How to Make Thoughts with Words

It is an exciting time to be an Italianist, that is someone who works on cultural, historical, or literary aspects of Italian “whatever” (Disclaimer: Not that one will easily find a job doing it: one might, eventually, not easily, however). Yet, it remains an exciting opportunity. For a minute, forget about the centuries of literature, history, and art that Italian peninsula has been endowed with. Flash-forward to Today (and, while you are at it, also forget about Italian cinema, just for the sake of it). As for Italian politics, well, could we do without just for a second as well? Now, let’s see what this post is about. Compelling blogs, such as this, or this, or this have come to life or become more influential of late. They constitute an opportunity to discuss, to share, to learn. Granted, like a less-than-average quarterback’s career their output may be a consistent set of inconsistencies. As a result, the posts may fluctuate from narcissistic showcase to enlightening analysis as fast as an interception or a deep pass can turn a football game upside down (but I am probably biased and my statement might be slightly too sweeping: I love football, and dislike so many posters…). Literary blogs are many things: for brevity’s sake, I would liken them to an eighteenth-century Venetian salotto; or, if one prefers, to a Renaissance court. Perhaps full of overblown egos, they may at the same time host the genuine, off-the-chart intellectual who offers her/his witty remarks to lucky listeners and readers. In addition, these contemporary venues are bestowed with endurance (webmaster allowing) and a chance to return on the utterance, and comment. Like books, they (may) inform you. Like a classroom, they give you a chance to challenge your mind and test your comprehension. Unfortunately, quite often the commentaria become the personal gym of a few knuckleheads, who manage to discourage other posters’ comments. Immaterial and anonymous, blogs are the places where time (of the community) comes back to life and stops. Until the next epiphany. It is our time-out before the crucial play that can decide the outcome of this game. And it is exciting to be in it as an italianist, someone who can take advantage of a peculiar (both in good and bad way) landscape.


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