26 Commentaires

  1. This is extraordinary! To me the Shire was always quintessentially England, and I thought it wouldn't translate well into other cultures. Maybe the Shire is part of every culture, a slower, simpler, bucolic way of life, where good food, beer, wine and merrymaking are enjoyed in large measure. Abruzzo, is well know for it's wine, I'm sure someone will tell me which local wine would pass for Bilbo and Frodo's "Old Wynyards".

  2. I have two suggestions for this Hobbit Farm:
    1. If a movie of this Italian Hobbit is made, try to get American actor Jonah Hill to play him.
    2. Include a Hobbit Farm game where visitors SH*T on the face of a mannequin of Vladimir Putin. The largest SH*T gets a free dinner. Thank you.
    Cheers from France.

  3. Perfect that Italy is surrounded by the Mediterranean… you know… Medi = middle, terra = earth… He lives in the closest thing possible to Middle Earth!

  4. We shouldn't OVERLY Romanticise any Place or Time or People (despite a long Western tradition of bucolic pastoral poetry or 'eclogues' etc, I note Rousseau's "noble savages" never existed, except as idealised & impossibly pure Utopian inspirational goals; around the world young adults actually flee the boredoms & limitations of relatively isolated 'rustic life' to congregate in bigger cities, for some quite justified reasons; & indeed – IIRC – in my country & likely others, suicide is high or highest 'out' in country areas, among young adult males especially); HOWEVER the rural Romantic Fantasy inherited, perpetuated & majorly popularised by The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings, looking back to the life Tolkien associated with less 'modern' rural community / communities in which he actually lived & experienced presumably Nature etc when younger, has become quintessential in most Fantasy literature (etc), & retains a fascinatingly persistent & powerful (if often latent & forgotten or neglected, & left unfulfilled despite periodic self-promises by Us Busy Modern City-Dwellers) drawing influence on diverse folk of all Locations & Ages & Kinds – for reasons somewhat interestingly elusive.

    The proof is in the proverbial pudding : the ongoing popularity of LotR & 'The Shire' partly derives from our delight in & desire for elements of what could be called 'The Rural Myth' (& 'Myth' / 'Fairy Story' / 'Nature' more generally) these things present.

    (I use the overlapping terms 'Myth' & 'Fairy Story' in something similar to Tolkien's careful usage — (1) stories not actually necessarily untrue; indeed (2) perhaps powerfully metaphysically Big-'T' *True*, expressing the deep essential meaning or quintessence of things Natural & Religo-Spiritual : cf. his published essay 'On Fair Stories.')

    Perhaps most of us at time(s) in our lives wish for something like Nicolas' dream : The Man Who (Perhaps More Wisely Than Common) Chose To Move Back From The City To His Own Home Country.

    Especially those believing they can live in such circumstances comfortable & healthy / without eschewing too many of the more practical modern 'mods & cons' at the least, sans the pangs of hard labour / need. (Let us recall that pre-modern farming for food etc, crafting / maintaining / repairing buildings & clothing for shelter, tools & vehicles & all other manner of necessary things entail much harder & longer work than most have ever experienced, let alone grown used to! And the (relatively) comfortable lives of the characters of the middle- / upper-classes in 18th Century novels depended upon networks of a greater number born into less fortunate families, or without families, who performed more odious toil to maintain them.)

    Yes, though some of this Vision is mere exaggeration or complete mirage-like inter- / self-deception, vanishing at approach, or attempt to grab or attain it, many people globally would rather move to live in a place with much greater active community, where almost everyone knows everyone, folk are generally friendly & generous / kind, bringing meals over & watching out for one another, & hauling together to pull you through when Life gets particularly tough; where crime's consequently lower & Life safer; where the lifestyle is simple(r), hence less anxious / hurried / stressful, & close to 'The Land' & 'Nature' – its beauties & bracing refreshments, its myriad forms of plant, fungal, animal life etc. We desire Such despite & even sometimes partly because shifting to such an alluring Space would involve downsizing & losing much Stuff – but hopefully in the process, the 'stuffocation' of Hypercapitalism / Hyperpossessive Ownership / their foolish Fuelling Materialistic Greed – lusting for / covetously gaining / troublesomely storing & maintaining / repairing too many unused / effectively useless Things : "People >> Things!" is the heart-cry for some who, really or no, claim to experience a "call" to more Naturally integrated, & so fitter & healthier, "realler," Big-"L" "Life" (even welcoming new categories of at least small-scale labour, in order to experience in one's cottage things like fresher, more humane & health-giving food & drink) — away from too much Technology, Traffic etc demanding ceaseless attention, sucking you into annoyingly baroque levels of system & hence commitment — wasteful, unhealthy zombie-like engagement.

