Tag Archives: memoirs

Blogs we like #9

icona_PitigrilliIn a recent post on the NYRB blog (Sept 16) Alexander Stille rescues the novelist Dino Segre (alias Pittigrilli) from oblivion. His Cocaine (1921) charts the life and downfall of a dandy in the world of Italy’s not-so-bright young things of the years between the wars. Segre’s own life as a professional cynic, successful journalist and OVRA spy on his Jewish cousin and friends, is a snapshot of that Italy.

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“I am going to change the world, or die trying”: Valerio De Simoni

M. Cristina Mauceri   University of Sydney

Valerio De Simoni was a 24-year-old Italian-Australian who was killed tragically in a road accident in March 2011 in Africa. He was travelling with two friends through three continentsbook-cover-final to raise money for Oxfam to support two African villages and to break the 
world record for the longest journey on a quad bike.  Valerio was a convinced environmentalist and activist for Greenpeace who dreamed of changing the world. To celebrate Valerio’s humanitarian and environmental commitment, at the end of 2011 his mother, Vittoria Pasquini, founded the Valerio Daniel De Simoni Association, which has branches in Sydney and in Rome, the city of his parents. The Association aims at relieving the poverty and suffering of young people. Many people are involved in its activities, which include assisting young asylum seekers in Villawood detention camp. The full range of its work in Australia and in Italy can be seen on its website.

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Ricordando Rita Levi Montalcini

Luciana d’Arcangeli   Flinders University

Sulla scia del Nobel andai a sentir parlare Rita Levi Montalcini, a Roma, tanti anni fa. Ero giovane e quando la vidi mi chiesi cosa ero andata a fare lì io che non avevo accettato la borsa di studio per studiare biologia marina a Sarasota nel lontano ’83 e che avevo rinunciato al sogno di studiarla a Parigi proprio nell’86, scorata dalla proposta di legge Devaquet. Quando la vidi, già fragile, in compagnia della sorella Paola, con quella sua pettinatura così “secolo scorso” cercai la porta – troppo lontana – e mi preparai ad annoiarmi. Continue reading

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Remembering Gianni Brera

The twentieth anniversary of the death in a road accident of Gianni Brera – gioânnbrerafucarlo, as he sometimes signed himself – was commemorated today by the newspaper for which he worked for the last ten years of his life, La Repubblica. Born ‘a legitimate son of the river Po’ in San Zenone al Po (Pavia) on 8 September 1919, he had a very successful career as a sports journalist (he was appointed editor of the Gazzetta dello Sport aged 30), using his literary skill, creativity and knowledge to become Italy’s most famous exponent of the art. His first books were on cycling (published at the time of the rivalry between Coppi and Bartali) and athletics, but thereafter he dedicated himself to football where he became as well-known as the players on whom he wrote his countless columns.

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IN MEMORIAM: GUIDO MARTINOTTI 1938-2012

David Moss   ANU

Friends, colleagues and readers of his many works will have heard with great sadness of the sudden death of Guido Martinotti, one of Italy’s foremost sociologists and public intellectuals, on December 5 at the age of 74.

Guido Martinotti – @foto: uninews24

Guido Martinotti – @foto: uninews24

Born and educated in Milan, he was largely trained as a sociologist in the United States, thanks to a Harkness Fellowship which provided for a period of extended study in American universities – in his case, Columbia and the University of California at Santa Barbara where he became an annual visiting professor after 1986.

Other beneficiaries of Harkness and Fulbright awards who belong roughly to his own generation and who drew similar inspiration from what was then the primary frontier of sociology include Gianfranco Poggi, Alberto Martinelli, Franco Ferraresi and Marino Regini. Collectively they played a major role in establishing the development of sociological research in Italy, investigating the impact of modernity across the entire range of Italy’s cultural, political, religious and economic institutions.

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