The Book

Fu Vittorio Gabrieli che, all’inizio degli anni cinquanta, ci portò a casa di Elena Croce, allora a via San Nicolò dei Cesarini, un attico, se non sbaglio, che dominava gli scavi di largo Argentina. Mia moglie Barbara era giunta a Roma nell’autunno del 1947, senza conoscere una parola d’italiano, e i pochi amici che frequentavamo nei momenti liberi dal lavoro — Vittorio Gabrieli e Salvatore Rosati, Mario Praz e Gabriele Baldini e Agostino Lombardo — erano sempre pronti ad usare l’inglese non appena la conversazione toccava argomenti non strettamente legati alla vita quotidiana. Elena e Raimondo ci invitarono subito a incontrare i loro amici, e a poco a poco la barriera linguistica venne superata con la frequentazione di quelle serate in casa Craveri che diedero a Barbara il primo gusto della comunità intellettuale italiana, degli interessi letterari e politici, delle curiosità culturali, dei fermenti che la animavano. E vi contribuì anche il fatto che i ragazzi Craveri, Piero e Benedetta, ancora bambina, venivano a prendere lezione d’inglese da Barbara.

Verso i funamboli

by  Melchiori Giorgio

La critica letteraria  pp. 265 Dim.: 1050 kb. downloads: 2007
Lo Spettatore Italiano was a monthly review founded by Raimondo Craveri and Elena Croce in January 1948 intended as a laboratory of ideas and at the same time as an observatory on the national and international political and cultural panorama after the gap caused by the second world war. This book presents the contributions of Giorgio Melchiori on English literature in the immediate post-war period, before the appearance of the angry young men, published in the Spettatore between 1951 and 1956 both as articles and as book reviews. It does not include the longer essays which later became chapters of the well-known The Tightrope Walkers, first published in Great Britain in 1956, and in Italian as I funamboli in 1963, revised and enlarged in 1974 and reprinted by Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura in 2003. This collection of essays reawakens the curiosity to read well-known authors (and also some perhaps unjustly forgotten) of the English literary scene of the forties and fifties of last century, teaching us afresh how to approach and understand a work of literature in an age in which even reading is becoming part of uncritical consumerism. A substantial chapter looks forward to Melchiori’s subsequent book, a study of Yeats’s poetry, published in English under the title The Whole Mystery of Art (1960), while in an appendix we find reviews of films of 1954-55, contemporary analyses of what have now become cult-movies, disconcerting in their lucidity, especially with today’s hindsight.
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