Time.news – It is entitled Pauline. Art, beauty, life the editorial tribute to the Neapolitan musicologist Paolo Isotta, published last March 12 on the occasion of the thirtieth of his death. The volume, printed in 300 copies out of the market, can be downloaded free of charge in pdf from the publisher’s website Seven colors and collects five writings, composing a polyphonic miscellany of themes and intonations.

The first written, Sacred Music and Beauty, is also an unpublished: it is the intervention of Paolo Isotta on the occasion of the conference Art and the Magisterium of the Church organized in 2008 by Settecolori. The second one, The music, the time, the myth, is the introduction to the book Wagner Nietzsche and the superhumanist myth, by Giorgio Locchi, published in 1982 by Akropolis-LEDE. The third and fourth, released in 1980 on the fortnightly Line, are inscribed in the line of “author’s apocryphal” in the manner of Paolo Vita-Finzi, diplomat and writer much loved by Isotta: in this case it is the parodic-stylistic ‘cast’ of the prose of Leo Valiani and Giovanni Testori in comparison with a famous ideological-worldly-judicial case of the time: the murder of his wife by the French philosopher Louis Althusser.

The fifth written, Decomposition manual, is part of the volume There was so much to (r) mati released again for Settecolori in 1984 and then reissued in 1998. The latter also represents an intimate memory, almost a confession that Isotta does not only to the reader but to himself. It could be dated just the day before yesterday, nothing having faded from the text or rendered out of date, changing only the contingencies, not the autobiographical essences. Indeed, the passage of time seems to have updated some observations of the time, such as seers of tomorrow that – now – has been accomplished: “It will close, it will close, it will end, but within a few years, a certain type, not so much of the transmission of thought based on the written sign, but of the conception of thought”.

It is not a sudden break, but a gradual and progressive cut with the “World of yesterday” which Isotta witnessed aware but not inert in the face of its inevitability: “My generation – he reiterates in Sacred Music and Beauty – luckily it will stay here: others will try the single language to mean the return to the original scream, and instead of an infinite innocence, an infinite corruption ”.

Since often events, even when they seem to be moved at random, are hardly generated by chance, it has happened that Isolde’s latest work was not dedicated to music, but to Totò (that Pauline he had placed all his life in his personal pantheon) with a book in which he titled – or rather asserted – “holy”. San Totò, concluded by the Author on his birthday, was published posthumously by Marsilio, the publisher where he had published the volumes of the last few years starting with The virtue of the elephant in 2014. It is not by chance or by chance that Totò arrives, the one whom Isolde (like the true Neapolitan people) recognizes as Saint by virtue of “Artistic sublimity”. He was once made as a saint by the people of Partenope Virgilio, Isolde’s favorite classic author.

Musicologist, but also many other things, Pauline could range right up to the last at ease, without delay and complex, from the sacred to the funny, from the tragic to laughter, from Wagner to his beloved Paisiello. In search of that “sublimity” which alone justifies every life that pursues it.


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