Saturday, June 12, 2010

What if...?

I hope you have seen The hedgehog ("Il riccio"). Not in Germany: here it's called "Die Eleganz von Madame Michel", and it's a deeply horrible title. I feel it's against the spirit of the movie and the book.
Because Madame Michel is a hidden wonderfully wonderful person. She can't be in the title. And it's hard to get to know her.

And what if...

... what if in our lives we were surrounded by many Madame Michel, but we were too fool to notice them? Don't we do the same as the rich people in her palace? Don't we just ignore, in our daily lives, porters (like Michel), secretaries, any job which is "inferior" to ours? Wouldn't we ignore an office clerk? Say, Albert Einstein before publishing his theories.
Our world is probably full of many small hedgehogs right there, waiting to be met. And maybe they're not so much thorny, maybe it's easier to get to know them. And we just can't, because of barriers.
This is the moment to think to Evangelion, and the fusion of all human beings proposed and refused in the end, and think really hard of it, before saying that well, yes, each of us wants to keep one's identity and still try to get in contact with each other, being careful to our thorns. Thanks to this post (in Italian) for inspiring me with the connection between people, roses and thorns.

[EDIT: fixed the spelling of Madame Michel - I previously wrote Madame Michèle.]


  1. Honestly? Shame on you for this post.

    PS: Don't worry, true believers, he's a close friend of mine. I just can't stand the book.

  2. Mauro, thanks for your comment, I always appreciate critical discussion. But you didn't comment on the "About me" box on the right of this blog! Had you noticed?

    Now that you read it, are you wishing you never did? Disgusted? Puking?

    Anyway, whatever you might think, this post is also inspired by having met such a "hedgehog" - a wonderful person, and actually, a secretary (see post) in University.

    Elegance of the hedgehog forever!

  3. I guess 3000 characters are too much for Blogspot to handle.
    Well, when life gives you lemons...

  4. Hi Mauro! How are you? Slept bad the last few days? Need a better bed?
    You know, I remember a romantic couple, calling themselves "closest enemies". I think the term is appropriate for me and you, even if we're not a romantic couple.

    I had a brief look at the email (because I got all your comment versions by email), but I would never have thought you would post your comment in JPEG, rather than PNG (where text is readable) or splitting it in 2 comments!!! I would expect something like that from a loser, not from you. Guess who you are here:

    Anyway, it's so funny to see you react like that. I hoped that you would also comment on my Facebook/Twitter post about the "nice paper rejection" (BTW, my colleagues agree on that): I wrote it so optimistically also for the point of needling you.

    But it's also somewhat annoying, because you, Mauro, can't write as you speak.

    You'll find the rest of the reply in your mailbox.

    See you!

  5. The bed is a little short, but overall a good bed.
    And, thing is, I didn't spend much time thinking about the optimal way to present a post on an unkwnown blog on blogspot: as long as an OCR software can read that, so can a person, and that's all.
    You're not gonna get the "upper hand" with something like that, or with a "loser" here and there, you know?

    Oh, I'm the stickyman in XKCD.
    You referenced XKCD, you got me!
    How cute.

    Kind of useless digs, I must say.

    You'll find the rest of the reply in your mailbox

    A closestenemies-y "Go sit in a field of cacti"

  6. [PS: Damn, I forgot a thing (can you, by any chance, merge the posts? Or delete them both, and copy-paste them in one single post? I know, it's a bother, feel free to ignore me, but I tend to be extremely anal about things like these)]

    Also, you really have to stop writing stuff just for the sake of "needling me". I'm not THAT important, and I'm beginning to think that's a thing you declare only after I go apeshit on that know, the old "upper hand" stuff.
    Your colleagues agree on what?

  7. > And, thing is, I didn't spend much time thinking about the optimal way to present a post on an unkwnown blog on blogspot

    Okay, okay, you're not a computer expert, so maybe it's not obvious for you that you could use PNG and avoid the annoying blurring. But splitting the post in two parts, if it is truly too long, would be trivial and faster.

    [About merging posts: I don't care, and I can't post for you, but you could have deleted and reposted them. Please don't do so now, since this comment would then make less sense. I will instead remove the annoying "removed post" message which is above.]

    About needling you: only the Twitter post was slightly tuned to needle you, and only slightly (I referred to its optimistic tone), and you had written your first comment here. I really don't remember if I wrote other stuff like that, especially published. Anyway, it's fun to see you like that, like it's fun for you when you needle me.

  8. I read it.
    Not just extracts in order to understand the heinous style, not just plot resumes in order to understand the laughable plot and characters.
    I read it all, just to prevent the "You didn't read it, your opinion doesn't count!" problem.

    You made me do it, and there are not enough words in the world to express the amount of hate I'm feeling for you right now.


  9. > laughable plot and characters

    I know there's little plot, I just don't consider a plot necessary for all books. Who makes the criteria? Among people I know and I consider literature experts, I don't think anybody requires it.
    On the other side, I know that the plot needs to make some sense

    > I read it all, just to prevent the "You didn't read it, your opinion doesn't count!" problem.

    I'm not sure what you mean. Do you refer to the book? I never made such a complaint, because I didn't wonder whether you had read it. And I didn't ask you to read it.

    However, _if_ you refer to the book, as it seems, now you are losing points in the discussion, after I had acknowledged part of your concerns by email, and the discussion had started to cool down.

    I had mentioned the summaries of critiques on Wikipedia, which acknowledge that it's a bit flattering, but don't _complain_ because they find other good facets of the book.

    However, if you already hate a book in that way because of summaries you read, there's no point in you reading it. Not at all. Sorry, but it's not my fault.

    I hope to hear from you soon, also on different topics :-D. Bye!

  10. Mauro, I had an idea. Given that:
    - you just read the book,
    - you probably are an expert in the area (I'm nobody to judge but I believe you),
    - you complained that my blog doesn't add anything to the online community,
    why don't _you_ write an online review against the book? A real one, not a rant, so that people who don't know you would care... a real contribution to the community, at least from your point of view.

    Good luck!