"'I'm a reader, only a reader, not an author,' you hasten to declare, like a man rushing to the aid of somebody about to make a misstep" (Calvino 94). --> True story. That's exactly how I felt through pages 53-99 of If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. This man....is fantastic at messing with my mind. I'm going to pretend to not be completely confused by his novel and make a useful hypothesis about it.
Basically, Calvino flat out said, I'm trying to confuse you. At least that's what I got from the paragraphs and cited quote from page 94. Halfway through the book, he knows his readers are confused and I feel like he is trying to answer our questions through a new plot each time. He is not just preaching his message, but creatively making up new characters and story plots in hopes we can read between the lines and figure it out for ourselves. Calvino is placing his reader in the story and offering solutions.
"You realzie at once that Mr. Cavedagna is that person indispensable to every firm's staff, on whose shoulders his colleagues tend instinctively to unload all the most comples and tricky jobs (92).
Still...clever...but I'd rather him tell me more about what I'm thinking...perhaps that has gotten old, but will show up again later. But, one of the most fascinating things in this portion of the book was his quote on page 98,
"Some books will remain famous but will be considered anonymous works, as for us the epic of Gilgamesh; other authors; names will still be well known but none of their works will survive, as was the case with Socrates; or perhaps all the surviving books will be attributed to a single, mysterious author, like Homer."
I think Calvino is being very realistic here, assuming that some works will live on for hundreds of years and others will slowly fade out of existence. He provided examples and we all know history repeats itself. I think Calvino is on to something and he realizes he is no Shakespeare. Everyone in the modern day writes exactly the same but with different topics and genres. As I said in my previous blog, I think Calvino has founded a new way to approach writing and interest his readers, rather than the linear storyline. Peter Washington mentioned in the introduction that Calvino believed there was more than one way to approach a problem. And that is typically true. There is the normal way someone would provide a solution and then there are wacko solutions. And we all know which kind of technique Calvino is using.
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