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March 25, 2010

Sex is in the title: now you're going to read this

Well, Calvino is finally getting interesting. I’m kind of upset that the only way he was able to get me interested in is book though was by throwing in a sex scene that seemed out of place. Now I’m not upset with myself, but Calvino. Let me explain.


I want to go into PR because I want to get the ideas that girls have to look and act a certain way to get attention out of every little girls head. What does that have to do with PR? We’re the ones that do all the marketing, all the attention grabbing, all of the little things that reel people in to buy products. I hate that people use sex and the female form as a tool to use for advertising and for attention grabbing tactics. A lot of people say that sex sells, but really sex just grabs your attention. (So do purple monkeys but I haven’t seen that tactic used yet.) It sickens me that we are in a cycle and that Calvino wrote this book around 1979 and used this (considered modern day) tactic.


In his book, If on a winter‘s night a traveler, Calvino enters a sex scene in the section Without fear of wind or vertigo. Not just any sex scene, but a threesome. Gross me out. But it’s not an obvious sex scene to someone like me who is falling asleep reading this book, where I had to go back and reread the details because I didn’t catch on the first time. Which I’m sure was Calvino’s point, was to grab attention, but why does it have to be in the form of sex?


The only part that I liked about this section of reading was a quote a little bit before that sex part where it says, “The truth is that we were all very young, too young for everything we were experiencing; I mean us men, because Irina had the precocity of women of her sort, even though she was the youngest of us three” (78).

Precocity, to be advanced beyond one’s age. Girls today are already so precocious, stop putting sex in their lives and making them miss out on what little childhood they have left.

3 Comments

Where do you see evidence that the characters in this scene are children? The quote you provided mentions "men" and "women"-- not children. Youth is relative to your current age, so if the narrator is looking back a few decades in time, he can still say he was too young, when he may have been an adult during this sequence.

All three of them seem to be government operatives of one sort or another -- military or spy, and there is no reference to obeying parents or being grounded or anything else that suggests we are talking about teens.

Since Calvino's text is dumb, and can't talk back and answer your questions, let me turn your question back to you. Why do *you* think Calvino include a sex scene? If it was to get our attention, why was the scene so brief that you almost missed it?

Think back to what Foster wrote in "How to Read Literature Like a Professor."

Dr. Jerz, in this blog I am not directly commenting on the age of the characters, just the subject matter in general.

I don't like that through out this book; Calvino has not been able to really get me thinking until the sex scene. Which I feel he used as a tactic to make his readers stop and re-read or stop and think, which he finally made me do with his book.

In this blog though, I am commenting on the use of sex to grab attention (like Calvino does) and how I think that is wrong. Despite the actual age of the characters, they could be 90 for all I care, I am just commenting on the fact that a sexually based interaction is used to make readers take notice and I feel like that tactic is lame and shows a lack of creativity in any art form.

Simply because I mention that I do not like the images little girls get from society on how they are supposed to act and what they are expected to do, does not mean that I am holding the same case with this entry, just mentioning that the over used tactic that I hate, is one that Calvino uses to make a point in this book, which shows me a lack a creativity and another reason to not admire this work.

Could this sequence be satire?

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