Memory

At the beginning of 2000, Marcello went to schools along with those who made the Resistance with him, but he always made others talk. But then, when he found himself alone, he told his story: he was a son of farmers who went to university in the 40s. War came, but he kept studying at night, after dinner, until late now. But the neighbors hadn’t digested this thing that a farmer s’ son went to university and that light on didn’t convince them: they called the police. They beat him up because they suspected him of being against the regime, they didn’t believe he was studying, because he was the son of farmers. ‘ I have notes at home ‘ said Marcello, but ‘ they are full of strange figures: give us the key to decipher what’s written ‘ they answered him. Marcello tells that they finally left him alone and was sent home. And he added that from the next day he became part of the Resistance, because every punch, every slap, every kick, was a good reason for that filth to end.

The other day when I tried to contact Marcello, I found out he was killed by the Coronavirus. It made me remember a book, Fahrenheit 451, where it is said that there are people who learn books by heart, so that the memory of those words continue in their bodies. I would like to tell Marcello that I tell his story, I take responsibility for it, even if you and many like you can’t do it anymore. And to those who think it’s rhetorical I say: memory is the answer to the question of why we are here, and why we are like this. We think memory is like an adventure movie, that we know how it ends. But who cares if we know who the good people are and who the bad guys are, because that’s the reason we have the freedom to say this is rhetoric. I’m angry at those who talk about rhetoric, with those who say those punches taken by Marcello are rhetorical. To these rhetoric experts, I, who teach rhetoric at university, would like to answer with a sentence that happens to have four rhetorical figures: the rants, climax, apostrophe, and hyperbole: ” Fuck off .”      ~ (Stefano Massini, April 23, 2020, Clean Square, La7)

Il Salotto di Rossana

Piero Martina, the partisan, 1961, Palazzo Lascaris, Turin

Posted by Il Salotto di Rossana