The premature death of Roman philosopher Raimondi Modi was a bitter blow to my good friend Currado Malaspina. Known more for his unusual lifestyle than for his tuneless, sibylline prose, Modi felt much more at home sipping Campari and soda at Caffee Greco on Via del Condotti, then lecturing to his bored yet adoring students at La Pontificia Università.
|Raimondi Modi, 2010|
Raimondi's only significant contribution to contemporary European intellectual discourse can be found in the obscure Italian periodical La Scoreggia, in a piece he allegedly scribbled while waiting for a CT Scan at Salvator Mundi International Hospital. Titled Dialettica come un Raccolto in Contanti, (Translated alternately as "Dialectic as a Cash-Crop" The Basil Review XXVI no. 9, "Bonanza!" London Review, Spring 1995 and "A Question of Thyme" Best Essays Anthology, Ontario University Press 2002), Raimondi famously argued that impure idioms carry greater conviction and are more resolute when the shared responsibility of language loosens its empirical dominance. It was a revolutionary concept at the time and it remains vigorously debated to this day although its relevance has long been superseded by the recent findings of Laclos and Gremaine.
He and Currado were always allied in a petulant consanguinity - two rotten peas in a putrescent pod. Admired more than loved, tolerated more than appreciated and far more indulged than actually understood, Raimondi and Malaspina represent that dying breed of highbrowed cosmopolitan flaneurs that flooded the byways and bistros of southern Europe in the 1980's and 90's.
Raimondi Modi ... requiescat in pace ...