17.667 provincialism e dintorni

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Feb 25 2004 - 03:39:04 EST

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 667.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 08:24:09 +0000
         From: orlandi@rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it
         Subject: provincialism e dintorni

Encouraged by the observations of Willard (Our provincialism,
17:618), Elizabeth (Linguistic and cultural provincialism,
17:624), and Domenico (Id., 17:664), I take the liberty to
make a gloss on my communication (New book + HCS, 17:611), which
raised those observations.

What I tried to express was _not_ a renewed complaint because
Anglo-American HC scholars do not read and discuss papers in
Italian; but rather I wanted to ask whether ignorance of Italian
was _compatible with the claim to be Humanities Computing
Scholars_ at all. It was a provocation; and the reasoning was
perhaps rather tortuous; but here it is:

> it sound reasonable that a HC(S) scholar should
> know the humanistic culture "at large", and not only one branch
> of it. [That is: you have to have both Computing/Computer Science
and Humanities; and Humanities is _not_, e.g., English literature
or Chinese history, but also a humanistic way to study the individual

> Well, do HC(S) fellow scholars believe that it is possible
> to have a good idea of humanistic culture without reading one line
> of Italian? Granted, the cultural position of Italy is irrelevant
> after some decennies, but -- santo cielo -- its literature has
> taught something to the others for a few centuries, and you cannot
> really know it without knowing Italian! [That is: sorry for
you, Sirs, but Italians (those who spoke and wrote Italian, because
a Nation there was not) have invented Humanities; and if you think
you can be a humanities scholar without reading some Italian, you
are far off the mark. And all your blessed ancestors, especially
in England, were quite conscious of this, and generally read and
spoke fluently Italian.]

And now, apriti cielo! OK, I am prepared for the worst. But then,
two final remarks:

1) There was another paragraph after that, which I dare not reproduce,
which was still more provocative, but nobody discussed it.

2) Domenico, I fear it is not true that "There are other circuits of
"legitimation" [beside Anglo-American faculties], and more can be built."
Just as Italians were in XIV-XVIII cent., now is the turn of A-A, and
I want their (informed) judgment, for good or worse. Graecia capta
feros victores cepit... Cos<i`> ha tolto l'uno all'altro Guido
la gloria della lingua e forse <e`> nato... I could detail all
this with possibly interesting remarks, but suffice it for today.

Statevi 'bbuoni (this is Neapolitan), Tito

Tito Orlandi orlandi@rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it
CISADU - Fac. di Lettere Tel. 39+06.4991-3936
P.zale Aldo Moro, 5 Fax 39+60.4991-3945
00185 Roma http://rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it/~orlandi

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