mimetically-mediated social innovation. Of course, the potential of these encounters was rarely fulfilled and this accounts for the colonist fiction that the colonial landscape was prior to colonisation silent and voiceless and, post-colonisation, univocally settled with white words.
In a way it was unfortunate that the US edition altered the subtitle: by comparing my hermeneutical approach to the colonial act of exploration, it suggested that the book recapitulated the very techniques of historical framing and classification that, in fact, it sought to expose and dethrone. Metaphor is a way of throwing ourselves over into another place or position; a primary tool of relating.
Discourse not only relies on metaphorical turns of expression. As a relation between two people it is essentially metaphorical: a dialogue between a minimum of two people represents a unit of sociability that is dyadic it can never be reduced to the idealised monologue of the sovereign ego in terms of imperial history, there cannot be a commanding viewpoint.
As a social practice, as a way of managing encounter, the discursive constitution of sociability demands that the speaker is actively engaged in the communication act. A primary technique of symbolic exchange is mimicry always with a creative supplement of irony, parody or intensification of gesture. These ideas were sketched in The Road to Botany Bay and subsequently foregrounded in a number of books, as well as performance scripts, that explored the potential of echoic and mimetic techniques to establish crosscultural common ground both intellectually and physically.
Meeting Place seeks to elevate and generalise some of these investigations. Instead of treating Australia as an historical case study, it argues that the Southern experience of encounter, embodied in Indigenous practices of meeting, represents a genuine alternative to the dominant models of sociability originating in European and North American thought. In general, social theory has assumed the intrinsic good of meeting: it has tacitly identified improved protocols for peaceful coexistence with the western telos of progress. Meeting Place juxtaposes this rather anthropocentric view of planetary space and its absorption into human interests with a counter-argument, derivable from Indigenous Australian cultures where meeting might have the contrary function of regulating a culture of non-meeting.
Nonmeeting in this context does not mean a retreat into solipsism. It is the cultivation of a centrifugal impulse that organises the distribution of human communities in a way that is sustainable. Our network cultures already simulate this but they are not copied in the way we organise our cities or, indeed, in our entire relationship with the biosphere. But isn t there a danger that promoting a culture of non-meeting reifies Indigenous Aboriginal culture in a comparable way?
Is the division geographical or are we talking about a kind of mental geography? That said, though, Meeting Place seeks to resist implicitly regulatory or closed loop descriptions of social behaviour and its symbolic mediation. It focuses on incidents, situations or even concepts that illustrate the power of social performances to ride the turbulence of encounter and initiate new protocols of coexistence. Let me give a couple of concrete examples, both from my own encounters in Central Australia.
The first concerns the role of the white art teacher Geoffrey Bardon in catalysing what came to be known as the Papunya Tula Painting Movement The second is Red Ways, a meeting place design project in Alice Springs, in which I was involved between and Bardon possessed an exceptional mimetic talent: copying, parodying, gesturally and performatively aligning himself with the multimedia practices of Indigenous men living away from their ancestral country, he staged an encounter that took the art production back to its roots.
But there was nothing essentialist or exoticist about this: Bardon brought into play his own pedagogical skills materials, interpretations and senses of audience. The outcome of a radical encounter, which was performative or improvisational all the way down, was the new meeting place of a transformed art practice whose ramifications have been social, economic and, above all, political.
The dynamics of encounter at Papunya played out in the symbolic domain of painting, but it was possible to show that structurally what happened there was no different from innumerable encounters between indigenous and non-indigenous parties across historical time and space.
Companion titles to Using Italian Using French (third edition) Using Italian Synonyms . Volume Capacity (liquid) Currency Temperature In America l'amministrazione e` gi`a corsa ai ripari varando una serie di with sails, oars) battello boat battello pneumatico (R)/battello a vapore. Dear Readers, is the year of a great challenge for Italy, and it opens under the best . As a result, the white color reigns supreme all over the Hub: it makes the . I risultati andranno a formare una serie di proposte per il Piano di Sviluppo . of our economy, and convokes a new edition of the Stati Generali, a planning.
The key similarity in all the situations singled out in Meeting Place was a propensity for sympathetic identification made manifest in mimetic behaviour: what was being sought was not some shallowly-grounded and pragmatic resolution of differences but a gesturally-mediated identification, a temporary meeting place that did not merely preserve the trace of the encounter but was in its form and program the trace of that mimetically-evolved new situation.
