The abyss and the abyss invoked by the abyss

Sometimes (often, really) we find little gems of text within an already great work of literature. I stumbled in this terrific segment by Writer Gianfranco Garofiglio:

 

Le cose non esistono se non abbiamo le parole per chiamarle.

Things do not exist if we have no words to call them.

Which can’t but remind of this blog’s lemma,

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” –Flannery O’Connor

Indeed, day in and out I am reminded that thoughts are not just abstract entities wandering in the mind, but objects that materialize in a concrete shape only when written down.

In Garofiglio’s novel Le perfezioni provvisorie (Temporary Perfections in English; Las perfecciones provisionales in Spanish), there is this wonderful quote that literally left me breathless:

«Chi è costei che sorge come l’aurora,
bella come la luna, fulgida come il sole,
terribile come schiere a vessilli spiegati?».
–Cantico dei Cantici 6, 10

Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
–Song of Solomon 6:10 (Canticle of Canticles)

¿Quién es ésta que se muestra como el alba,
Hermosa como la luna,
Esclarecida como el sol,
Imponente como ejércitos en orden?
–Cantar de los Cantares de Salomón

So, I discovered that the same verses were quoted in Umberto Eco’s The Name of The Rose.

Ma chi era costei, che sorgeva davanta a me come l’aurora, bella come la luna, fulgida come il sole, terribile come un esercito schierato in battaglia.
Temevo di essere preda del demonio, il quale sa bene come afferrarti l’anima e illudere il corpo. E poi, capii l’abisso e l’abisso invocato dall’abisso. Mi resi conto che avevo peccato.

(Google Translate does a nice job): I was afraid of being prey to the devil, who knows how to grab your soul and delude your body. And then, I understood the abyss and the abyss invoked by the abyss. I realized that I had sinned.

I understood the abyss and the abyss invoked by the abyss. Wow, the use of metatext.

Flickr photo: Abyss, by lucyroo.

[Featured and above image: Flickr photo – Abyss, by lucyroo. CC-Licensed, BY-NC]

About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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