Writing about Luigi Pirandello, English, Italian

Eleven Short Stories- Undici Novelle- Pirandello

Eleven Short Stories- Undici Novelle- Pirandello

I’m reading Eleven Short Stories or Undici Novelle by the Nobel Laureate Luigi Pirandello. It is a dual language book, and for a lover of Italian and of short stories, a rare piece of indulgence.

What I love about the book is not just Pirandello’s masterful storytelling, somewhat reminiscent of Chekov, but also the lyrical quality of the Italian, when I read it just after the English version. With English you have to make an effort to make your lines sound lyrical, spoken Italian is music itself.

Here’s an excerpt from the short story Citrons from Sicily, or Lumie di Sicilia:

He leaned his head forward so he could observe the illuminated room at the far end, and he saw a great number of gentlemen in tailcoats talking confusedly. His sight grew dim; his amazement and agitation were so great that he himself didn’t realize that his eyes had filled with tears; he closed them, and he shut himself completely in that darkness, as if to resist the torment that a long ringing laugh was causing him. It was Teresina laughing like that, in the other room.

Sporse il capo a guardare in fondo la sala illuminata e vide tanti signori in marsina, che parlavano confusamente. La vista gli s’annebbio’: era tanto lo stupore, tanta la commozione, che non s’accorse egli stesso che gli occhi gli si erano riempiti di lacrime: li chiuse, e in quel buio si strinse tutto in se’ quasi per resistere allo strazio che li cagionava una lunga squillante risata. Teresina rideva cosi, di la’.

Writing about Italian and a short break

I hate the fact that my blogging is the first thing to be axed when I get into a demanding schedule, but that can’t be helped, I guess. Come Monday I go in for my CELI 3 exams, and so the blog has to go on a short hiatus. See you all Tuesday, and have a great weekend, all!

Writing about My Vacation in Italian

With my Italian exams drawing near, I’ve taken to writing, reading and speaking Italian as much as I can. I sent my teacher a paragraph on my Kenyir Vacation, and here’s the corrected version. Ely, you want to take a chance at an English translation?

Siamo andati in vacanza il fine settimana scorso vicino a un lago si chiama Tasik Kenyir. Il lago e’ enorme, ci vuole mezz’ora a attarversare il lago con il motoscafo.

La vista era molto bella dal balcone della nostra camera. L’acqua cambiava di colore dalla mattina alla sera, e il lago sembrava diverso ogni giorno. Era molto bello da vedere, e ogni mattina mi sedevo sul letto ammirando la vista.

Il cibo pero’ nel Lake Kenyir resort non era molto buono  e mi ha stancato  molto, perche’ c’era solo un ristorante dove dovevamo fare la colazione, pranzo, e cena. Pero’ siamo stati molto tranquilli, siamo andati a pesca, e anche a vedere tutto il lago in motoscafo.

Writing about Fake, Over-the-Top Venice

I am not writing about Venice, but about The Venetian, a casino hotel in Macau.

I have been here since yesterday, and so far, I’m quite taken with the experience, attracted and repelled at the same time.

The casino, of course, is out-of-bounds for cameras, so I have no pictures. To me, the overwhelming first impression was of a colorful fish market, only without the stench and the noise.

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Writing about Translating The Shadow of the Wind into Italian

I have been writing about my decision to translate paragraphs at random into Italian from books I have read and liked, and here is the second of such posts.

The book is the originally Spanish bestsellerThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, which I picked up about two months ago in one of my reading sprees, and found intriguing, especially because it is a thriller about a book. The entire book is done in the first person, and now that I’ve realized how challenging that can be, I salute the author for making such a great job of it in this book.

I picked up this passage because I really like the setting of this chapter, and the scene is complete, sad, and tense.

Request to my Italian friends who visit this blog: Please help make the passage better….aiuto!!!


Translating The Shadow of the Wind into Italian

Translating The Shadow of the Wind into Italian

Dawn was breaking when I returned to the apartment on Calle Santa Ana. Opening the door quietly, I slipped in without switching on the light. From the entrance hall I could see the dining room at the end of the corridor, the table still decked out for the party. The cake was there, untouched, and the crockery still waited for the meal. I could make out the motionless silhouette of my father in his armchair, as he observed the scene from the window. He was awake and still wearing his best suit. Wreaths of cigarette smoke rose lazily from a cigarette he held between his index and ring fingers, as if it were a pen. I hadn’t seen my father smoke in years.

L’alba spuntava quando sono tornato nell’ appartamento in Calle Santa Ana. Aprendo la porta silenziosamente, mi sono scivolato dentro senza accendere la luce. Dall’ atrio potevo vedere la sala da pranzo ad un’estremita’ del corridoio, la tavola ancora apparecchiata elegantemente per la festa. La torta era là, non toccata, le stoviglie aspettavano il pasto. Ho potuto distinguere la sagoma immobile di mio padre nella sua poltrona, come se avesse osservato la scena dalla finestra. Lui era sveglio, e ancora indossava il suo vestito migliore. Gli anelli di fumo salivano pigramente dalla sigaretta che lui teneva tra l’indice e l’anulare, come una penna. Non avevo visto mio padre fumare da anni.

Writing about Italian, Haruki Murakami

I have been talking about the books I’m reading, and now I have hit upon a plan.

Now that I have my CELI exams drawing near, I will pick up passages from books at random, simple ones, and the ones I like, naturalmente, and translate them into Italian.

An Italian friend or two with whom I already do language exchange programs would then correct me as and when they have time, and I will post it here.

I know the translation is amateur, but it combines two of my fave activities, reading and learning Italian, so here I go. I choose Murakami for my first post because he is one of the few authors I have read who can combine tragedy and farce without missing a beat. And I choose Hard Boiled Wonderland to mark the way he is able to combine the worlds of the fantastic and the real.

Writing about translating Murakami into Italian

Writing about Translating Murakami into Italian

This one is for all Murakami fans, some of whom I have met, bibliobibuli, Ted’s Thoughts, Ovidia …..


Request to my Italian friends who visit this blog: Please help make the passage better….aiuto!!!

Haruki Murakami: Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

The elevator continued its impossibly slow ascent. Or at least I imagined it was ascent. There was no telling for sure: it was so slow that all sense of direction simply vanished. It could have been going down for all I knew, or maybe it wasn’t moving at all. But let’s just assume it was going up. Merely a guess. Maybe I’d gone up twelve stories, then down three. Maybe I’d circled the globe. How would I know?

L’ascensore continuava la sua ascesa estremamente lenta. O almeno immaginavo che era fosse l’ascesa. Non potevo essere sicuro: era cosi lento che il senso dell’orientamento era semplicemente sparito. Avrebbe potuto scendere per quanto ne sapevo, o forse non si muoveva neanche. Pero’ assumiamo che stava salendo. Solamente un’ipotesi. Forse sono salito dodici piani, e poi sceso di tre. Forse ho girato il mondo. Come potrei sapere?

Writing About an Italian Song on Complicated Love

I love this Italian song on YouTube by Giorgia, can’t get it out of my head—- one of those delightful, hummy little numbers. It is all about Love and the various things lovers do, feel, think and compromise on, but all in a song that somehow makes even the most unpleasant things poetic.

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