MEMENTO OF GIUSEPPE BEZZA



If anyone wants to look at the "tirasgiàff" expression (in Milanese dialect 'tirasgiàff' means “drawing slaps”) of the face of Giuseppe Bezza,
should consult the following page:
http://www.cieloeterra.it/articoli.in.ricordo.di.Giuseppe.Bezza /In%20Ricordo%20di%20Giuseppe%20Bezza.html,
where he will find, too, the praise of those who knew him superficially and / or can not read his natal chart.





The sole purpose of this “memento” is to make known the circumstances that led to the coupling of our names.[1]


How I met Giuseppe Bezza.

My interest in astrology had been standing for more than a decade, when in the early 1980s I saw on the shelf of a bookshop—or a bookstall, I do not remember—a small book with a pretentious title: L'astrologia, storia e metodi, Milano (Teti editore) 1980, whose author was a Bezza Giuseppe, who, according to reports on the back cover, had "stayed a long time in Amsterdam, London and Paris," and he had "been collaborator of 'Les Temps Moderns' founded by J. P. Sartre and André Gorz, and of 'Le Point' in Brussels."
"Oh, my gosh!” I told myself.
Turning over the pages of the booklet, I immediately observed three things missing in the then current astrological handbooks—accurate notes, a bibliography, though essential, and an index of names. I decided to buy it.
In those years I was honing a diagnostic technique applied to names—for 'name' you have to mean the sound mixture formed by the officially registered names at the time of birth together with the surname—; such a technique had allowed me to establish that double “zz”, with emphatic and unvoiced sound, is hardly a positive signaller of the soul and intelligence qualities. Nevertheless, I put aside my reservations about the name, and called him.
The phone's voice did not seem spontaneous, but forced and even studied; yet he leaked a certain satisfaction at the unexpected call. I did not hide the desire to see him at work, that is, to have an astrological consultation. He prevaricated and offered me a meeting. "Where do you live?" I asked. "Let's meet in Piazza Duomo," he said, "under the arcades: at the Bar Zucca they give an excellent rhubarb." I was a bit surprised, but I accepted.
When I saw him for the first time, I noticed a young guy, a little in contrast with the long stays "in Amsterdam, London and Paris." I immediately had the impression he was a pauper, surely more than I was. He was shabby too, and the many hair demanded the intervention of a hairdresser, starting with the shampoo. I do not remember what we talked about. I only remember that from time to time his eyes turned red because of emotion. However, the required consultation broke up among words and we made a commitment to stay in touch. I paid the rhubarbs and we said good-bye one another.
That is how we became acquainted.

How the interest in astrology rised in Giuseppe Bezza.

