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[personal profile] fpb
My five-questions meme has resulted in several people asking me questions. And since you lot do not know each other and you may all be curious about me (I'm so vain), here are a few, with my answers.
[profile] hobsonphile asked:

1) If an American were planning to visit Italy for the first time, what is the number one piece of advice you would give her?
1)The country has changed greatly in the last ten years, especially due to immigration. One piece of advice would be look after your wallet. And there is one that I actually did give to an American friend twenty years ago: never accept help from an Italian man unless you want to get laid. You may be disappointed from time to time, but you had better realize that even nice Italians regard foreign tourists as fair game.

2) Have you ever visited and/or lived in the United States? If so, where?
2)BAck in 1985, I spent three weeks in Westchester County, north of New York City, visiting various places in NY and New Jersey on business. I also made a short dash to Chicago. That's all, I'm afraid.

3) What is one piece of fanfiction you would really like to see written? (Fandom is your choice.)
3)I have written it myself: Buffy, "What if Glory had won?"

4) Can you recommend a good book on Italian history?
4)Mmmh, not really. I have my own ideas, which I have not seen any recent work quite agree
with. On the other hand, I have not yet seen any book I would warn you off from, either - not even those by Communists. One very good one about a particular period is Hans Baron, The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance, but even that is not exempt from criticism.

5) Describe the worst book you've ever read.
5)I can think of two candidates for that illustrious position. One would be the anthropology textbook by Roy Wagner, Lethal Speech, whose title is unconsciously ironic, since I feel sure that undergraduates have died trying to make sense of it. I once mentioned Roy Wagner to my former teacher, a most kindly and benevolent person, who volunteered the opinion that the man (whom he had met) was insane. The other would be Gloriana by Michael Moorcock, a piece of literary bombast whose basic core idea is that murderers make good politicians and rapists make good husbands. Dishonourable mention for Orientalism by Edward Said, a vile piece of propaganda that has poisoned the minds of two generations of undergraduates.

[personal profile] dustthouart asked:

1. Have you ever had a pet?
1)No. My family lived in a succession of flats, and besides my mother had been scared by a dog when a small child.

2. What first introduced you to Harry Potter?
2)I just started reading all these stories about this brilliant children's book written by this single mother in Edinburgh...

3. If I could only visit one place in Italy, where would you recommend?
3)Venice. Rome is thunderously magnificent, and there is no place in Italy that is not beautiful (almost), but Venice will break your heart.

4. If I could only visit one place in Britain, where would you recommend?
4)Cambridge. Or one of the really exquisite villages.

5. Do you plan to live in Britain the rest of your life?
5)I never make long-term plans.

[profile] soavezefiretto asked:

1.) Top nr.1 all-time desert-island favorite book? (I ask everyone, I know. I am obsessed with books.)
1)Shakespeare complete works, or Dante, or the Bible.

2.) Book you recently read that impressed you the most.
2)Julien Benda - La trahison des clercs (1946 edition)

3.) Top nr.1 all-time desert-island favorite piece of music (song, opera, orchestral piece, whatever.)
3)Hard to say. According to which one I have heard last, it can be Beethoven, Schubert, Bach, Verdi, Bruce Springsteen, you name it. The greatest musical experience I ever had was the 1936 Toscanini and The Philadelphia Orchestra version of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, which, infuriatingly, appears to be unavailable today.

4.) Have you ever lived in Italy? How did you end up in Britain?
4)Bawn'n'bred, miss, bawn'n'bred. I ended up in Britain because my parents did not trust the Italian educational system in the late 1970s, and I stayed for a blue-eyed, brown-haired reason who married the other guy.

5.) Where do you work? (If that's not too nosy, if it is, I'll think of another one.)
5)At home as a translator.

More as they come.
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