You will find two different interviews on this page:

On the left, one with Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1968 and on the right, a passage from, written 50 years later, by Stefano Jossa, author of the book The most beautiful in the world. Why love the Italian language? published by Einaudi 2018, in which he describes his love for the Italian language.

When was Italian Language born?

Language historians teach that there is no such thing as a birth date for languages. Languages evolve out of endless processes. It has never happened in history, for example, that while a father spoke Latin, his son replied in the vernacular, that is, a pre-dialect version of Italian before Italian was actually codified as a recognizable language. It was the great poet Dante that first created the awareness of the Italian language, In his work called De Vulgari Eloquentia, he defined the common characteristics of the language that Italian writers, at that time, should have used. Italian was therefore not described, but prescribed, meaning that it was not an existing language, but a language yet to come, which is one of the paradoxes that make the history of Italian so fascinating. Italian, in the course of its history, has always been more a project than a reality in progress.

(…) The question of language has essentially focused on allowing people from Naples, Brescia, Turin, Bari, Venice and Palermo to share something in common that would unite them. The unity came, above all, from this common language, grammar and vocabulary. This enabled all these people to also share topics, speeches, venues, and debates. The most naturally appealing and shareable point was love; with football or politics, bringing up the rear.

Today, however, poetry is no longer the means through which all this passes. It now happens through television. Talk shows are the latest act in the evolution of language – where age-old issues take the stage. Where the elitist language and street parlance clash at prime time and where the inclusion or exclusion of trendy foreign words, as well as the relationship between language, facial expressions and gestures are all blended together. What matters, however, is that the common language is a symbolic heritage that keeps us united, but it also creates a power struggle, always open and always active, in which decisive battles for the destiny of the community are played out.

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