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By Fedor Dostoevskij

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When the electoral college of cardinals attended what happened to be a most joyous garden party in Tivoli (they were joyous because these were the ones who had no chance at all), the soon-to-be and still chuckling pope raised his glass to say: “Why the ridiculously long deliberations over the naming? If you are looking for a saint, there’s Alfonso di Liguori — and he pointed towards the depths of the gardens, with respectful pantomime gestures to imitate eating roots, falling into a trance, rapture when praying, and chasing a squirrel under his arm.

Inédit? s Susanna), he locates the metaphysical ideal in Casanova, able to reconcile elegance and bestiality ? or, if one prefers, boudoir and theology. In short, beautiful as the encounter of Leibniz and Gloria Swanson on the stage of the Fenice! Zéno Bianu Tr. by Rainer J. Hanshe ST. ORPHEUS BREVIARY I. MARGINALIA ON CASANOVA 1. Vita (Life of a Saint) Alfonso Maria di Liguori (1696 - 1787) Saint Alfonso died at the age of ninety-one, but at the age of eighty-three, after writing uncounted books and letters, he was prohibited from writing for health reasons, because, although he was able to formulate with the greatest ease, he never amended, or even tried to correct himself; thoughts and sentiment just poured out of him like incessant rain, now simply, now in a baroque fashion, but behind his matchless stylistic flair raged huge passions, both sorrows and joys, regarding the fate of God, the soul and unfathomable body of men, the purpose or unacceptable purposelessness of history.

While writing the explanatory catalogue, Casanova often broke into gusts of laughter at the various descriptions of the world of Antiquity, its stillborn afterlives in various periods of Europe, in the circus Renaissance, neurotic romanticism, puritanical moralizing, and Biedermeier-bourgeois psychoanalysis. He found the most acceptable imitations in certain gargoyles of Gothic cathedrals and the art of his own Mannerist-rococo century, though the eternal clumsy, wholesale contrasting of art, comparative religion, myth, and rationalism bored him “en gros” (and whom do they not?

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Racconti e romanzi brevi by Fedor Dostoevskij

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