Page 10 - November 2020
P. 10

                                                                                       November 2020


                Because  of  my  life  circumstances,  my  own  ideas
                of  boundaries  and  identities  have  always  been
                fluid  and  characterized  by  multiplicity.  I  am  the
                youngest  daughter  (after  many  years  and  by
                accident)  of  a  family  that  in  the  1950’s  shifted
                from being part of the peasantry in southern Italy
                to being part of the industrial working class and
                the  world  of  restauranters  in  California.  Along
                with  two  of  my  siblings,  ,  I  am  part  of  the  first
                generation  of  people  who  had  access  to  the

                university    (today  in  the  US  we  would  have
                definitely  been  kept  out,  regardless  of  our
                talents). My parents had a third-grade education,
                never  learned  standard  Italian  or  English,  were
                most comfortable in their Calabrian dialect which
                over  the  years,  detached  from  its  original
                                                                                  Mother and Sister working
                community of speakers, became archaic.                          in the kitchen of the restaurant.

                  in the old motorcycle
                used for agricultural work

               Nevertheless,  my  mother  wrote  poems,  felt  the  need  to  transcend  her  daily
               experience and language, and my father was a very talented storyteller. Their
               kind of knowledge and the way they arrived at it was very different from that

               of their children, but it laid the basis for some of us to realize that academic
               knowledge  is  not  the  only  type  in  existence.  There  is  the  knowledge  and
               intelligence of the olive tree and the kitchen, intuition and the intelligence of
               the rooster, the inklings you get from dreams (all by the way, territories akin
               to  poetry).  Awareness  of  all  these  different  modes  of  knowing  have  led  me
               over the years to a certain skepticism towards the absolute truth of experts as
               well  as  a  desire  to  incorporate  them  into  my  writing  efforts,  as  a  way  of
               exploring much needed epistemological breakthroughs.
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