Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvellous than the land.
(E.M. (Edward Morgan) Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, essayist. Philip Herriton, in Where Angels Fear to Tread, ch. 1 (1905).
This advice to Philip's sister-in-law Lilia was taken literally by her: his real views emerged when she decided to marry an Italian.)
Even American women are not felt to be persons in the same sense as the male immigrants among the Hungarians, Poles, Russian Jews,not to speak of Italians, Germans, and the masters of all of usthe Irish!
(Mary Putnam Jacobi (1842-1906), U.S. suffragist. "Common Sense" Applied to Woman Suffrage, ch. 2 (1894).)
Sorrento, August. For two weeks now I haven't heard a German word or understood an Italian one. This way one can manage to live with people; everything goes like clockwork and no irksome misunderstanding can arise.
(Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).)
Watching Italian opera, all those male sopranos screeching, stupid fat couples rolling their eyes about. That's not love, it's just rubbish.
(Peter Shaffer (b. 1926), British playwright, screenwriter. Mozart (Tom Hulce), Amadeus, arguing to Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) that German opera is better at depicting love than Italian opera (1984).)
Not German, I beg your majesty. Italian is the proper language for opera. All educated people agree on that.
(Peter Shaffer (b. 1926), British playwright, screenwriter. Count Orsini-Rosenberg (Charles Kay), Amadeus, beseeching Emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones) not to commission Mozart (Tom Hulce) to write an opera in German (1984).)
The Persians are called the French of the East; we will call the Arabs Oriental Italians. A gifted noble people; a people of wild strong feelings, and of iron restraint over these: the characteristic of noblemindedness, of genius.
(Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. "The Hero as Prophet," On Heroes and Hero-Worship (1841).)
The words "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which I saw on an Italian movie poster, are perhaps the briefest statement imaginable of the basic appeal of movies. This appeal is what attracts us, and ultimately what makes us despair when we begin to understand how seldom movies are more than this.
(Pauline Kael (b. 1919), U.S. film critic. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, "A Note on the Title," (1968).)
I never can hear a crowd of people singing and gesticulating, all together, at an Italian opera, without fancying myself at Athens, listening to that particular tragedy, by Sophocles, in which he introduces a full chorus of turkeys, who set about bewailing the death of Meleager.
(Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845), U.S. poet, critic, short-story writer. repr. In Essays and Reviews (1984). "Marginalia," Southern Literary Messenger (Richmond, Va., July 1849).)