Tag: Torino

Of all the notable literary events of the past year, perhaps none was so important as the release of the complete works of Primo Levi. The three volumes of this edition make available in one place a wealth of Levi’s novels, his shorter fictional and occasional pieces, as well as his more general autobiographical writings such as The Periodic Table. (More…)

No clichés here. As far as leftist flyers go, they’re don’t exactly inspire you to speak truth to power.  Dispensing with images of marchers standing up to the man, and police beating up protestors, they relied more on sarcasm, and a pronounced sense of contempt, to make their point. Feeling flushed down the toilet? Sick of the bread, and the circuses, and promises of pussy? We relate. (More…)

Vulnerability is their middle name. Whether they’re washing dishes, or sweeping floors, everything they do communicates helplessness. Blow in their direction, and they’ll fall over. They’re that fragile. Such is the situation of Europe’s migrants. Whether from Afghanistan or Romania, their situation is consistently the same. They come from one crisis, only to be greeted by another. (More…)

Multiculturalism isn’t an abstraction. It’s about people of different ethnic backgrounds, living together, as equals. Predicated on the idea that in an increasingly globalized world, governments must develop policies that encourage tolerance and foster integration. Initially associated with Canadian immigration policy, over the last half century, the term has become a synonym used to describe the ethnic transformation of European society. (More…)

It should have been a meme. For several months, at least, the news media could not put it down. First invoked in 2011, in reference to the 15-M movement protesting the Spanish government’s inept handling of the economic crisis, the term ‘Indignados’ became a media catch-all, used to describe European leftists, critical of Brussels-mandated austerity policies. (More…)

We Are All Illegal Immigrants. (“Siamo Tutti Clandestini.”) A message of solidarity to illegal migrants, for anyone who has spent time in Italy, the slogan can be as common as the circle A that often accompanies it. Not that it is necessary to impose anarchist branding. So synonymous is this idea with the politics, the symbol risks overkill.  (More…)

Did the Allies liberate Europe from Fascism? Many leftists would say no. In West Germany, for example, Nazi-era civil servants, judges and police officers remained in place for nearly three more decades. The same could be said of France, not to mention, of course, Italy. Why? For the Allies, quite often, due to pragmatism. How would they run these countries without them? (More…)

Don’t let the homeless fool you. There’s no shortage of housing. Yet, wherever you look, Italians are looking to sell their properties. In cities like Turin, it’s practically a firesale. Suffering from two decades of decline, incurred by the policies of successive Berlusconi governments, the Eurozone crisis simply compounded what was an already catastrophic economic situation, pushing millions out of their homes. (More…)

If only it were fog. One of the Po Valley’s best known winter-time features, there’s good reason to suspect as much. However, for anyone who has lived in the region for a year or more will tell you, the two are easily distinguishable. Thick, with only a few feet of visibility, the fog can make driving, especially at night, particularly hazardous. The haze, on the other hand, is more porous. You can still see through it, and at certain times a day, it’s even pretty. (More…)

Non-fiction is too narrow. That is, if you believe that the only narrative for progressive publishing is investigative journalism. Emphasize the first person, or adopt a memoir-like approach, and you become untouchable, the stuff of trade publishing, and public radio confessionals. Literary non-fiction? Too bourgeois. Poetry? It’s feminist, right? (More…)

The criticisms were familiar. If you didn’t know the article was published in Der Spiegel, you’d have thought it was The Economist. All the same themes were present: Italy is approaching failed state status. Government policies are mired in the past. Businesses are eschewing manufacturing for services. Corruption is rampant.  Mario Monti is the country’s only hope. (More…)

If only we could blame Berlusconi. In the most widely-reported incident of an Italian politician making racist remarks since Il Cavaliere called Obama “suntanned,” Roberto Calderoli, vice president of Italy’s Senate, likened Cécile Kyenge, the country’s first black cabinet minister, to an orangutan. As many newspapers have reported, it’s not the first time that a legislator from the Lega Nord has made such a remark. (More…)