Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tuttosport - the Last Word

I love passing this building just to see the lettering on the roof against a blue sky. It has a relationship with a recent blog. Tuttosport is a sports newspaper who's founder, Renato Caslabore, died in the 1949 Superga air disaster together with nearly all members of the Grande Torino football team. It's now an immensely popular 32 page daily published in Turin and Milan. My subject isn't sport though, because what attracted my attention was lettering. Now letters don't always function symbolically but in both Hebrew and Islamic traditions, letters are extremely important. Hebrew letters possess powers of creation that only God can know and Arabic letters are wondrously symbolic. And of course, devotees of numerology know letters possess numeric qualities and they are regarded as holding some other kind of truth. All letters are symbols of mystery! But letters cannot be separated from the Word or Logos as it is in Greek thought. Now my old minister was quite a preacher. He gave an address to a religious gathering in which he quoted fulsomely from the bible using memory alone. His critics were both envious and furious. "The Word of God" they said, "should be read." And they had a point. In most religious cultures, letters and the word are first and foremost the property of God. And getting back to our image, there are many who believe that sport is the last word.