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Table of contents

Gattopardo 3

Some notes on the possibility of a new prince

The prince complains about the landscape & the climate of the land. However, Machiavelli teaches that a sterile place will more easily foster unity & prevent idleness. Indeed, Machiavelli suggests that men rather learn from necessity than otherwise; it seems that what they learn is to […]

Gattopardo 2

The old city & the new

The architecture of the aristocratic palaces is incomparable. Aristocrats aspire to distinguish themselves by the luxury & beauty of their buildings, as well to add suggestions of immortality, superhuman power, & the freedom of those unbound by necessity, viz. poverty. Their palaces defy the human scale & seem […]

Gattopardo 1

Vertú contra furore Prenderà l’arme, et fia ’l combatter corto: Ché l’antiquo valore Ne gli italici cor’ non è anchor morto.

The old political order was called the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Then came the invasion of Garibaldi. Then the new Kingdom of Italy.

The story is told from the point of view […]

Play it again, Sam

A comedy about failing nobly

This is the story of a weakly movie critic whose wife abandons him, presumably because she’s a woman. He idolizes Bogart, a real man. It is unclear whether he wants the man’s confidence or his success. As Bogart’s image starts talking to him, we see nothing of his nobility. […]

Manhattan

Everybody gets corrupted. You have to have a little faith in people.

Witness the teaching of the story, so tortuously arrived at in the final lines. Not played for laughs. The angel-faced girl, uncannily sensible throughout the travails of love, delivers this line with the same calm with which she had announced the guy […]

Stardust memories

A look at the agony of creation

On his way to reconcile with the woman whom he loves, & who loved him enough to take the kids & leave her husband, Bates is stopped by the police. They somehow found a .32 in his Rolls. He says, it’s because of the Nazis – his […]

Redbelt

Some notes on the martial art & politics

Mike Terry is a man who has learned to live with people’s fears. He is a teacher of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He always tells students, there is no situation you cannot escape. You escape by turning a disadvantage into an advantage. You learn about motion. It is […]

Fight club

A self-help guide for the godless

This is a movie for people educated enough to know that turning human fat into soap is talking about the Nazis. So the reader must decide whether the story teaches you how to be the only worthwhile fascist, the successful fascist – because it has become the only […]

Homicide

If I do not stand for myself, then who will stand for me?

This is the story of a Jew, a policeman, who learns about evil & shame. This is pre-Giuliani New York: Black men run the city; they humiliate the Jew. His Gentile partner, however, is always there, has his back. The policemen […]