Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: walter micheli

Autonomie speciali

Quello che penso sulle autonomie speciali sta racchiuso in una citazione dal libro di Walter Micheli.

Le autonomie speciali delle regioni di confine devono essere elementi di forza per la riforma federale dello Stato italiano. … Una politica di buone sperimentazioni locali aiuterebbe a rendere più evidente la storia e le ragioni della nostra specialità, come già lo fu in un passato non remoto sui temi sociali, dell’ambiente, della cultura … Abbiamo la possibilita d’essere trentini, friulani, aostani e triestini senza cessare d’essere italiani ed europei. E’ una prospettiva possibile solo con l’orgoglio e l’ambizione dei grandi progetti per la riforma delle istituzioni, dei partiti e dei programmi. Di questo ha bisogno una forza riformista che voglia essere protagonista non banale della nostra storia, perché banale non é mai la storia di una regione di frontiera.

Time for books / 6

Between January and late February I have read several books of all the kinds.

The first book I read in early January was Arto Paasilinna’s The Forest of the Hanged Foxes. The main characters of the story run away from the city to live in a small cabin in the wood, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. This is a typically Christmas read, soft and a bit surreal. I loved the idea of living alone in the  intensity the landscapes of Northern Finland. It is rare to find a novel that makes you laugh and at the same time reflect about human condition. This is a really good one.

It took a while to read Heinrich Harrer’s Beyond Seven Years in Tibet: My Life Before, During, and After (in Italian: La mia sfida al destino). The book is about five-hundred pages long about Harrer’s life as a mountaineer who spent seven years in Tibet and who climbed an awful lot of peaks. Harrer died only a few years ago, when he was about to turn 100. This is a good book, perhaps a bit too long. From his autobiography, Harrer stands out as a very controversial character, definitely selfish, probably committed, surely extremely resilient. I really liked the first chapters, then it turned a bit boring and repetitive.

Sempre sull’alpinismo, ho letto anche Giorni di Ghiaccio di Marco Confortola. Ho già commentato questa lettura qui. Ho letto anche due libri di osservatori politici trentini e riferimenti di vita che ho avuto l’onore di conoscere personalmente. Ho commentato il libro di Piergiorgio Cattani su Dellai, un uomo solo al comando qui; e quello di Walter Micheli, Passioni e sentieri, qui.

In una serata oziosa, tanto per cambiare genere ho letto Ciclismo, Storie segrete, di Beppe Conti. Libretto leggero e simpatico, che si legge in circa due ore e che parla dei retroscena e dei piccoli trucchetti legati alle grandi imprese del ciclismo passato. Altra lettura molto leggera e veloce: Lorenzo Baratter, L’autonomia spiegata ai miei figli. Un compendio veloce sulle origini e le ragioni dell’autonomia trentina, in un momento in cui dobbiamo ripensarne radicalmente i contenuti che ne giustificano l’esistenza.

Finally, while travelling to Munich I read Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy. I would call this an interesting book. It was a huge success a few years ago. Alain de Botton is a very famous university professor now, one of those who can speak not only to an academic, but also to a much broader public. The book is about six philosophers whose thought could have a powerful effect on our lives. Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche are here interpreted for the light their work can shine on certain great universal problems.

Passions and Footpaths

This is going to be a long or, as Thomas would say, a Tolkien-size post. But it is really intense and I would encourage you to read it.

It is about Walter, who I mentioned in the post where I reviewed the book written by my friend Piergiorgio. Walter was a well respected political man and a point of reference for the journal where I used to write when I was a student. As for Piergiorgio, his honest, selfless, coherent and passionate political commitment was an essential part of life. It was about creating a sense of a community and respecting the environment where we live. His character was modelled over the mountains that shape the landscape of the land where he, and I, grew up. He died in 2009, and this is the introduction of the book collecting his essays about politics and life. This introduction, originally in Italian and then in (my) English translation, has been written by Franco de Battaglia and the title of the book is Passioni e sentieri (Passions and Footpaths).

1. Italian
Quando la neve cedeva ai primi fiori, o l’autunno dei boschi anticipava il fuoco acceso nelle baite, Walter Micheli era solito, con alcuni amici, organizzare una giornata libera su un sentiero del Trentino. O dell’Alto Adige, perché queste due terre convergono a formare un’identità comune in chi le percorre, e ognuno ha da imparare dall’altro. C’era una meta: una malga, un maso, un’osteria, e ad individuarla ci pensavano magari Giuliano Castelli, o quel grande conoscitore di anfratti e misteri nonesi che è Danilo Zanoni. Ma si trattava di dettagli, perché il protagonista della giornata era il sentiero, inteso come luogo che al tempo stesso unisce, trascina, insegna. I sentieri di Walter Micheli erano innanzitutto luoghi di incontro. Richiamavano, a percorrerli, persone dalle provenienze umane e politiche più disparate, univano esperienze intellettuali e pratiche manuali. Ognuno veniva con il suo “prosacco” e le sue idee. Poi ci pensava il ritmo dei passi, il respiro del vento, il distendersi della vista a mescolare le proposte, a chiarire i dubbi, a sciogliere i pregiudizi. Sul sentiero la mente assume lo stesso ritmo dei passi e con il corpo si compenetra in armonioso equilibrio. Nell’ansimare di una salita uomini anche di idee diverse si scoprono uguali nella fatica. Ho sempre avuto il sospetto che i sentieri piacessero a Walter anche per questa ragione, non solo naturalistica ed escursionistica, ma anche un po socialista.

2. English
When the snow left way to the first flowers, or autumn woods anticipated the fire burning in the huts, Walter Micheli was accustomed to organize, with some friends, a day off on a footpath of Trentino. Or of South Tyrol, as these two lands converge to form a common identity, and they can learn from each other. There was a goal: a hut, a farm, an inn, and those who had to locate them where Giuliano Castelli, or maybe that great connoisseur of ravines and mysteries nonesi which is Danilo Zanoni. But these were details, because the hero of the day was the footpath, meant as a place that unites and at the same time drags and teaches. The footpaths of Walter Micheli were, first of all, meeting places. They put together people from many different human and political backgrounds, uniting intellectual experiences and manual practices. Everyone carried his “prosacco” [a mix of Prosecco, the local wine; and sacco, bag] and his ideas. Then it was the rhythm of the footsteps, the breath of the wind, the unravelling of the sight that stirred the proposals, clarified doubts, dissolved prejudices. On the footpath, the mind has the same rhythm of the footsteps and penetrates the body in harmonious balance. In the fatigue of a climb even men of different ideas find themselves united in the same effort. I’ve always had the suspect that Walter liked the footpaths for this reason, not only environmental, but also a bit socialist.