Buon Ferragosto a tutti!
Today’s a public holiday in Italy, meaning even less gets done than usual.
Except at our place, of course, where I’m writing this, then preparing pranzo for Stefi, Roomie, and two of my now-adult offspring (pasta and a pesto made with the rest of our basilico), then cleaning away and washing the dishes, then dealing with emails, then taking Roomie out to burn off some of her boundless energy, then preparing cena (panni di pizza), then some TV to sedate the animaletto (we’re watching Peter Pan on VHS, and really dig the crocodile), then collapsing exhausted into bed, thankful that tomorrow is Tuesday, and so a ‘normal’ working day (though the kindergarten is closed for the rest of the week…)
Anyway, two things: episode 16 of our FREE Summer Series on The Renaissance is ready for you to read/listen to.
Every time we mention ‘i Turchi’ in our history articles, one or the other of our Turkish club members fires off an angry email complaining about my Christian bias.
So just to mention guys, I studied Ottoman history at college (more than thirty five years ago), lived in Ankara for three years as a young man, married a Turkish woman, speak the language (more or less), and love the food.
Insomma, I like Turkey and Turkish people at least as much as Italy and Italians.
And I’m not a Christian, either.
So lay off the complaining, will you? It’s hardly my fault that Italians trashed your guys’ navy in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
I’m strictly neutral on this one!
Which reminds me, previous episodes of our Summer Series, and indeed previous Summer Series, can be found on our history page.
Check out the Middle Ages series, towards the end, and you’ll find it was the Christians themselves that first trashed Constantinople, so weakening it and allowing the Ottomans to come along a hundred or so years later, bang some heads together, rename the place as İstanbul, and make it great again.
See? I’m not biased at all.
Oh, and the second thing:
New ‘World Literature’ easy reader’ ebook: Franz Kafka’s La metamorfosi
To change the subject totally, this week we have a new addition to our ‘World Literature’ series of ‘easy Italian readers’, Franz Kafka’s La metamorfosi.
The level is B2/C1 (upper-intermediate/advanced), though it’s not that long. As a recall there’s quite a lot of ‘passato remoto’ in it, so proper literature style.
As usual with new publications, until next Sunday night it’s 25% off the usual price, so just £5.99, rather than the standard ‘easy reader’ ebook price of £7.99.!
Well, why not? Sometimes a familiar tale is reassuring when faced with the complexities of reading and listening in the language you’re learning.
Or perhaps you’ve never read the story in your own language, or in the original, and are curious?
Besides, you can do both! We have ‘easy reader’ versions of some of the classics of Italian literature, too!
Anyway, back to Kafka, whose character wakes up one sunny morning to find he’s ‘metamorphosized’ into a cockroach, or a beetle, or something (Italians can be vague about the difference, as with apes and monkeys.)
This naturally comes as a shock. He wonders how his mom, dad and sister, not to mention his boss, are going to take it…
Kafka fu un autore allegorico, perché rappresentava una vicenda per “dire altro”; ha voluto forse rappresentare la solitudine e il senso di diversità dell’ebreo nella Mitteleuropa,la propria estraneità alla sua famiglia, il senso di colpa e l’impotenza umana del singolo di fronte al mondo e alla sua burocrazia. La maggior parte delle sue opere, come ‘La metamorfosi’, ‘Il processo’ e ‘Il castello’, sono piene di temi di alienazione, brutalità fisica e psicologica, e conflittualità genitori-figli.
Scritto nel 1912, La metamorfosi è uno dei testi più noti dello scrittore, in cui si descrivono le vicende di un uomo, Gregorio Samsa, che di mestiere fa il commesso viaggiatore, e che una mattina si sveglia e scopre di essersi trasformato in un enorme scarafaggio.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?