Tag Archives: novelists

#2: October 26, 1941 — “BOOKS AND MUSIC”

Mr. Churchill, EVEN Mr. Churchill hasn’t had the brass to tell the American people WHY he wants ’em to die to save what.

He is fighting for the gold standard and MONOPOLY. Namely the power to starve the whole of mankind, and make it pay through the nose before it can eat the fruit of its own labor.

His gang, whether kike, gentile, or hybrid is not fit to govern. And the English OUGHT to be the only people ass enough, and brute enough to fight for him.

Now as to my personal habits, the few of you who know that I exist know that I have given most of my time to muggin’ up kulchur, that I have writ a few books, and spent my spare time trying to learn musical composition, or else playin’ tennis and floatin’ round the gulf of Tigullio, in which act I make, so far as I know, a nuisance of myself to no one whatever.

And in the mornings I write letters to and read letters from the most intelligent of my contemporaries, and Mr. Churchill and that brute Rosefield, and their kike postal spies and obstructors, kikarian and/or others annoy me by cuttin’ off my normal mental intercourse with my colleagues. But I am NOT going to starve, I am not going to starve mentally. The culture of the Occident came out of Europe and a LOT of it is still right here in Europe, and I don’t mean archeology either.

So a few weeks ago Monotti sez: ever read Pea’s Moscardino So I read it. and for the first time in your colloquitor’s life he wuz tempted to TRANSLATE a novel, and did so. Ten years ago I had seen Enrico Pea passin’ ’ along the sea front and Gino [Saviotti] sez: It’s a novelist. Having seen and known POLLON IDEN, some hundreds, or probably thousands I was not interested in its being a novelist. But the book must be good or I wouldn’t be more convinced of the fact AFTER having translated it, than I was before. Of course, my act was impractical so far as you are concerned. I haven’t the ghost of an idea how I am to get the manuscript to America or get it published. Pea has never made a cent out of the original. Well neither had Joyce nor Eliot when I started trying to git someone to print ’em.

What’s it like ? Well if Tom Hardy had been born a lot later, and lived in the hills up back of Lunigiana, which is down along the coast here, and if Hardy hadn’t writ what ole Fordie used to call that “sort of small town paper journalese,” and if a lot of other things, includin’ temperament, had been different, and so forth … that might have been something like Pea’s writin’—which I repeat is good writing—and was back in 1921 when Moscardino was printed. Moscardino is the name of the kid who is tellin’ about his granpop, a nickname, like Buck.

As soon as the barriers are down I shall be sendin’ a copy along for the enlightenment of the American public.

In the meantime, if any one wants to learn how to write Italian let ’em read the first chapter of Forastiero, or the couple of pages on the bloke who had been 20 years in jail. This is just announcin’ that Italy has a writer, and it is some time since I told anybody that ANY country on earth had a writer. Like Confucius, knocked ’round and done all sorts of jobs. Writes like a man who could make a good piece of mahogany furniture.

I sent in a hurry call from the Siena music week, but I reckon it was too late, not time to get retransmittal, but I wanted the clean and decent Americans to hear the Vivaldi Oratorio Juditha Triumphans; which makes ole pop Handel look like a cold poached egg what somebody dropped on the pavement.

Of course it’s not THAT kind of an oratorio, it is a musical whoop in two parts, to celebrate the retaking of Corfu from the Turks in 1715; and it was very timely and suitable as a bicentenary funeral wreath on red-head Vivaldi.

I got it once from the top centre, and once in a box hangin’ over the orchestry, once for the whole and once for the details.

And I think it’s O.K. brother. You’d have to hear it alternate with Johnnie Bach, say the Mathias, seven times over, at least I would, before I would think I was ready to say just HOW good it is.

There has been some good Vivaldi done for orchestra over Rome Radio, but I dunno whether it has been short-waved over to Amerika. There was some good Vivaldi done two years ago, when the Chigi organization had the sense to devote the whole of the Sienese fest to Vivaldi, but the Juditha is one up on that. Better than the Olympiade, as then presented. In fact I think it is better built up as a whole, and you don’t have to be annoyed by ginks walkin’ about and doin’ stage actin’. Well some people like their music with that distraction. When you stop shootin’ and stop pilin’ up profit for kikes by conveying their guns to the god damn English who ought to be spanked and put to bed by their nurses, you might be able to come over and HEAR IT.

