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  • Martha Rasche

Sheet of paper not handy? Write your story on a bedsheet instead


Writer Elisabetta Povoledo had a story in The New York Times last week about the National Diary Archives Foundation in Pieve Santo Stefano, Italy. It was founded in 1984 by Saverio Tutino and houses more than 7,000 memoirs. "Tutino believed that everyone is one of many, and together we become history," said Loretta Veri, the archives' former director who now raises money to support it. Tutino "used to say that we are privileged to hear the rustle of others, that paper voices always made a sound." One man typed 1,027 pages. His story covers not only decades of his life but also "the epochal moments of Italian 20th-century history." It is true that our stories are part history book and part record book in addition to being part memory book. One woman began scribbling her life story on a white bedsheet when she was 72. Two years later, she took the sheet to the archives, where it is on display.

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