Mar. 15th, 2017

prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
sprezzatura (spret-sah-TOOR-uh) - n., doing (or giving the appearance of doing) something effortlessly.


Especially as a characteristic quality of art, literature, or performance. This was adopted from Italian, where it means nonchalance, and which was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier, where he defined it as "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it" -- or to put it another way, "an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions which hides the conscious effort that went into them." This was something courtiers should manage no matter what they were called upon to do -- not just to make them look effortless, but look not calculated.

---L.

July 2017

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