SiStan ChapLee

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

[GBM] The moral of the story

Azzeccagarbugli (left) "helps" Renzo

Clizio, the shepherd, is finished with telling Adonis the story of the golden apple. And from it, he draws a moral that may sound quite surprising to us, but we must remember that G. B. Marino wrote his poem in the early 17th century, i.e. the very same years in which the novel I Promessi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni is set; when the Law was -- as still is, in Italy -- in the hands of politicians and lawyers epitomized in Manzoni's now proverbial character of Azzeccagarbugli, "Gifted4Tangles." Marino himself will often call his epoch a dark one. As for Adonis (stanza 178), he will grasp only one thing of the Judgment of Paris: that Venus is very sexy, and he looks forward to meeting her (he will not "get" Helen, he will "get" no less than the goddess in the flesh). Here is Clizio's non-Aesopian moral of the story:

2.176

"No wonder, then, if someone accustomed
to judging the quarrels of citizens—
a royal official—for flattery or money     or sexual advances? (lusinga)
sometimes strays from the path of duty,
since because of the charms of love
Paris too passed over due boundaries.     but he had to choose one!
Of a future, of a tragic pleasure     a basic oxymoron in the poem
the promised reward made him fall."