These investigations were not the application of a theoretical model to a local problem. On the contrary, a concrete situation generated the grammar that was needed to reinvigorate the social phenomenon of meeting, to give it once again a generative value. Performance in this context is the proper, even if temporary fit, of human actors and their surroundings; the multiplication of these performances might produce a region of such encounters, tied together but apart.
So, while there is no intention to propose a southern confederacy of interests, it is reasonable to associate with the south the idea of crosscultural encounter. It is in the south where the expanding wave front of imperial expansion has provoked the densest human experience of enforced socialisation and where, logically, the richest performative ecologies might be expected to emerge. Less exotically, these geographical reconfigurations of models of socialisation find powerful precedents in Michael Serres or Bruno Latour. And certainly, when Meeting Place spatialises its argument as the traverse of a city whose labyrinth curiously suggests Venice, the aesthetic bias of the author is clear: if the north invests in the plan the meeting place as prescribed place, platz or square , the south suggests an archipelagic sensibility.
The non poetic point is that insights into the character of meeting are not supplementary or dispensable: they reground social relations entirely, placing the institution of meeting literally and figuratively on a new footing. As you say, in that period a spatial turn has characterised much research in such allied fields as cultural geography, social anthropology, performance studies and even such placemaking discourses as planning.
What have been the important influences on the development of your thought in this period? I don t mean to give the impression that these and publications in between have evolved in isolation from the resurgence across a whole series of fields of material thinking, 4 however, to speak from inside the process, it was in the laboratory of creative practice that many of the data were found or produced that informed the refinement and evolution of my ideas. The exchange was, of course, two ways.
Early radiophonic scripts, museum sound installations and environmental soundscapes teased out the mimetic structuring of early colonial cross-cultural encounter indeed, they relied heavily on early to mid th century language notebooks assembled by missionaries and other colonial functionaries.
Such an identity might correspond to the distinctive sound signature of a meeting place. These practical findings provided new tools of analysis useful in reading the colonial archive in a different way. The demonstration that colonial spaces were produced, that the meaning accruing to spaces was embedded in the poetic mechanisms of their formation, appealed to architects and landscape architects. From working in a primarily acoustic interior space domain, I migrated in the late s to design work in the public domain. There followed a series of public space designs that attempted to integrate 4 Carter refers here to a characterization of recent social and cultural theory by Nigel Thrift see Meeting Place, p.
Carter s own book Material Thinking: the theory and practice of creative research was a notable contribution to this trend. In a classical sense these artworks aimed to integrate topos and topic, place and theme. The artwork acted as a catalyst to this recognition and the concrete choreographies found in the ground patterns were conceived as inducements to congregate in particular ways. In general, these works explored the proposition that the socially and politically-regulated act of meeting had embedded within it a primary desire of association that theatrically-conceived public spaces repressed.
I associated this primary desire with the longing for encounter. In encounter the future is not prescribed: it evolves in the performance. Encounter merges into meeting when the forms and gestures improvised in encounter stabilise when their traces can be inscribed of encounter. In this case, the kinds of trace laid down in these encounter are critical to the kind of meeting qua sociability that will subsequently evolve.
The function of the inscriptions composed and engraved into my public space designs is to announce at the beginning the grounding of social praxis in a non-conformist discourse formed echoically. Their cryptic appearance invites a creative response; but nothing beyond the human impulse to relate what was found to ones own path and interests is inscribed into the future. Nevertheless, I get the impression that a dominant or predominant narrative voice does characterise Meeting Place: that of the migrant.
Doesn t the migrant risk becoming another kind of essentialist trope? The migrant invoked in Meeting Place embodies a distinctive historical consciousness and, what goes with this, a distinctive experience of placemaking. Picking up on a distinction of Edward Said, I argue that the necessity of the migrant to affiliate to their new society they are excluded from the myth of filiation, which white settler nations use to erase the guilt of an original incursion and theft places them in a privileged position.
It also implies enormous responsibility, for the migrant has ethically speaking no choice but to engage with the grounds for living in a new country. An engagement with Aboriginal experience is unavoidable. The argument made in Living In A New Country, and taken forward into Meeting Place is that a striking resemblance exists between the Pidginised discourses of crosscultural communication in the early colonial contact period and the hybrid discourses of 50 In both, standard English is stripped of its conventional grammar and syntax; pronunciation is wildly idiosyncratic and meaning is largely contextual, carried by gesture.
