Monday, December 12, 2016

Small Correspondences

A long time ago I taught Primo Levi's short story called "Small Changes" in an intro to lit class.  Many years later my oldest son went on a youth exchange to Rome where he attended high school at the Liceo Primo Levi.  About this time I bought and read Levi's The Reawakening (memoirs of his long journey to repatriation after being liberated from a Nazi camp) and remembered ever after the detail about how he liked traveling through Romania and seeing language more like his own.

Some years after that my second oldest daughter went on a youth exchange to Romania.  Last night I gave her a copy of The Reawakening to show her the part about Levi's travels through Romania, excited that I recognized the name of the city of Iasi in one of the chapter titles; here my daughter went to church while in Romania.  She read for a bit and noted with interest that Levi had passed through Barlad--the city where she lived--in his travels.

The intersection of the literary and the real, a writer's life and my family's life, gives me a sense of wonder and kinship.  Would it be sign seeking to anticipate that another of my children will cross paths with Primo Levi in the future?


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