Fleeting Rome: In Search of la Dolce Vita by Carlo Levi

By Carlo Levi

Just a renaissance guy may have defined this wonderful urban in its heyday. And in simple terms Carlo Levi, author, painter, flesh presser and one of many final century's so much celebrated skills, might depict Rome on the top of its optimism and energy after international battle II. In Fleeting Rome, the period of put up battle 'La Dolce Vita' is introduced magnificently to existence within the day-by-day bustle of Rome's road investors, housewives and scholars at paintings and play, the vibrant festivities of Ferragosto and San Giovanni, the little theatre of Pulcinella al Pincio; all brilliant points of interest and sounds of this old, but important urban.

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In the Olympics and in the presence of so many athletes in Rome, Levi even perceives ‘the physical and visible appearance of happiness’ (and he presents two different imxxviii INTRODUCTION ages of this happiness in the athletes Wilma Rudolph and Livio Berruti): and he bestows upon us the memory of a still ‘home-made’ world of sports, not coldly programmed, not yet amplified in the gigantic media and promotional machine that is killing it, and of a Rome that still succeeded in experiencing that event in a ‘folksy’ manner, as if it were an ancient festivity.

Rome, April 2002 xxxiii Translator’s Note by Antony Shugaar Like an Advent calendar set in Rome instead of Bethlehem, in which each panel opens on to a glowing, delicately framed vignette in the style of Fellini or Rossellini, Carlo Levi’s essays combine a childlike sense of wonder and enchantment with a very adult sense of detachment and technique. The thirty-three essays are ‘Letters from Rome’, written by a northern Italian author for a newspaper published in the northern city of Turin, and they span nearly a decade.

19 No longer a tomb, that day: something quite alive, filled with hidden strength. 20 Dark and deep, they are afraid of it; they have long been afraid of it – but they don’t know that, or they have forgotten it – they want to remain deaf and blind. Slumbering in their eternal lassitude, in the massive sleepiness of digestion, in the resurgent barbarism that daily destroys the landmarks of history, in the deals that are so easy that to them they seem matters of course that will never run out, here they are, encamped like ancient enemies who will never fit in.

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