I’ve just finished reading In altre parole, the surprising and remarkable novel written by Jhumpa Lahiri in her third language- Italian. She writes about this insatiable need for la bella lingua, a longing to belong to it let’s say. I have also felt this way about the language for many years and over time, my relationship with it has evolved in perfect alignment with Lahiri’s. The same struggles and the same collecting of words in our figurative baskets. We both moved to Italy, the stage and backdrop to amplify our romance. But Jhumpa took the biggest step of all, she altogether stopped reading and writing in English. So in this mild parallel to Julie and Julia, I have created the aforementioned Jasmine and Jhumpa Project where for the next 365 days, I will write a bit of prose in Italian, however long or short. I’ve created a second home for it here: http://thejasmineandjhumpaproject.weebly.com/. It will take on a completely different aesthetic from Questa Dolce Vita, I intend to keep it devoid of imagery or anything that might take away from the beauty of trying a new language. Note that I didn't say beauty of the language because I'm not perfect, very, very far from it and I'm sure this experiment will be wrought with errors but that's just it, it's an experiment to hopefully keep tending to my Italian flowers and perhaps one day they will flourish.
Jasmine is a former pharmacist turned freelance writer, foodie, and fashionista from Alberta, Canada living "the sweet life" in Bergamo, Italy.
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