That would be a saner way of passin’ the time than doublin’ your taxes and being robbed by the American treasury. God, my god, you folks are DUMB!!!

Now as to criticism of the Juditha; I affirm that Vivaldi knew more about using the human voice than Johnnie Bach ever discovered. That may sound like heresy. Waaal, you decide after you have listened to both of ’em. And I affirm that Tony Vivaldi knocks the spots off of Handel. I got no doubt on that point whatsoever. Very nice bit for viola d’amore and naturally it pleases me on account of a kink I had before I knew Vivaldi had done it. I have a high opinion of Rossini and Mozart. I.e., use of mandolin in serious orchestra. So has everyone who ain’t stark ravin’ goofy. But Mozart when he came down to Italy did NOT set the public crazy. And part of the reason was, as I conjecture, that the Italian had then had an earful of Tony Vivaldi. That is guess work. But there are things to set against Bach. In fact things Bach took hold of and rearranged; without as I think improvin’ ’em.

I had a chance to hear both together two years ago in Siena, in a good orchestral concert, one up to Casella, the way that program was built. Man named Guarnieri conductin’, been doing three years now in Siena, at this summer fest. And I would by god rather hear Guarnieri conductin’ Vivaldi than hear Toscanini conductin’ Beethoven in Salzburg. An idea which occurred to me, dunn’ the Juditha performance.

I try to tell you that Italy is carryin’ ON. La rivoluzione continua. This is the kind of thing Italians go on doing, despite that dirty mugged bleeder and betrayer of his allies, Winston babyface Churchill.

And his gangsters. Those blighters have never done one damn thing for civilization. They have rotted their country, and should not be allowed to rot anyone elses. They didn’t start the process of corruption, but they have been, everyone of ’em for it, all day and every day, and for the 24 hour period.

Di Marzio is runnin’ a paper. Vicari is runnin’ a monthly devoted to the “narrative” nothin’ but narrative or careful discussion of narrative, and how one should do it. Over in Barcelona, they are printin’ a series, Poesia en la Mano, bilingual editions of everyone from Villon to Mallarme’ and Rilke, and, I am told, your present colloquitor if they can git anyone to translate me.

EUROPE is an organic body, its life continues, its life has components and nearly every damn thing that has made your lives worth livin’ up to this moment, has had its ORIGINS right here in Europe.

Yes, we HAD some colonial architecture and 30 pages of Whitman (Walt Whitman, not Whitemann) and then Whistler, and Henry James left the country. In fact it warn’t no bed of roses fer authors and painters. Though my generation allus thought we ought to plant something or other, and try to git a new crop of somethin’ or other. The idea of the Returnin’ Native was prevalent, except possibly to Thomas S. Eliot who saw from the start that you folks weren’t episcopal enough to suit his episcopal temperament, and he somewhat looked down on my pagan and evangelical tendencies. Waaal, frankly, I allus though it would be a good thing to come back and put some sort of a college or university into shape to teach the young something. Not merely the god damn saw dust and subsitutes for learnin’ and literature they git handed. However, ca hold up the whole course of civilization. If you wanna line up with bone heads, you will line up with bone heads.

And you will go on having conductors instead of composers and European authors who have resigned.

But don’t get that Anglican attitude, of the old story, storm in the channel called by the English, the English channel—the straits between Calais and Dover—and the dirty old Times out with a headline “Continent isolated.”

Nobody here is layin’ flowers on the tomb of Columbus, not this year. But don’t go and run away with the idea that Europe is no longer here, or that books aren’t being written. I mean bein’ WRITTEN, and that we have no painters, or writers, or musicians.

I regret the personal correspondence of a small number of writers, who mostly don’t write to each other. And I would like to see what Hillaire Hiler is paintin’, and to git kumrad cumminkz’s last set of verses. Or to go on get tin’ Kitasono’s Japanese magazine. But I ain’t gittin’ weak and pindlin’ or goin’ into a pronounced and delicate melancholy fer the extinction of all human intercourse.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized