Posted 14 September 2003 - 03:25 PM
Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters
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Posted 14 September 2003 - 04:44 PM
In short order, he became a pornographic filmmaker, met and married an actress in the Andy Warhol/Studio 54 circuit, and fathered a child. In the late seventies, he returned, or was booted out, to Paris, becoming a fixture on the Eurotrash scene. Somewhere along the way, he married again, and through his second wife, from whom he was also divorced, became interested in rare objects.
Now he suffered from emphysema and was in the care of Berta, a pretty Austrian blonde. (How these guys always manage to get pretty blondes to look after them is beyond me.) I drank Grappa with him while he regaled me with one outrageous story after another; he’d partied with the former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in Cuba, sunbathed with Mick Jagger in the South of France, and frolicked in the whorehouses of Bangkok with Saudi Princes.
My friend told GianCarlo that I was also interested in rare objects, to which he replied that he had something of interest which might intrigue me. I said I'd like to see it. He hemmed and hawed; it was the only thing of real value he had left in the world, he would have to speak to his lawyer, etc., I thought it was just another story and so gave it no further thought. Besides, his boasting had begun to weary me and I did not plan to see him again.
The morning before my return to the States, Berta woke us to say that GianCarlo had passed away in the night. We went over immediately. The place had been ransacked; Berta had been looking for money which GianCarlo had promised her and which she could not find. She wanted to give me the ‘something of interest’ GianCarlo had been talking about. It was an old dilapidated manuscript. Knowing GianCarlo, she suspected it was forged, but I took it anyway.
I showed the manuscript to rare book experts in New York and at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and to my surprise they assured me it was genuine and even offered to buy it. I declined because I decided to translate it myself--I had studied Italian and had spent quite some time in Italy--and that is what I did on and off for the next four years.
Since most of the story takes place in the town of Corsoli, which was situated where the provinces of Tuscany, Umbria and the Marche meet, I went there several times hoping to find some trace of the city. However, the records indicated that it had been destroyed in the late seventeenth century by a series of earthquakes. The remains had obviously been picked clean by the surrounding communities.
I completed my translation of the document three years ago. I tried to keep as close to the spirit of the original as I could, only updating certain phrases and syntax for the modern reader and, even though some pages were missing and others damaged beyond repair, I believe I have achieved this with a fair measure of success. As far as I know, the manuscript is the only record of that time and place and of its author, Ugo DiFonte.
Posted 15 September 2003 - 11:55 AM
Posted 15 September 2003 - 03:28 PM
did he ever mention any scrolls?
Posted 16 September 2003 - 05:27 PM
Posted 21 September 2003 - 12:23 PM
there's something about sc-rs,
i don't even want to think about
it, but scrolls would be no problem,
if i knew where they were.