The Rebirth of the Italian People:
Peasant and City Man Join in a New Democracy
Italian life has that ambiguity peculiar to things alive and beautiful. We know that great works of art have at the same time two, or several, or an infinite number of meanings; are not capable of being confined in a single scheme, of being understood in one way alone, of being explained by a single irrefutable idea. It was no accident that Dante Alighieri maintained—in his medieval terminology—that the Divine Comedy was to be read and interpreted in five different ways: literal, anagogical, symbolic, allegoric, and theological.
But what is more ambiguous and complex than history? The richer in life and history a person or a nation is, the more prominent and constant is this quality of ambiguity.
In an extraordinary way Italian life lends itself to being viewed from different and conflicting points. He who pauses at only one of them gets a vision that is partial and false, even if it enables him to observe real facts and analyze them sharply. Only a constant awareness of the manifold nature of things Italian permits us to have a real and complete vision of them.
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