    (By-the-bye, have you seen the award-winning Australian TV series 'SeaChange'? It portrays this sort of Move from busy / rich City life to seaside Country, & was largely very attractive to audiences for the reasons outlined above : indeed it started a Movement where Australians packed up their tents or cars & caravans, leaving to live in country / seaside communities, beneficially for both sides in many cases. As per Shakespeare a "sea change" means "a profound or notable transformation"; but in Australian English, due to the TV series, the phrase came to mean "a significant change in lifestyle, especially a move from the city to a rural or seaside location.")


    Despite some flaws & limitations, whether initially obvious or just likely on general principles to be expected to become apparent once one's hard work's already begun, back set to push on the Project, I find myself unable to disagree with Nicolas & his amicable, sociable, perhaps largely happy philosophy, & would dig getting involved in establishing & perpetuating a community like it — providing it unlike horrid historical failures be (I note in my characteristically careful concern) non-cultic & not in denial of all the psychological & physical struggles such ground-up building & upkeep always does require in Life, & certain important home truths on issues like the health impacts of attempting to persist in hobbit-like levels of feasting & the hobbit-like physique that results from it (even Western royalty lived in denial of such facts, & lived & died suffering gout etc.)

    Probably the optimum community actually attainable would involve aspects of everything positive I've discussed above, with say, as Nicolas mentions, an 18th Century level of technology, married to modern knowledge & research & technology in areas we must prioritise for interlinking practical & philosophical / religo-spiritual reasons (recognising the very high value of all human beings, & other life some distance beneath this) — chiefly, Communication, Environmental / Pollution Science & Medicine for Man & Beast (considering the environment, perhaps we don't genuinely need modern vehicles – except perhaps for larger-scale toil on farms etc?)

    …Can such a community be, & be successfully over more than a few generations? In what way(s) "Yea" or "Nay"; & why (not)? These are important / interesting questions, with ramifications for those who propose such attractive projects, & even those who don't, but do wish to improve the slice of society they find already situated around them…

    But – ah! I see, Traveller, thou wouldst Go On.

    Let my say then, in the words of Tityrus in Vergil's first Eclogue –
    a poem partly celebrating & missing the loss of the more ideal side of Italian rural life
    (which the author, as did Tolkien, knew from personal experience growing up to some extent):

    " Hic tamen hanc mecum poteras requiescere noctem
    fronde super viridi: sunt nobis mitia poma,
    castaneae molles, et pressi copia lactis;
    et iam summa procul villarum culmina fumant,
    maioresque cadunt altis de montibus umbrae. "


    " Yet here, this night, you might repose with me,
    on green leaves : for us there's apples ripe,
    soft chestnuts, and plenty of pressed milk [curdled milk? or firm cheese?].
    And, see now, the highest tops of the farms smoke afar,
    and from the hills greater shadows fall! "

    But before you do Go, I have to ask, fascinated, What You Think:

    *Are these Ideal, Utopianistic Goals we've spoken of bringing to the surface
    **fundamental & universal** human Drive(s) or Desire(s)?
    Positive or Negative (drawing us to Avoid or Embrace certain things),
    often surfacing due to, or symptomatic of
    certain losses / reductions of What We Like &/or creations / exarbations of What We Do Not
    experienced e.g. by many in denser / more modern City-type living?

    Or are the Dreames we're enmeshed with here shallower & just Culture?

    Perhaps you think as often, this Phenomenon's results from a mix of Nature & Nurture?

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