the living incarnation of the famed Italian temper

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hack3rcon

Senior Member
Russian
Hello.
In below text what does "Mess with his cigars and you see the living incarnation of the famed Italian temper." mean?
"< --- > You don't bother [my father] when he's smoking, and God forbid you move his cigars or try to sneak one from him. <--->. Because of his work, my father has bus schedules and routes programmed into his brain. He also has a section devoted to his cigars: the brands he has smoked, where his cigars are in the house, and how many are left. Mess with his cigars and you see the living incarnation of the famed Italian temper."
Can it mean "When you touch his cigarts then you can imagine..."?

Thank you.

Edited to reduce quotation to 4 sentences (Rule 4). Cagey, moderator
 
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  • cointi

    Senior Member
    Polish
    To simplify: If you mess with his cigars (for example rearrange them or just touch them), you will see him get really angry.
     

    hack3rcon

    Senior Member
    Russian
    To simplify: If you mess with his cigars (for example rearrange them or just touch them), you will see him get really angry.
    Thank you, Thus "you see the living incarnation of the famed Italian temper" just mean "he get really angry" ?
     

    cointi

    Senior Member
    Polish
    There's actually more to it. I'll try to rephrase it.

    he will become a perfect example of well-known Italian anger and you will experience it

    Incarnate is a tricky word. We can talk about somebody being an incarnation (=embodiment) of evil, meaning that the abstract idea of evil is given human form. We could rephrase it as he represents pure evil.
     
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    hack3rcon

    Senior Member
    Russian
    There's actually more to it. I'll try to rephrase it.

    he will become a perfect example of well-known Italian anger and you will experience it (it suggest that he is Italian)

    Incarnate is a tricky word. We can talk about somebody being an incarnation (=embodiment) of evil, meaning that the abstract idea of evil is given human form. We could rephrase it as he represents pure evil.
    Something like a Mafia. He become upset like a gangster.
     

    cointi

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I'm not sure if that is the image that the sentence is supposed to invoke. It really depends on the broader context. I would rather guess that it plays on the stereotype which sees Italians as quite emotional and expressive people. But since I haven't read the whole story, I cannot be sure.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I would rather guess that it plays on the stereotype which sees Italians as quite emotional and expressive people.
    I agree.
    If you mess with his cigars, he (being Italian or of Italian origin) will show you what the famous Italian temper, that you might have only heard about, actually is like.
     
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