The members of his family were a son (he told me he was separated) and some brothers, one of which, named Giancarlo, having fallen victim to drug addiction, passed away on May 6, 1981 because of overdose. Well, it was this Giancarlo, very interested in astrology, to convey to his brother Giuseppe the passion for such a matter. When G. Bezza told me the dramatic circumstances of Giancarlo's passing away, also added a detail not insignificant: after the publication of the book mentioned above Giancarlo became dejected, because he realized that his brother Giuseppe, despite having approached astrology at a later time and not spontaneously, had managed to surpass the brother. In fact, the mentioned book (© 1980) was "printed in January 1981,” while the transitus animae of Giancarlo took place, as I said, in the first days of May of the same year. Such a—so to speak—draining up 'virtue' of Giuseppe Bezza, more or less consciously, is the primum mobile of tangible and intangible acquisitions, deserved or undeserved, he gained during his life. The intelligence of Giuseppe Bezza was not acute, but his intuition was, as evidenced by the Moon-Saturn conjunction in his natal chart. [2]
At that time Giuseppe Bezza lived in a modest flat of an old tenement house, not far from the dock. When I asked him on what he lived, he was vague: “On collaborations.” Since he did not pay the bills in a regular way, from time to time he remained without current. Still, the books were many, many of them expensive. "This volume is quite expensive, how did you pay for it?” I asked him once. "I stole it!” he replied. At first I was petrified. He also explained me the technique he had improved so that those 'withdrawals' were getting a good result. Some of the most important bookshops around the Duomo, had to record in those years some of such 'withdrawals'. I saw on his desk, too, a volume of Catalogus codicum Astrologorum Graecorum, coming from the library of the Catholic University, the only indeed where you could find the CCAG. He said: "Take it, photocopy it, then bring it back." "Oh no, Giuseppe," I replied promptly, "you are the one who took it, and you have to bring it back." Subsequently, having to go in that library for controls relating to the Italian edition of the Spicq's Notes I was preparing, I could see that that volume was still missing. It was a part of the eighth tome (codices Parisini), but I don not remember which one was (the second or fourth perhaps).
As I said, I was preparing the Italian edition of the Notes de lexicographie néotestamentaire, a work I was doing in my free time, because from Monday to Saturday I was on the staff of an engineering company, which manufactured electrical equipment, and I was dealing with cost accounting (!).
We—Giuseppe Bezza and I—often met. The topic of study was ever-more astrology, of course. Frequently I invited him to dinner, and each time he carried a bottle of fine wine—both of us liked wine—, whose provenance I did not want to know.
The "Lorenzo Valla" Foundation, which had already published several books, including Dell'Arte Poetica edited by Carlo Gallavotti (1974), brought out, in 1985, the Ptolemaic Quadripartite with the unhappy title Le previsioni astrologiche. It was enough to browse the book to evaluate its quality.
Hence, I asked the publisher, for whom I was working, if he was interested in publishing a review. The review was only a pretext. The purpose was to introduce Giuseppe Bezza to the publisher, and then let him work to the Italian edition of the Notes of Spicq and let him earn some money as well.
We prepared the review. I made him rewrite his part three times, because his Italian prose was here and there picturesque, there were several errors, and clarity suffered. The third version was better, but needed another revision. At that point G. Bezza became angry. "Okay," I said. "I'll ask the publisher to affix my name to my part, your name to yours." I had no intention at all to take charge of his mistakes that then gave room to the flimsy specifications of S. Feraboli. In the end, the review saw the light.
Here is how and why my name and the name of Giuseppe Bezza are paired in that review.
Then, I suggested to the publisher to let Giuseppe Bezza work together on the translation of the Notes. The publisher agreed, but pointed out: "I pay you. As for G. Bezza, it's your lookout!” "All right," I replied. Obviously, Guseppe Bezza was enthusiast. I started giving him some lemmata from the letter 'E'. To my surprise, he was very prompt and ended in a short time his work. I paid him and entrusted him with other entries. But, when I picked up his papers to take a look at them, I lay in a faint! A disaster! The texts in Greek were almost illegible, the Italian form contorted, the translation often imprecise and inaccurate. In short, I had to revise every sentence, every word, well everything!
When I delivered the publisher the part already ready, I showed him the bulk of corrections that G. Bezza's collaboration had made necessary. "That being the case," I said, "I think it is indispensable that in the publication you will specify which are the entries translated by me and which ones translated by G. Bezza." "No," replied the publisher peremptorily, "because the responsibility is yours anyway." I was stunned, because in the meantime I had entrusted to G. Bezza with other entries, which meant not only I had to pay him, but I also had to redo everything.
After finishing the work I had previously entrusted, G. Bezza came to my house to get paid and take other lemmata. "No, Giuseppe," I told him very clearly, "your collaboration stops right now. The publisher does not want to specify which entries have been translated by me and which ones by you. So, I have to redo almost everything, wasting my time and working for free!"
This explains why the name of Giuseppe Bezza appears as co-translator of the first volume of the Notes but not of the second one. At all events, his name was printed from pure charity because there is no longer any trace of his 'contribution'.[3]

Giuseppe Bezza is a translator almost always superficial and quite often incorrect. He can sweeten the incompetent people, not the specialists. The trouble is that in astrology—and not just in astrology—the specialists are rare birds.
When he realized that the dairy cow, that is myself, had been emptied, he did not react well and our relationship began to change because of the first rifts.
G. Bezza was quite skilful in attracting people that could be useful. So it happened that he met Marco Fumagalli.[4] He told me that that guy, although devoid of humanistic culture, was a computer expert and most interested in astrology, and could be useful to him. "I'll introduce him to you," he said, but he never did. Once, all three of us were somewhere together (I cannot remember where). Giuseppe Bezza, pointing with his finger a person of anonymous appearance and short, said: "He's Marco Fumagalli," but did not introduce him to me. For his part, Marco Fumagalli, who noticed the presence of Giuseppe Bezza (they exchanged knowing looks), avoided to approach and look at me. It was clear that G. Bezza was plotting something.

