Italy’s Public Image In London And New York: Humor And Sense Of Life

Book author Delfina Ducci's column about the female universe.

Humorous Sense of Life

Delfina Ducci’s column about Italy, the female universe and sense of life

London and New York can smile, but not as one. Forcing a British gentleman into murmuring a funny quip is like squeezing his privates. Americans squeeze their own and then affirm they were only joking.

Comedy in Italy is the expression of the nature of its people. Italians go to the extreme of laughing at their own misfortune. Its culture of origin is the imprinting of a country’s sense of humour, although today’s “this can be said and this cannot be said” is dictated by the fear of displeasing someone, of going against the grain of public opinion — which is the symbol of subjectivity. Comedy is influenced by the market.

Freedom of comedy cannot do without clashing up against conformism, bigotry, the hypocritical do-goodery of today and of the past. It has to defend itself from the blows of a standpoint, one that becomes viral and rises to being an imposition. Nonsense, which is a form of paradoxical humour with underlying intelligence, has given way to a weakness of expression that does not carry all the fatalities of life and does not refer back to human sources. “Marmalades” that do not grasp the comical aspect of reality.

Then there’s the subject of sex: in a way it resembles walking over hot coals — you’re bound to get burned. Satire is not synonymous of insult. One can be ironical about gay people without being contemptuous; one can be ironical about lesbians without considering them as individuals with gender deviances; one can use humour when speaking of politicians (especially their actions) without any execration involved. Making people laugh and entertaining them makes all the difference. For example, politicians make people laugh but they aren’t entertaining. Hopefully cinema will give us a hand, as long as its actors are not unemployment defectors or its producers are not simply businessmen, but people nurturing spiritual ambitions.

Hopefully the market still has genius and talent as some of its ingredients.

Translation by Vittoria Anna Farallo

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