A SHARPER BLUR

Wide Range. Cultural Focus. Editor Patrick Neithard

Oh Dolce, dolce lingua!

Short Tip by Patrick Neithard

February 2005

Have you ever guessed where the word papparazzi stems from? Right. It was in Fellini`s La Dolce Vita, where a very persisting press photographer named Paparazzo was beaten in defense. Ever since, and we know they come in plural, ‘Papparazzi’ has been used in a rather negative sense.

Scene from federico fellini`s "La Dolce Vita" where the persistent press photographer named Paparazzo is beaten in defense Copyright: Società Dante Alighieri, Roma

Scene from federico fellini`s “La Dolce Vita” where the persistent press photographer named Paparazzo is beaten in defense
Copyright: Società Dante Alighieri, Roma

Enjoyers of the Italianità vibrating forth in Italy’s language might want to have a glimpse at the Exhibition “La Dolce Lingua” which was already hugely successful when first taking place in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. From February to May 2005 the show is now hosted in the Swiss National Museum in Zurich Switzerland, where it brings us in contact with the development of the Italian language from the medieval (showing the precious, first ever existing “Vocabolario della Crusca”) when the official Latin was replaced with Italian to current developments.

Bushel of scientist Lorenzo Magalotti called "Sollevato". Any member of the "Accademia della Crusca (bran) " donated a bushel with a metaphoric name. Ove per se non sale means "to sift chaff from the wheat" and was found in Petrarca`s "Sonnett CCXV" copyright : Accademia della Crusca, Firenze, Italy

Bushel of scientist Lorenzo Magalotti called “Sollevato”. Any member of the “Accademia della Crusca (bran) ” donated a bushel with a metaphoric name. Ove per se non sale means “to sift chaff from the wheat” and was found in Petrarca`s “Sonnett CCXV” copyright : Accademia della Crusca, Firenze, Italy

Indeed, the “dolce vita” expressed in “La Dolce Lingua” (The Sweet Language) has expressedly influenced all media such as the fine arts, film and literature throughout and the language itself vocates inspiration until present times (2005). Of course even the most careful display of the italian contemporary cultural output can only be seen as anecdotical, yet the show focuses on culture experienced by language. This becomes vital when “La Dolce Lingua”, in its original form curated by the Società Dante Alighieri of Rome and the Università La Sapienza of Rome is shown as a language in constant flux to the very present with its inventive abbrevations in cell phone text messaging shows how fluid language, any language, today again can become. The heights of the ‘Ivory Tower’ do not at all experience indecent exposure when they meet with forms of common and nearly vulgar everyday use of the language spoken in 22 dialects by 70 million native speakers.
Being guest in Switzerland, the show is enriched by facets of the Italian spoken in the southern part of Switzerland, the well known and beloved “Ticino”, and parts of the “Grigioni” and displays historical gems provided by institutions such as the Zurich Central Library and the Swiss Federal Archive in Bellinzona among others. Yet again, language, throughout all media, is a project of the masses where its mere use more and more defines its purpose. Consequently the visitor is invited to refresh and update his memory at several interactive stations.

Curated by Swiss Architect Mrs Franca Comalini and Swiss National Museum Co-Director Mrs Regula Zweifel.

Approximate visiting time minimum 1 to 1,5 hrs.
Recommendable Catalogue by the Società Dante Alighieri & Swiss National Museum and Posterworks available.
The Swiss National Museum is adjacent to Zurich Main Station and the Bahnhofstrasse area.

Patrick Neithard

view report on Patrick Neithard`s youtube channel in german

http://youtu.be/8YZt5jdRqzo

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