In response to:
Mussolini in Concert from the April 14, 1983 issue
To the Editors:
I’ve read with interest Murray Kempton’s piece on Mussolini in Concert in your April 14, 1983 issue. There are, I think, two mistakes which corrected would strengthen the impression Kempton intends to make.
The opening quote—Finche ch’e la morta, ch’e la speranza. In translation this quote, attributed to Lampedusa, reads uncharacteristically Jacobean in translation—Now the lady’s dead, there’s hope. The Italian should I presume at least read Finche c’e la morte, c’e la speranza to come out as Kempton intended.
Unless a sailor from a foreign ship threw away empty in Siracusa a non-Italian version of the Coca Cola Company’s drink called everywhere in Italy FANTA, no orange pop exists in Sicily called FANTE, and thus Kempton’s conceit dissolves. He might spin one of his charming associative nets from fanta, bearing in mind that the logo derives, Coca Cola of Palermo tells me, from a drink marketed in Germany after the last war called Fantastisch (sic). In Italian, I don’t think Fanta means anything.
Donald O. Stewart, Jr.
Murray Kempton replies:
Ignoranza, ignoranza pura.