(Roughly) Daily

“Gestures, in love, are incomparably more attractive, effective and valuable than words”*…


What do you expect?

… in love, and indeed in life at large– as illustrated in Bruno Munari’s 1963 book Supplemento al dizionario italiano (from which, the selection above).

Striking the balance between practical guide and practical joke, the reference begins with a collection of gestures published in 1832 in Naples, collated by Canon Andrea de Jorio as “The Ancients’ mimic through the Neapolitan gestures”

… then proceeds as a contemporary update.

I don’t care

More in Supplemento al dizionario italiano.

[TotH to City of Sound]

* “Gestures, in love, are incomparably more attractive, effective and valuable than words.”  – Francois Rabelais


As we just gesticulate, we might send adventurous birthday greetings to Giovanni Battista Belzoni; he was born on this date in 1778.  The 14th child of a poor barber in Padua, he was a barber, a Capuchin monk, a magician, and a circus strongman before finding his true calling– explorer (and plunderer) of Egyptian antiquities.

Belzoni’s call to action came when he met a British Consul-General named Henry Salt who persuaded him to gather Egyptian treasures to send back to the British Museum.  Under extremely adverse conditions he transported the colossal granite head of Rameses II from Thebes to England, where it is now one of the treasures of the British Museum. Later, he discovered six major royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, including that of Seti I, and brought to the British Museum a spectacular collection of Egyptian antiquities. He was the first person to penetrate the heart of the second pyramid at Giza and the first European to visit the oasis of Siwah and discover the ruined city of Berenice on the Red Sea. He stumbled into the tomb of King Ay, but only noted a wall painting of 12 baboons, leading him to name the chamber ‘Tomb of the 12 Monkeys” (because hieroglyphs had not yet been deciphered, he usually had no idea who or what he had found).

Belzoni had two habits that have contributed to his legacy:  he was a lover of graffiti signatures, and inscribed “Belzoni” on many of Egypt’s antique treasures, where the carvings survive to this day.  And he carried a whip:  which, given that he was one of the models for Indiana Jones, became one of that character’s hallmarks.





Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 15, 2012 at 1:01 am

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