Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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I was referring to the etymology in the OED entry linked above:
Roberto Rossellini and Ennio Flaiano worked together on a number of projects together in the fifties, and Flaiano brought “paparazzo” from that time later to Fellini in his scenario for La Dolce Vita. It would not surprise me to find that the particular usage of “paparazzo” was in conversational usage in that social circle much earlier than 1960, with Fellini making it international.Etymology: < Italian paparazzo (1961) < the name of the character Paparazzo , a society photographer in F. Fellini's film La Dolce Vita (1960). See also paparazzi n.
The selection of the name Paparazzo (which occurs as a surname in Italy) for the character in Fellini's film has been variously explained. According to Fellini himself, the name was taken from an opera libretto; the comment is also attributed to him that the word ‘suggests..a buzzing insect, hovering, darting, stinging’. It is also used as the name of a character by G. Gissing in By the Ionian Sea (1901), which appeared in Italian translation in 1957 and has been cited as an inspiration by E. Flaiano, who contributed to the film's scenario. (For further possible expressive connotations of the name, it has also been noted that in the Italian dialect of Abruzzi, where Flaiano came from, paparazzo occurs as a word for a clam, which could be taken as suggesting a metaphor for the opening and closing of a camera lens; the Italian suffix -azzo (variant of -accio < classical Latin -āceus : see -aceous suffix) also has pejorative connotations.)
Last edited by DeprongMori on Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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According to Hollis Alpert's book on Fellini, Flaiano recorded in his journals that he came across the name Paparazzo in an obscure opera libretto (not identified by name) at the time they were writing La Dolce Vita. And Alpert does quote directly from Flaiano's journal in the book, so he likely verified this point rather than relying on hearsay about it. According to another theory, Fellini (not Flaiano) found the name in the libretto, and according to yet another explanation, which made its way into the Random House Dictionary of the American Language, it was Fellini who found the name in Gissing's By the Ionian Sea, which he was reading in Italian while working on La Dolce Vita. There are a number of competing theories about how Fellini chose the name Paparazzo, and he apparently never spoke on the matter himself to settle the question, but as far as I know none of them has anything to do with Rossellini, and there is no documented usage of the word "paparazzi" in Italian before 1961.