Although I know little about poetry and even less about Italian, tonight’s lecture with Professor Cavatorta brought to mind an interesting parallel to today about fragmentation as a way to tell a story. In the poem Professor Cavatorta showed in his lecture, the words were literally fragmented all over the page, and their meanings seemed to be fragmented as well, as a way to confuse the reader and provoke a certain curiosity. Professor Cavatorta highlighted the fact that this was intentional: the poet wanted the reader to be intrigued in this way.
This semester I have been working on writing curriculum about social media to use with teenage girls. One of the activities I have developed is about the fragmentation of our stories. When a girl posts on instagram, she does not post her whole life. Instead, she chooses one or two important parts of her day to highlight. We may see the she won her soccer game, but not that she got in a big fight with her parents after that. We might see that she went to Versailles, but not that she had to wait in line for two hours to get in. Girls will intentionally fragment the stories they portray of their lives to intentionally provoke the same curiosity that the poets discussed in the lecture did. This type of fragmentation engages one’s audience, both in Italy in the 1960s and in Central Maine in 2015.