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|for translations from/to|
In those most clear waters [of the lake inside one of the Termadores Islands] you see crabs with deer-like antlers, and a great number of fish dressed with feathers like birds, and eels as long as boats, wholly covered with scales that look like gold coins, and are said to be very dangerous. You also see enormous tortoises, which the people who live on the water surface ride like sea horses in order to sail from one island to another. And, on the trees you see birds whose beaks are as long as a sword, which are a true marvel to see, and others whose songs would make Father Simon [composer and lutist of the Church of Saint Therese in Padua, 1460-1498] envious. In those very waters you see a strange fingered fruit, that no one can touch because it would immediately melt away, and it is forbidden to the young people to look at it because it would melt away from sight, and become invisible. This fruit is called panalà, and I was deeply moved by it, and it does not come from any tree, or bush, of flower, and it usually floats, and roots hang down from it. It is as black as the squidʼs ink, and in the evening all the men and women of the island pray the fruit as if it were the Sacred Bone of Saint Barnaby.
|by Paolo Barbieri|
Oculos cum claudo, meliora vident, quia
praetermissa per totum diem spectaverunt;
sed me dormiente, somniant teque vident,
obscure in obscura splendentes diriguntur.
Tu per cuius et umbram umbras splendent,
quantum forma umbrae tuae formosa
pateret claro diei clariore lumine tuo,
oculis si caecis umbra tua sic splendet!
Quantum oculi, inquam, mei benedicti
essent si te spectarent in die vivo, cum
nocte mortua pulchra tua umbra imperfecta
per somnium caecis etiam oculis apparet!
Dies sunt noctes omnes donec te videam,
noctes dies clari cum somnia te monstrant.
The kind to which the 15th and 16th century homosexuals belong – from Lorenzo the Magnificent to Pope Leo X, from Michelangelo to Benvenuto Cellini, from Leon Battista Alberti to Pietro Aretino, from Filippo Strozzi to Giovanni Deʼ Medici, i.e. the condottiere “of the Black Bands,” not to speak of the young elites in Italy, France, Europe, as well as the common people, soldiers of fortune, artists, men of the Church, Cardinals, etc. – is not a degenerate kind at all: it is a kind whose men are strong, bold, indomitable, athletes capable of facing battles and dangers of all sorts without blanching. They are all of the same mold, both middle-class people and nobles and common town-dwellers: all unruly, sanguinary, cruel, impudent, proud, and gay. And since they are all like that in Italian towns, where in the 15th and 16th centuries there is a widespread regret toward the lost republican and communal freedoms, and repulsion toward the enlightened seigniories, and hate toward the foreign tyrannies, especially the Spanish – their sexual inversion must necessarily have the same origin and correspond to the same feeling: it is not a physiological inversion, but rather a moral one, a sort of a rebellion of the organism, of sex, a physiological reaction against a form of mental disease, as slavery in fact is a mental disease.__Curzio Malaparte, Sesso e libertà [Sex and Freedom], 1951-52, published posthumously