Instead of preserving authoritative concepts, English becomes a score on which baroquely associative variations are played. In this performative dismembering of the dominant tongue, meeting the successful exchange of meanings rediscovers its origins in the mimetic structuring of encounter.
A migrant poetics, so to say, reinscribes desire into language by re-gesturalising it. Valamanesh s work is paired with Giacometti s: at the end of Meeting Place, Giacometti s famous human groups often known by such generic names as La Place are characterised as dramatisations of encounter, capturing the moment perhaps the instant between two strides when all is about to happen but when all has, in another sense, already been determined. They are chiastic works that hold the meeting place open to the possibility of encounter.
In this softer, existential sense, the migrant represents the one who comes from outside. They are associated with an inrush of desire, an essential component of Eros according to Socrates. Colonial writers claim that Australian Indigenous peoples explained the inexplicable arrival of the British as the return of naturally white forebears or ghosts. Migrants stand in this relation to the imagined community of the nation state.
They bring into question the identity of the host; they suggest that the host is the ghost of another, unfulfilled social relation. In ghosting the Other, the migrant inverts the hierarchy of appearances. At the end of Meeting Place I conclude with a vignette from Marseilles: a street mimic is described whose mimicry of the crowd illustrates the migration of identity from the self to the other; his performance the serpentine line of his movement form materialises a new choreography, one where the ghost of encounter continues to haunt the place of meeting.
Besides the canonic status you grant to the Italian piazza as a site of social encounter, there is a specific reference to La Vera Storia, a music theatre work by Luciano Berio and Italo Calvino I believe you also worked with Berio in the early 90s. Reading between the lines and with the knowledge of your anti-fiction Baroque Memories in mind the affection you have for the baroque mode is also inspired by Italy by your personal encounter with Italian art and culture. However, in this context, it is the symbolic function of Italy in the structuration of the narrative that is perhaps most relevant.
Just as the space of the meeting place is a labyrinth of passages, so the time of meeting instantaneous, chiastic is non-linear. Hence it seemed to me that the challenge of cultural writing about encounter and meeting was to incorporate these nonlinear or nonsequential aspects of the phenomenon into the structure of the narrative. Meeting Place is a sequence of crossings that, it emerges, involve the retracing and deepening of thematic grooves already encountered earlier.
It is structured as a system of returns that like the labyrinth paradoxically brings you to another place: movement is helical rather than circular. The returns are of various kinds. For example, Meeting Place revisits passages from earlier books. These it rewrites and relocates. One should come upon them as one comes upon a familiar street rendered unfamiliar by approaching it from a different direction or in a different light.
The idea is that encounter is always rencontre: to come across something always has written into it the memory or the expectation of another encounter. In the same way the classic sites of first contact and the mimetic performances they inspire never occur on neutral ground or in a cultural vacuum.
In them is staged a return to certain spontaneous or pre-reflective behaviours that in the encounter become objects of reflection. Therefore it would be a mistake if Meeting Place were to arrive somewhere decisively new: the task is almost the reverse, to find a way to linger, to live alongside, to coexist. The way in which, for example, the reader encounters Giacometti admittedly only Italian by adoption illustrates this structuring principle. The discussion is in two halves, the latter staging a return to the theme from an entirely new direction.
Just as there is no dominant viewpoint in Giacometti s groups the scale is internal to their interactional dynamic so there is no finalisation of the discussion. Instead, in this way, Giacometti s work steps off the pedestal and out into the world or at least into the world of the book, where, at the end, a visit to the Fondation Maeght folds seamlessly I hope into the scene of the Marseilles mimic. This is not some kind of literary flourish: it translates into narrative form the difficulty that Giacometti confronted in New York where, challenged to scale up his figures to a real world environment, the great sculptor equivocated.
In Meeting Place at least his figures again walk through the world. So with Italy: the vignettes of past experiences in Italy are, when glimpsed again from the winding stair of the argument relocated as earlier traces of movements whose completion is yet to occur. However, it also raises the question of genre. Some of Il Tolomeo s readers may find your concern with form rather abstract, and certainly a distraction from the substance of the book.
After all, despite its fictional elements, Meeting Place is, as you say, cultural writing intended as a contribution to the broad arena of contemporary cultural and social theorising around the conditions of peaceable human coexistence.
From this more pragmatic perspective, can you, for example, say what a zone of encounter would look like? Does it have an existence outside the moment and the occasion of its performance? And, if it does, how might its trace be inscribed into, for example, the design and program of meeting places? On the question of genre, though, it is worth pointing out that 52 It argues that the social sciences take communication for granted and for this reason overlook the obstacles to understanding between strangers and the importance of improvised performative tactics in overcoming these.
