Go ahead and love something an embarrassing amount, Volume II: Italian grammar

 Nella mia casa paterna, quand’ero ragazzina, a tavola, se io o i miei fratelli rovesciavamo il bicchiere sulla tovaglia, o lasciavamo cadere un coltello, la voce di mio padre tuonava: “Non fate malagrazie!”

In my father’s house, when I was a little girl, at the table, if I or my brothers upset our glass on the tablecloth, or if we let a knife fall, the voice of my father would thunder: “Non fate malagrazie!”

One of the reasons I love teaching Natalia Ginzburg to non-native Italian speakers (and possibly the reason I so appreciate it as a non-native Italian speaker) is that if we use what we know of Italian, if we forget what we don’t know and focus on the fundamentals, we see the intentionality of this prose at work.

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