The Barbarians  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

I barbari (2006, translated as The Barbarians in 2014) is a collection of essays by Italian writer Alessandro Baricco, first published in the La Repubblica in 2006.

The essays are introduced by four mottoes:

  • "The fear of being overwhelmed and destroyed by barbarian hordes is as old as the history of civilization. Pictures of desertification, gardens and palaces looted by nomads in disrepair in which graze their flocks are recurrent in the literature of decadence from antiquity to the present day." -- Wolfgang Schivelbusch in Die Kultur der Niederlage (tr. Google Translate from the Italian translation).
  • "He was not hard to talk to. Called me Sheriff. But I didnt know what to say to him. What do you say to a man that by his own admission has no soul? Why would you say anything? I've thought about it a good deal. But he wasnt nothin compared to what was comin down the pike." --Cormac McCarthy, is the first pages of No Country for Old Men.

Blurb from the English translation

From one of Italy's most respected literary voices, a manifesto on the state of global culture and how connectivity is changing the way we experience it. For the gatekeepers of traditional high culture, the rise of young ambitious outsiders has indeed seemed like nothing short of a barbarian invasion. In this concise and powerful manifesto, Alessandro Baricco explores a handful of realms that have been "plundered"-wine, soccer, music, and books-and extrapolates that it is not a case of old values against new but a widespread mutation that we are all part of, leading toward a different way of having experiences and creating meaning.

See also

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