Min. from Boccaccio, De Casibus Virorum Illustrium, Paris, 1467.
Glasgow University Library Special Collections.
The right word in Italian is “boccaccesco,” which derives from the Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (= in the style of Boccaccio), and roughly means “licentious,” “lascivious.” But this is not a literary post. Instead it is a brief note on today’s Italian politics. Yes, all this Berlusconi stuff is getting more and more boccaccesco—and silly, crazy, grotesque, and you name it. Nevertheless, to be honest and straightforward, I think that politics is politics, not moralism or good taste or “esthetic sense.” I repeat I don’t want to be hypocrite about that, nor, on the other hand, would I want to play the cynic and to behave the way Franklin D. Roosevelt did when in 1939 supposedly remarked that “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch…” But then again, since there is no alternative to Berlusconi (please, see my previousposts on the subject), paraphrasing FDR I’d put it this way: Berlusconi may be … whatever you want, but he’s our … whatever you want.