Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Makes Us Ill

"The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant duplicity. Your health ist bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike, and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune."
Boris Pasternak


  1. That is true. If we really are ourselfes, we healthy and free. Unfortunately in society adjustments needed. So we can decide between society and disease or health and a certain kind of loneliness.

  2. I live in a country, were general, traditional disinhibition allows on one hand great sincereness and facilitates on the other hand the temptation to lie!

    Italy is the country of actors. Every Italian is in great part an actor, but not in the oppressive sense Pasternak is speaking about. The Italien role playing is part of a game where cheeting is allowed. Everyone in Italy lies more or less quite often, sometimes even showing (and soliciting comprehension!).

    "In England everything is allowed, besides what is forbidden. In Germany everything is forbidden, besides what is allowed. In Italy everything is allowed, even that what is forbidden." once said Piero Angela (who lives in France...).

    The duplicity of Pasternak is moral schizofrenia, the italian duplicity is elasticity and it is the duplicity of Janus, of the two options, of the twin-theme (Castor&Pollux,Romulus&Remus), of aut aut which becomes vel, of the two Consuls, of Quod licet Jovi non licet bovi, of the ambigious, pondering, wise duplicity of the Church of Rome, of Pirandello's persona&personaggio...

    The theme of today is again the theme, we were speaking about the 25th of January.

  3. Cesare Musatti is the father of psychanalysis in Italy. As Freud, Musatti either was jewish. Once he said, "the italian people is the sanest people of the world".

  4. What´s about the people who are being told lies, every day, knowing that reality is different? And what is a lie, when everybody knows about the real content? The false wording becomes a new language. Black isn´t black anymore, it is white and everybody knows that and remains healthy.

  5. @cs

    Good questions. "To understand Italy one has to look at Sicily", said Leonardo Sciascia who was one of Italy's greatest observers during the last decades of the 20th century.

    In Sicily the "artistic" "metasemiotic" sign language featuring speech meets perfection. To have a vague idea of this complicated semplification, see the films:

    "Una storia semplice" ("A Simple Story") by Emidio Greco (from Leonardo Sciascia's book),

    "Gente di rispetto" ("The Flower in His Mouth") by Luigi Zampa, written by Leonardo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi and Giuseppe Fava (the last was killed by the Mafia)

    and "Il giorno della civetta" ("The Day of the Owl") from Leonardo Schiascia's book.

    In Leonardo Sciascia's book there is a meaningful sentence, pronounced by a young widow speaking with a policeman coming from northern Italy: "la verità è una presunzione". Nota bene that "presunzione" has two completely different meanings, but both frequently intended using the word:

    "assumption" and "pomposity, arrogance".