Valtorta-Bocelli: a cultural partnership
( Emilio Pisani)
Circulus et calamus fecerunt me doctorem..
Who said it? It is a maxim that I have heard attributed to Saint Thomas Aquinas, but the attribution is uncertain. Strictly speaking, it means that one becomes learned through coexistence (circulus) and with the use of the pen (circulus) and with the use of the pen (calamus). In a broader sense, emerging from the metaphor, it can be said that culture is acquired with the frequency of human relationships, especially by traveling and conversing, and with application in research, which involves familiarity with writing.
The reminiscence in Latin of that sentence resurfaced in me reading the interview with Andrea Bocelli in the monthly magazine “Il Timone” of April 2021. What could have surprised me about a tenor who is known all over the world? Certainly not the passion for music, nor the success of the concerts, nor the record production of millions of copies. For me, what is predictable does not make any news. I listen pleasantly again, but no longer surprised as it happened to me the first time, the story of his relationship with a rational faith, nourished by the reading of the work of Maria Valtorta, which he defines as «the flour of the sack of God».
The surprise, this time, was given to me by Bocelli who is able to welcome and listen to a person, who is interested in her history, just as he shows himself to be passionate about literature and sensitive to popular songs. The openness to knowledge distinguishes the educated person from the scholar who closes himself in his own knowledge. I realise more and more that those who love their erudition, who do not have «attention and humility», as Bocelli suggests that one should have, refuse to approach Valtorta’s work.
The interview with Bocelli in the monthly “Il Timone” was published simultaneously with a publication concerning the culture of Maria Valtorta, a writer known throughout the world for her work, just as Bocelli is an artist known for his voice. Behind the literary work that conquers, as well as behind the voice that fascinates, there is the person who reveals something edifying about herself. We are edified by Maria Valtorta to learn that she has also placed her personal culture at the service of spiritual elevation.
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