While such disciplines as sociology, legal studies, psychology, political theory and even urban planning treat meeting as a good in its own right identifying it with the democratic procurement of wellbeing , they fail to offer a model of what makes meeting possible and worth pursuing: a prior and always unfulfilled desire of encounter. There is a sense in which, I suggest, the very phenomenon that these fields seek to promote eludes them: the performative dynamics that characterise the eros of meeting fall between their disciplinary interests.
In this sense Meeting Place both falls outside these disciplines and between them. In broad terms a zone of encounter occurs where the actors participate in the production of the meaning of the event. Where a performance grammar is improvised desire is also inscribed. Mimetically-mediated communication produces a unique complex of signs that, being shared, can also be returned recognised and exchanged. Communication of this kind occurs at this place and time: its conceptual freight is less important than the confrontation with the Other that it records. They solicit a relationship that is essentially public.
The great original of the contemporary urban tag is the Delphic injunction Know Thyself. To come across such an inscription is to feel oneself addressed.
It is both a running hither and thither and the endless flow of human communication. Giungere, or giugnere, to join, or arrive; pret. Just six kilometers from the center, it is surrounded by a lush park that colors the Grignano promontory, on which it was built, a bright green. He Those who rarely forgive ivho, she ivho, those ivho, that ivhich, those which, in reference to an antecedent, are expressed che, quella offend, those they injure. La preferite a Gnome Shell? Adjectives in e or i serve for both genders.
The self is made aware that it comes from somewhere else. It is asked to understand itself through a process of presencing to another. In that encounter public space is no longer benignly neutral: it presses on the individual to say where they stand. With this genealogy in mind, many of the chapter titles in Meeting Place are taken from tags I have collected in various cities.
Encounter in this model is the potentiality of public space to incubate new relations. It is the scaffolding of distance that makes the possibility of approach possible. It holds apart in order to draw together. If this is so, the design of the meeting place needs to preserve these qualities of timing and spacing. Meeting Place canvasses a number of options that meet this criterion: the new meeting place may be virtual; or it might be composed entirely of walls places where the traces of passage are retained while the human presences that produced them remain immanent.
These, of course, are thought experiments rather than practical suggestions. They try to visualise the enigma of Public Eros, whose work is, paradoxically, to bring people together by paths that can never be fully formulated. Intrigued by the same question you pose, I have recently completed a manuscript, provisionally called Ambience, the design of public space. Just as Meeting Place bears the impression of recent public space design projects in which I have been involved most notably in Central Australia so the theoretical implications of Meeting Place have informed my design practice.
Ambience takes back to this practice the insights of Meeting Place, arguing that the zone of encounter is characterised by certain movements that approximate to algorithms of sociability. One of the innovations of Ambience is to make the case for the existence of a complex, and constantly self-changing feedback loop between behaviour in public spaces and the design of public space. It is both a running hither and thither and the endless flow of human communication. The proposition of Meeting Place is that an awareness of this enables us to curate these flows in ways that bring out their poetic potential, that is, their mimetic impulse through which the desire of identification expresses itself.
The role of the social performances that stage an encounter is to catalyse the emergence of meeting places. Such places are the trace of the discourses that shaped them. In English we differentiate between storytelling and stories that are telling, that is, reveal something significant. Meeting places are where story telling is telling i. Another way to put this is to say meeting places retain their power to generate social Eros when they let something take place, that is, initiate a material transformation.
To go back to the challenge of public space design: it is obvious that a new kind of relationship is implied between placemaker and public. She was on her way home from the premises of the Times of India, where she works as a reporter covering stories from this amazing metropolis. Journalism, however, is not Namita s only occupation, she is also a musician and a novelist. Her debut in the literary work was a kind of autobiography entitled The Music Room, where the author describes her relationship with traditional Indian music and her gurus.
Her second and latest novel, Aftertaste, recounts the story of a business family based in Mumbai and their mithai shop. Mithais are very tasty traditional Indian sweets lined with a silver foil, and we are very disappointed that in the modern, stylish coffee house attached to the arts centre they do not have any.
