DAY 5: Nonna Ida … from Finding Home.
More work on the old lady enchanted by Commedia dell’Arte and especially by those beautiful actresses…that she had never seen on stage before then!
However, the Inquisition and many clergymen of the time – for example Cardinal Borromeo or Tommaso Garzoni – could not bear Commedia’s extraordinary success. Especially those troupes travelling from town to town, from piazza to piazza without the patronage of the Aristocracy! In their eyes, those nomadic artists were nothing more than charlatans. Their attacks against Commedia troupes are pretty strong:
What use The Council of Trent’s decrees? When, taking strict measures against the obscenity of books, we command they should be burnt and extirpated from human kind’s memory; and whoever reads them should be punished with serious charges and pain, when what the eyes can see penetrates much deeper into the soul than that which they can read in those kinds of books!
Borromeo continues arguing that performers’ speeches – ‘live voices’ – can scar adolescents’ minds even more deeply ‘than the dead voices in printed books!’
Nonna Ida is quite confused after The Inquisitor’s sermon. She doesn’t know if it’s a sin to like Commedia dell’Arte so much. So she goes to Church and asks God. Unfortunately God is quite busy and she does not get an answer, so she patiently waits. She tries to get a word with Jesus but he is also out for some serious work commitment. So she keeps waiting…