A whole story, a whole world contained in 100 words?
It's becoming the rage in Lecce -- at least that's the hope of the man who dreamed up the idea. You'll find these stories, these works of word art printed on posters big and small all over the city -- in the windows of storefronts, in exhibit halls, wherever there are people who might be intrigued enough to stop and be held in thrall by a particular story. They're written by many different authors.
Each work is unquie, complete unto itself as a poem might be. But they're not poems. They're narratives.
The project is called New Page and the brain child of the literary mentor of my friend, the Martignano poet Elio Corian's. It pains me to admit that I met The Mentor today and that I have now forgotten his name! But I haven't forgotten his striking, angular face or the force of character he exudes. I plan to see him again.
Elio brought me to Lecce to meet him, and to see an exhibit of such works by two young writers at a small exhibit hall on Fondo Verri, in old Lecce. Between them Teresa Lutri, 26, and Franceso Aprile, 25, had about two dozen such works on display. I read a few of them as best I could. I didn't understand every word, of course, since they're written in sophisticated Italian, but I absorbed enough of what I read to pick up the tone and the direction.
Elio has invited me to try my hand at writing one. I'll give it a shot.
Elio told me a story about one of the ones he wrote: A big poster of the work, which had been on display in a store window, caught the eye of a passing woman. She came back the next day to read it again. And yet again. Finally, she went into the store and begged the owner to find some way to get her a copy of it. She said she had to have it because the piece had haunted her.
And that's what happens when a good writing meets an open mind.
Francesco and Teresa had some of their New Page works on display at Fondo Verri in Lecce's historic centre
A work by Francesco Aprile