However, Namita s easy smiling kindness soon dispelled our disappointment as she started talking about modern India, her relationship with the tradition and the new role women like herself play in this society. How does one affect the other? Well, my work as a journalist really contributes to my work as a writer, because as a journalist you re constantly out with curiosity, looking for stories, constantly. So you find stories in places that are very unlikely; your mind learns to hear something and then finds the story in it, which another person may not always 7 Devidayal s books are published by Thomas Dunne Books and Random House.
And after you find the story, you have to write it in a way that is not just a piece of journalistic news, but has a kind of narrative to it. The storytelling just becomes like a part of your routine work. I m not a reporter, so I don t do too much of daily news reporting at all. So that s storytelling and you are looking for details, you re looking for things that really make a picture.
That obviously helps in book writing because your mind has already these little pictures going on in your head, and at length you just learn to extrapolate from those for your book. Even though my book was based on another full story, I found that I was using a lot of little, little things that I had written as a journalist in that.
I m not sure that writing contributes to my journalism, but they are very linked. I still visit my teacher, she is still alive and teaching other students, but she lives very far away from me, so I don t get there as much as I d like to. But singing is a part of my life, and I m very much in that world.
My son, who is eleven, has taken to music as well, he plays the violin and my husband is a jazz musician, blues musician, so there is a lot of music in our life. I was taking a course at Columbia University in New York and it was a creative writing class, so we did a lot of different writing, and then the last assignment was to write a first chapter of a book, any book. And so I just sat down in front of my computer, and the chapter that emerged was the story of a little girl going to learn music and it was me, but I was writing it in third person.
So that s when I went back to that and I actually started writing: from that. So that s how it all started, and then it was just a kind of flow, because there was so much in my head about all that from my childhood. My teacher told me so many stories that were so interesting A. Whom were you writing for? I was writing for somebody who knew very little about Indian Classical Music. So it was clearly not for a person who was already from that world, because I was telling a lot of things, I was explaining a lot of things, and I wanted to make it interesting for a person who knew nothing about Indian Classical Music, through storytelling and through the story of my teacher.
So it was a way of basically bringing that world alive to a lot of people who have no idea about it. Because in India lots of people are really very westernized now, they have no idea about these old traditions, it s a very small, closed world. Did you plan it from the beginning? I ve never planned anything, it just kind of happened and this book was really as if God-written wild things were actually happening. I had no idea how it was going to end. Like, you know, there s that whole bit about going to the temple in Kolhapur, where I sing with my teacher, where she used to sing as a child.
I had not planned that, but it all just happened. There was a very unusual kind of organic feeling about it. It was not the typical way of planning, when you sit down and write a book. It was really like these things that I wrote with no idea about what was being written, other than the fact that I wanted it to be a story about music. It is not about me. In fact, I kept a kind of very thin narrative voice, I didn t want too much about my own life, because I m just like a narrator. But, to make it interesting and alive, obviously, I also wanted to bring in my relationship with her, and what was happening in my life.
But I didn t want to dwell too much on myself, because it s not very interesting for a reader. But a lot of people thought it would have been more interesting if I got it more personal. Actually it was very difficult because I had to reveal a lot of details that were very personal, and I knew that she was not pleased about that, but I did it anyway, because I knew that the larger picture was worth it. So it was difficult because it was so intimate, you know, writing about things that happened in her life, or between us, or me saying how I used to lie to her, you know, things like that.
There was so much that is so personal. But I also wrote it with humour, so that it became like very real like any kid going to a teacher does all these kinds of tricks. She actually was very upset about a few details that she didn t want in there. That was my great advantage. But she basically trusts me. It all worked out in the end, because she got so much applause after the book came out she is a very reclusive person and after this book, the number of people that read it and wanted to go and meet her, or learn from her, or give her an award, or invite her to perform was just huge.
So I think she realized that the book was something good for her. Her world is Marathi, so she was very clear that you can have it translated in Italian, English and Hindi and whatever other language, but not in Marathi, because that was her community. I could have done it and have it done, but she It wasn t her own version of herself and she didn t want it out there.
Do you feel more akin to one or the other? But they are very, very connected by music. That was like the whole point of this book, its aim was also to talk about how music was this kind of universal language that connected people from absolutely [different worlds] You know India 56 Now of course things are different, but in the past, someone from her background would never go and sit in a Muslim person s house.
So the very beautiful thing that happened through this is that music became this kind of incredible binding force. You know, I talk about this man, who is the grandson of the big Khansahib, the big musician, Muslim musician, who s her age. He was more like a brother to her, because of the musical connection, even closer to her than her own brother because of the music. Even though he came from a completely different background, and they were not allowed to really interact, in those days.
