Evicted from Eternity: The Restructuring of Modern Rome by Michael Herzfeld

By Michael Herzfeld

Glossy Rome is a urban rife with contradictions. as soon as the seat of old glory, it's now usually the article of nationwide contempt. It performs an important half at the global degree, however the matters of its citizens are frequently deeply parochial. And whereas they stay within the seat of an international faith, Romans will be vehemently anticlerical. those tensions among the prior and the current, the worldwide and the neighborhood, make Rome fertile floor to review city social existence, the development of the earlier, the function of faith in way of life, and the way a capital urban pertains to the remainder of the nation.Michael Herzfeld makes a speciality of Rome’s historical Monti district and the wrenching dislocation because of swift cost effective, political, and social swap. Evicted from Eternity tells the tale of the gentrification of Monti—once the architecturally lovely domestic of a neighborhood of artisans and shopkeepers now displaced by means of an invasion of rapacious genuine property speculators, corrupt officers, dithering politicians, misleading clerics, and shady thugs. As Herzfeld alternatives aside the messy tale of Monti’s transformation, he levels generally over many elements of existence there and within the remainder of town, richly depicting the uniquely neighborhood panorama of globalization in Rome.

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Alexander VI's monumental marker of the Subura connects a tawdry antiquity (Augustus built a huge wall, still extant, to shield the forum from the district's notorious fires, dirt, and criminals) to more recent imperfections (echoed yet again in the new spray-paint graffiti over the lower half of this monument) in the heart of grandeur and faith. Another good example of spray-paint wisdom, this one in the main square, told the Lazio soccer team to "eat its liver out" with a bitter blend of regret and jealousy when the Roma team triumphed.

Those who donated were merchants with shops nearby; many of them had lived for decades in the area and saw in the old lady the sad relic of their once vibrant social life. One plaintive remnant of that old sense of collective identity is an elderly, bearded man, neatly dressed for the most part but muttering and shuffling as he paces the streets, occasionally erupting in drunken anger. Locals give him food, cigarettes, and sometimes money, gently refusing his own plaintive attempts to reciprocate by returning the odd cigarette or banknote, and make sure he has a safe place to sleep at night; indeed, he was eventually given a more permanent berth beside one of the sidewalks.

EVICTED FROM ETERNITY EVICTED FROM ETERNITY The Restructuring of Modern Rome MICHAEL HERZFELD FOR STANLEY J. TAMBIAH who insisted I did this first, with gratitude and affection CONTENTS Preface and Acknowledgments xi Overture: Encountering the Eternal City I i . Sin and the City 7 Genealogies of Imperfection 8 Monti: Paradoxes of Poverty 9 Sociable Spaces 14 Meeting the People 15 The Village in the City 17 Agonies and Agonistics 22 The Cadences of a Cultural Preserve 27 2. Popolo and Population 39 The Artisans 39 The Shopkeepers 47 Intellectuals and Politicians 49 3.

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