After all, Elkann senior's comic annoyance for the young tattooed "Landsknechts", with whom he unwillingly finds himself sharing a first-class carriage on the high-speed train to Foggia, sounds less false than the editorial statement
"The horses of Wallenstein go by, the foot soldiers of Merode go by, the horses of Anhalt go by, the foot soldiers of Brandenburg go by". Who would ever be able to keep up with the lansquenet cadence and the drum beat of Don Lisander to paint those young scarecrows who would not even greet a well-dressed gentleman, since "they are devils, they are Aryans, they are antichrists"? None of us, of course, least of all the keyboard players who mock on the web. Certainly those new landsknechts, those coarse youths who come "from the north" (“they are devils, they are Aryans”) with baseball hats, “talking loudly as if they were the owners of the carriage”, “using profanity and a language devoid of inhibitions” cannot be skewered with a fountain pen and the style of a Proust in French, as wrinkled as a linen suit. Heck, it's funny just thinking about it. But there is something candid and quixotic about Alain Elkann's train journey to Foggia, elegant and silent, in first class but forced to discover the barbarians, without knowing how to say anything. Manzoni, who was count, knew and loved his humblest ones, while Elkann feared them alone. But after all, his comic embarrassment sounds less false than the press release from the cdr of the newspaper owned by his children and which published the brief travel note.
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