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Donne di carta are strong

03 Marzo 2021
Donne di carta are strong Foto: Rosa Maria Marini Rosa Maria Marini
Donne di carta's Association creates many interesting initiatives, among these, there is Book People: two minutes of words aloud pronounced, which someone has written and which become ours. By Rosa Maria Marini

I was returning, walking slowly hanging on the arm of a friend with a bandaged and sore ankle, along the damp shadow of the walls that from Porta Romana encircle Annalena's garden, after having participated in a peculiar meeting of elderly people, all involved by an extravagant dancer, Virgilio Sieni, in an experiment of gestures and interpretation of feelings.

Ilaria, a friend of mine found after years, told me about herself. In her speech, suddenly, she said two words that for me was like a shock from a short circuit: 'persone libro (book people)'. I ask, blocking her, “what did you say?”, “Book people? I, I am a book person! ”.
I felt an emotion that is both recognition and curiosity: so I learn that in Rome, a few years earlier, four women, professional booksellers, formed an association called Donne di carta and that, shortly after, they made that of persone libro, chosen and composed by those who read and read, transforms and becomes the book they are reading, they live it, personify it, say it. Memory which is identification, memory which is like an intellectual and sentimental pact.

I want to know more. My friend invites me to a persone libro' s meeting at her house. (Blanket he calls it. Symbolically, the PL  cover themselves with a blanket that wraps them, isolating them as if under a curtain, and which unites and unites them). I know who will be there and who will memorize parts of books. I go there with all the energy it gives me to think that I will memorize Eugenio Montale's News from Amiata. Unreachable poetry. And everything has the flavor of a ritual.

The friend has a living room, opening onto one of those gravel gardens, with a medlar and iris plants, so frequent in certain areas of post-unification Florence. Light color of an April afternoon, women (not bourgeois ladies) with a lively gaze with a quiet smile and complicit in waiting. One begins: "I am the island of Arturo by Elsa Morante". She remembers the passage in which the boy misses his dead mother.
When it's my turn - and I'm Montale - the intellectual / sentimental pact is definitive.

Beautiful, beautiful intelligent initiative, which combines careful reading with careful identification. No more than one, two minutes of words that someone wrote and that become ours, ourselves. It is an experience, an adhesion that I recommend. There are no binding structures, the association always remains a small unanimous group, occupies the fragile space of a short time, an hour or so of words spoken without reciting, without emotional emphasis, but so fragile, and no longer full-bodied of what little black they left on the white of the sheet. No longer lasting, if not for that unusual pleasure of being said by heart and not read.

There would be many other things to say about l'associazione Donne di carta which has ventured into many initiatives; on the qualifying intervention of a Spanish actor, Antonio Menendez, who loved and somewhat 'codified' the enterprise of the PL, on their meetings, on the formation and membership of PL groups in various cities. But all this is, of course, online (www.donnedicarta.org).

Donne di Carta
was founded in Rome in 2008, where the registered office is located. The Association is open to women and men and owes its name to the four founding women: Sandra Giuliani - editor, Stefania Molajoni - bookseller, Monica Maggi - journalist, Rosanna Romano - cultural worker who wanted in this way to claim the motherhood of idea. Donne di carta is a cultural association active in most of the national territory. Its main purpose is the promotion of reading and the protection of the bibliodiversity against any strategy of cultural homologation.

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