Giovannino Guareschi

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Giovannino Guareschi (1945)

Giovannino Oliviero Giuseppe Guareschi (1 May 1908 – 22 July 1968) was an Italian journalist, cartoonist and humorist whose most famous creation is the priest Don Camillo.


Don Camillo and the Prodigal Sun (1952)[edit]

Translated by Frances Frenaye

  • I was born near the Po and it is the only respectable river in all Italy. To be respectable, a river must flow through a plain because water was created to stay horizontal and only when it is perfectly horizontal does it preserve its natural dignity. Niagara falls is an embarrassing phenomenon, like a man who walks on his hands.
    • The Little World
  • Minutes and seconds are strictly city preoccupations. In the city people hurry, hurry so as not to waste a single minute, and fail to realize that they are throwing a lifetime away.
    • The Dance of the Hours
  • The party delegate was one of those gloomy, tight-lipped persons who seem to have been made for wearing a red scarf round the neck and a tommy-gun slung from one shoulder.
    • The Stuff from America
  • Those were the days when there was a great deal of argument about that piece of international machinery known as the ‘Atlantic Pact’, which may have owed its name to the fact that between words and deeds there lies the breadth of an ocean.
    • The Polar Pact
  • But the young people of today are benighted creatures born with telephone numbers imprinted on their brains, and where passion is concerned they have about as much grace as a pig in a cornfield.
    • Thunder on the Right
  • In the valley a bicycle is just as necessary as a pair of shoes, in fact more so. Because even if a man hasn’t any shoes he can still ride a bicycle, whereas if he hasn’t a bicycle he must surely travel on foot.
    • The Bicycle
  • ‘Don Camillo, the system of teaching Christian charity by knocking people over the head is one that doesn’t appeal to me,’ the Lord answered severely.
    • Horses of a Different Colour

Quotes about Guareschi[edit]

  • Italian humorist Giovanni Guareschi–a staunch anti-communist journalist and writer–coined a famous sentence to mock Stalinists “Contrordine, compagni!”, i.e., “Counter-order, comrades!”.
    It was the sudden announcement of an impromptu change in policies and ideas that activists ought to support with the same enthusiasm and dedication they previously displayed for their blatant contrary.
    Guareschi’s amusing assumption was that, no matter what, communists dully obey whatever kind of order comes from the party, inhaling the “official truth” (even typos in articles and manifestos) from a “third nostril” that nature provided them with.

External links[edit]