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March 22, 2010

"Ya'don't know me."

The title is very slang-like of me, I know. But that would be the "gangsta" side of me that comes out when I'm trying to make a point, when someone assumes they know more about me than they actually do, especially when they are trying to say I would do something that I wouldn't actually consider. (I've been known to say this a lot, once even to my mom, who clearly, knows me pretty well.) One time I said that to my friend Hannah and she snapped back with random (and some deep) facts about me that obviously proved she knows me quite well.

I'm hoping that's what happens with Italo Calvino's novel If on a winter's night a traveler, because if it doesn't his sly little comments that come between each chapter will bother me and make me disregard this book and add it to the pile of what I would consider lame novels that I have collected over the years, especially since starting college.

For instance, on pages 4 through 5 Calvino goes on a little tangent about how this book came to be in my hands and how I began to read it and how I passed other books on my way to the checkout to purchase this book and so on. Calvino...ya'don't know me. For your information this book was purchased by Megan and I'm borrowing it for the time being and if I had been in a book store and saw your novel on the shelf, I would have actually passed by it and picked out a different book (if this one was not required for a class) because your title is weird and I don't think it is punctuated properly and that bothers me. So there.

And by the way, I am sitting at my desk (page 7) but my feet are not propped up on an open drawer. And my roommates are watching television in the next room (page 3) and I find no need to yell at them to turn it down so I can read your book "in peace"....should I tell the train passing by to quiet down too?

2 Comments

I agree with you. On most of these points. I also talked in my blog about how I do not enjoy Calvino reciting to me what should or should not be happening. There were parts that I read where I felt bored because it didn't seem like he was really talking to ME. Then again, I thought Calvino must know that some people are going to feel this way, so maybe he is doing this intentionally and we will find out why later? Who knows, but I agree that this book is not to my liking yet.

I think a lot of us our feeling this way. I've been thinking the same thing as you, Megan, that he must be doing it for some reason. Hopefully we won't have to toss it into the "lame" pile like you said, Chelsea, but I'm not liking it yet either. Still, by making us feel uncomfortable and even angry at his suppositions, he is invoking emotion in his reader, which might be his purpose.

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