Thursday, January 26, 2023

Rome Journal: Eternity

Paris is the City of Light and Rome has the misnomer of being The Eternal City. Cities are organic like bodies and snowflakes, no two of which are alike. The corpus of the city is always changing as is its sensibility and those of its inhabitants. This may explain why political and psychological theories are often so inadequate. Psychoanalysis was a creature of its time, which is to say turn of the century Vienna and while the Rat Man or Dora might be recognizable personalities, any psychodynamic theory inevitably has to be unto itself or of its time. The art is to take what you can use and disregard the rest. Rome today is a shadow of the representation that appears in the films of neorealists like Visconti, Rossellini, Pasolini, Antonioni and Fellini. You might be an Italophile until you step off the plane at Fiumicino, finding yourself aghast at the site of a world you barely recognize, still less want to inhabit. Roman Holiday, Light in the Piazza and Three Coins in a Fountain are three American films of the 50s and 60s which essentially present a Rome of the imagination which in fact never existed and was a product of Hollywood and the Marshall Plan. Heraclitus and the Milesians believed that the world was in a state of constant flux. Essentially nothing is the same. Rome two seconds ago is not the Rome of this very moment. Naturally, this is true of every culture, but despite the astonishing pastness which every inhabitant and visitor of the city experiences, there's an ineffable quality of transience that particularly infuses Roman life--sites notwithstanding. Romans speak in a machine gun staccato. You may think you know something about Rome, but the fact is it’s likely changing right before your eyes.

read "Rome Journal: The EUR" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Roadrunner" by Junior Walker & the Allstars

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