In consequence of exclusively personal deeds, which I will not talk about, Giuseppe Bezza was able to move from the old popular apartment in another larger flat in Paolo Sarpi street and asked me if I could help him. I also lent him a lapping machine he never gave me back. Well, I went to help him. There were many people, not all bustling about, but all, even if I had never met them, seemed to know me and manifested a mocking attitude to me.
It was the petty revenge of a coward. Giuseppe Bezza had in some way defamed me, ridiculing me in the eyes of his acquaintances.
Our relationship stopped that day, even if in a later time I wrote him to document a lot of incredible mistakes in his translations. No answer, of course. I saw him a last time in a record store, but he pretended not to see me. I omit further miserable details.

I talked about the merits of Giuseppe Bezza elsewhere. He owes his fortune to Marco Fumagalli, without which his commentary of Ptolemy would not look like that and the site 'www.cieloeterra.it' would never be born. Without Marco Fumagalli his entire production would be like a curdled mayonnaise in comparison with a well whipped one: all the ingredients are there, but the result is missing. Unfortunately, the site is destined to extinction thanks to the competence of the current board.
As astrologer Giuseppe Bezza never got an answer right. Many of my suggestions have become his intuitions. Despite of this, I will not deny the contribution he gave to a certain way of dealing with astrological studies.

[Dorno, September 10, 2016]


NOTES.

[1] The first time the name of Giuseppe Bezza appears together with mine, is as a co-author of a review published by Paideia Editrice in the journal of the same name, cf. Fr. Al. Illiceramius (Latin version of Fr. L. Viero), G. Bezza, "Il problema di un recupero dell'astrologia classica nella lettura di una nuova edizione di Tolomeo," in "Paideia" 41 (1986) pp. 215-236; a second time, as co-translator of the first volume of the Note di lessicografia neotestamentaria by Ceslas Spicq, edited by me and printed by the same publisher (Brescia 1988).

[2] Who wants to check the intelligence degree (I.Q.) of G. Bezza should read the beginning of the introduction of Arcana Mundi, I, Milano (Rizzoli) 1995, p. 7, where the hopeless justification of the attribute 'classical' he wanted attached to astrology is so rough, semasiologically and logically unsustainable, that he ends to become hilarious and comical.

[3] The Italian edition, that is the Note di lessicografia neotestamentaria, had good reviews just thanks to me. Apart from the Index of biblical quotations, made by the computer, everything else—like the bibliography (which in the French edition is missing) and the Indices of Italian and Greek words—is the result of my own work. The publisher had the merit to allow me a free hand. The only thing not mine is the translation of the Plutarch's passage preceding the Premessa—to my translation, the publisher liked better his, which I do not approve. However, there is a discordant note, that of a certain Marco Nobile, holder of a chair somewhere, who concludes his review online (http://www.antonianumroma.org/prof_bibliografiaViewnota.php?id=2446) with "a correction: U. Wilcken (e.g. on p. 61) is normally cited, while the correct surname is Wilckens." It happens, though, that Ulrich Wilcken (1862-1944), without "s", was a great papyrologist, while Ulrich Wilckens (1928-), with "s", is a theologian. In other words, such an unwise "correction" demonstrates that pf. Nobile does not have the faintest idea of what is papyrology. It was enough to look at the bibliography!

[4] Marco Fumagalli claims to have started attending Giuseppe Bezza in 1981. Not as far as I know. However, even if it is unlikely, it is not impossible, given G. Bezza's strong inclination to conceal the truth (which is also well detectable from his natal chart).


© Franco Luigi Viero

INDIETRO