There still are divides, but it s not as strict as it was in those days. In those days, you have to understand that was a period were music, Indian Classical Music, had come to be considered a very cheap thing. So the people who were singing in those days were basically like entertainers. Music had lost its kind of glory, because there s a whole history for that the patronages had changed, and after the kings and all that went away, the patrons were these wealthy men in India who I mean, in cities like Bombay who would often treat these women singers, as, you know, women who were like So that was the period when Dhondutai was learning So, for her to go and learn with someone like Kesarbai, or even with someone like a Muslim, was just not done.
Today anyone can go and learn music, the respectability has come back. So I mean not in the last twenty, thirty years but at that time the arts were associated with something slightly cheap and degraded for a good fifty years. Do the other women in the book share the same attitude? I don t have visions or anything, but I m very connected. I considered music to be very closely linked to a kind of a spiritual experience.
So, I think the vision for her was more a kind of like you know, I think when you live alone, and when you have these very strong beliefs in gods and everything, these things manifest. But it s not like it was literal. Actually, I don t know if it really happened or not, that s not even the point, but she believed it did. It s a very personal experience you have, when you have a moment that is so special and powerful, that you experience something, see something that other people might not see.
It was a clear professional and entertainment based thing, because she was an earning person. For her the music was a way to earn a living for herself and her family, because she came from that profession. So her approach to music was different. It was about entertaining and creating an audience. Having said that, I think this music is so powerful that it takes you into other levels. Dhondutai s whole approach to music was very different, it was not about entertainment or about trying to please an audience. It was a personal journey, which was her own journey. So it was a very different approach.
Did you find a way to bring this spiritual dimension of music to your son? Because, I really feel that there has to be something that is really ambience. You can send him to classes, which I do, but I want to imbibe him at a much deeper level. So I try, but it s nowhere near to what I would like to do. Because I am not doing it myself, so it doesn t happen as naturally and beautifully as it should.
My mother used to play a lot of music when we were growing up, so now I can recognize it and it is all still there. With him is very less so, but I try and I hope something comes in. He is musical, so maybe it won t be Indian Classical music, but he s got an open mind to music.
You know how it happened? That s a nice story. So he got a violin and he goes here at the NCPA, where they follow the Suzuki method, and he s doing very well. Western Music or Indian? I was 8 Le Corde dell anima Cremona in Festival. Devidayal was a guest with Beatrice Colin in May impressed by these biographies within the autobiography: how do they contribute to the main story? I mean, there are no lies or anything in it, but I did not check everything to find out whether that person actually wore those clothes at that particular moment, in that concert. So biography is not the right definition, but it is a biography, in a way it is.
To me the most interesting thing about this book was that if you look at the three women, Kesarbai, Dhondutai and me, we are just completely from different worlds. Dhondutai and I have absolutely nothing that would bring us together in our normal daily life. She comes from a very different background. Her world is very different from mine. Similarly, she and Kesarbai came from very different worlds, because Kesarbai was one of those professional singers, devadasi.
But the music has been such a glue and such an amazing thing that it became a sort metaphor for the story of India, because India is filled with all these different kinds of communities and people, but something always brings them together, sometimes it s food, sometimes in this case is music and it s very special actually. I am really grateful for it because it took me into a very different world from the one I live in, and that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
It has really changed the way I think and see things. So, even though I stopped learning music many years ago, I still go back to Dhondutai, because she brings something into me which I don t get from the rest of my world a simplicity, a quietness. It s an interesting space. I think it s so much more than music, the whole relationship between the teacher and the student is not so much about the actual skill that you are learning, it s really about bringing in a world view that is different from yours, because otherwise you 58 And this one just adds a dimension to your life, which is much more than just music.
Are there any aesthetical resemblances between Indian Classical Music and the way you write? I d love to believe that there is a connection, but I don t know if there is. I mean, I don t have consciously thought about it. Subconsciously, if something has come in, that may be, but frankly, no I tell you one thing though, actually yes, now that you mention it.
It may have been a very unconscious thing that happened in The Music Room, which is, that you have noticed that it goes back and forth in time a lot, so you re in a moment and then it goes back into another past moment, and then it comes back into the present. That to me is very much a way Indian Music is all about, because everything about Indian Classical Music is like an oral tradition.
It s come down over years and years, right? So you are always finding this kind of thing that connects the past and the present. So it could be that that happened, but I really didn t think about it before I wrote it.