I just finished reading “Fathers and Sons” of Turgenev in Italian. Ohhh I adore this! “Sia pur violento e ribelle il cuore che riposa in una tomba, i fiori che vi si schiudono sopra ci guardano tranquilli con gli occhi innocenti; ne’ ci parlano solo del riposo eterno, di quel gran riposo della natura indifferente: ci parlano anche di una eterna riconciliazione e di una vita che non ha tramonto”……
When I was a kid at school I never read what the professor of literature told us to read. I was lazy and not really interested. Nor did I ever learn how to write correctly during the lessons of the Russian language. I don’t know why but I have always had what they call “congenital literacy” so I have always written in a proper way even if I can’t explain that.
Even now being a copywriter I sometimes have quarrels with clients over punctuation or orthography – and in such situations, I write to my school Russian language and literature teacher and literally ask her “Please tell why did I write this way? How to explain it in terms of grammar?”
At the same time, I remember once in a manual of Russian language there was a strange example to a rule, written – I am still convinced – with a spelling error. And the teacher asked me how would I write it. I was very proud my opinion had that big meaning.
I have never learned any grammar or spelling rules – neither in Russian nor in any of the foreign languages that I know. That’s the problem because sometimes they ask me to give lessons and I can’t because I have no answers why do I write things in a certain way. I just do it.
When I read newspapers or books or go through sites I always find mistakes and it’s ohhh so hurting! I hate mistakes whether it’s in Russian, English, French or Italian.
And I still feel very ashamed because my teacher believed in me so much. Once I took part in an All-Russian Contest for journalists – I was 14 or 15 years old and I did it just because I needed to have a few diplomas for the portfolio. In one day I wrote a little story and sent it. I forgot about it, but then the school’s director came to me and told me I won the first place. Then the teacher of Russian language and literature read for all the class the review to my story where they compared me to Alexey Tolstoi. After that she pardoned me my not reading books during the course of literature and not caring about homework in Russian – I had my literature style and my congenital literacy and that was enough. She believed I would become a famous writer.
That’s why I feel ashamed. I use my talents so little in this life. I use them for other people’s benefit, not to feed their souls. I do very little in my life I guess. And it bothers me and I am going to change that.
Though in my defense I can say by now I have read all the books I should have read in school – and even more, many of them are read not only in Russian but also in English, French and Italian