Friday, May 12, 2006


Stumbled across this Italian word the other day. Its one of those words that are idiosyncratic to a language, ie. panache in French weltanschuung in German and maybe or maybe not quite translatable into English....

"Sprezzatura" (pronounced 'sprehts-ah-TOO-ra') was first used in print by the Renaissance Italian statesman Castiglione, who describes it as a style of behaviour in which every action,"conceals art, and presents what is done and said as if it was done without effort or virtually without thought."
More simply put, i've heard it elsewhere described as "performing something difficult in effortless and nonchalant manner".

The unassuming seamless bravado of Zen Swordsmanship or, in Hollywood terms, Clint Eastwood taking care of business in Wild West.

Come to think of it, there should be a word like "contra-sprezzatura" that defines actions by the likes of Mr.Bean: getting dressed in the morning or taking a civil service exam (or myself trying to
work a VCR/DVD...well, actually this is not acting). In other words, an easy action requiring little skill made to look incredibly complex and difficult. Hmmm...the implications are staggering.


Anonymous said...

how lovely to imagine the possibilities...
it would be like living life as if it were an everlasting tea ceremony... delicious.

Anonymous said...

contra-sprezzatura moment the other day; boiling water in our teapot, the kettle screams while I'm half dressed rushing in the room I lift up the kettle top - can't remember why -with a teaccup in the other resists and then pulls off with a jerk to send cup shattered in fragments all across the up all the shards - too close to Lulu's dogbowl - i'm late for work and no tea....take THAT, zenpoets!

Anonymous said...

Super color scheme, I like it! Good job. Go on.

Anonymous said...

let's see some sprazzatura on the pool table!