the Copenaghen Post
June – 03 July 2008 page 11
Through the envoy’s looking glass
by Jeffrey Hunter
new book by the Italian diplomat, who served in Copenaghen from
1971-74, explores the historical - if little-known – link between
art and diplomacy
Artists – counterculture, revolution, long-hair, Diplomats
– quite the opposite.
that picture isn’t accurate, at least not to Pasquale Baldocci,
former Italian diplomat who served as embassy advisor in Copenaghen
1971-1974. To him, the two are peas in a pod.
co-wrote “Through the Diplomatic Looking Glass” the first book
in the new “Diplomats as Writers” series
published by DiploFoundation. He returned to Copenaghen to
present the book to a small audience that included the Italian
ambassador at the Italian Cultural Institute last week.
painstakingly researched book – more than 200 works were dissected
over five years – presents and analyzes books of un diplomatic
nature written by other Italian diplomats.
see diplomacy as connected with politics and economics, but seldom
with art or literature”. Baldocci said. “The truth is,
literature and diplomacy have a very long way together, since the
list of names – Dante, Petrarca, Machiavelli, to name only the
Italians – followed. He said humanists, poets and playrights were
sought for initial diplomatic roles because of their talent at
contrast, Baldocci said diplomats are now seen stiffs. He said the
diplomat’s modern job is defined more by writing endless reports,
letters and memos, which can take art out of a potentially very
are obliged to follow the diplomatic language, so we have a feeling
of great relief when we change our style” he said.
they weren’t already, Baldocci said the job leads diplomats to
become great literary figures. He said many have won Nobel Prizes
for novels and books on geography and architecture, and many more
are stimulated by all kinds of people, climates, sights,
philosophies, religions, music, popular songs. It offers a range of
elements to explore for satisfaction, which we can not explore when
we are doomed to write in a certain way”.
his book, Baldocci hopes to not only introduce readers to these
largely ignored figures, but also recruit a new kind of diplomat.
like the idea of having people with other interest outside of
politics becoming part of the diplomatic world” he said.
ended the talk with advice to those already in that world.
you like to write, don’t forget that there are other styles beside
the diplomatic style, and you can find deep satisfaction in
exploring these others ways”.
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