Porchia Antonio 1885 - 1968 (83)

One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.



He who has seem everything empty itself is close to knowing what everything is filled with.

Antonio Porchia (1885-1968) was born in the village of Confledi in Calabria, Italy, on November 13, 1885. His father was a priest who had left the priesthood to marry a young girl with whom he had seven children. In 1900 his father died and Antonio, the eldest, was forced to leave school and work to support his family. Two years later and as there was a deep economic crisis in Italy, their mother decided to move to Argentina. They arrived in Buenos Aires and Antonio immediately started working (carpenter, builder, port assistant). At that time they worked 14 hours a day, but even so, Antonio found time to join a trade union and contribute his writings (remarks and thoughts) to an organization’s newspaper. With hard work he manages with his brother to buy a printing house and improve their living conditions, moving to a bigger house and in a better area of Buenos Aires. One by one the brothers started families and left the house, he was left alone, in a house filled with flowers. At times he lived with his nieces, in whom he was very dear, but he spent most of his years alone. He mingled with artists and in 1940 he founded an art and letter company with his friends.

For years he wrote short sentences, aphorisms which he called them voices. "It took a long time for each of his voices, as if it were the result of a very careful and very painful treatment," said one of his nieces who lived with him for some years. In 1943, at the urging of his friends, he collected and published "VOICES" in 1000 copies. At first they go unnoticed and in order to get rid of the copies that took up space and had nowhere to store, he donated them to an association of rescuing libraries. Through the association, copies of the work were found in libraries all over the country, ordinary people began to copy them by hand, a reprint was soon required and soon, his work began to be translated into many languages. Porchia never considered himself as a writer and politely and firmly declined all invitations to join literary circles and public appearances. He preferred to live quietly cultivating his garden and hanging out with friends, brothers and nieces. He died in 1968 at his home, among his favorite roses.