Friday, November 15, 2013

Mid-Point of Calvino Read



"...putting behind you pages lacerated by intellectual analyses, you dream of rediscovering a condition of natural reading, innocent, primitive..."

I'm participating in a group read of If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino, in which we were to have half the book read by 11/15.  I'm not quite to the end of the first five/ten chapters, but I'm only lacking a couple of pages. 

This is an oddity of a novel.  It's the kind of experimental fiction (somewhat similar to Cloud Atlas) which would have completely intimidated me as a younger person.  Now I'm old, and I tend to think,  "If other people can read this, so can I."  Wonder if that means I can get through Ulysses yet?  Hmm...bettah not.

So, Calvino.  This book reminds me of a boyfriend.  You know, fantastic for brief periods but boring and annoying for the most part.  Although, in fairness to the book, I'd say the ratio of good to hum drum is closer to 50/50.  I do feel like Calvino purposefully manipulates his reader:  giving slack in the line, then jerking the hook and reeling you back in.  The book isn't a struggle to read, and I do find myself getting caught up in each little story, just as it ends, like the reader narrator.  I'm looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

2 comments:

JoAnn said...

I finished the first five chapters early… lovely ride, but not a clue as to where it's actually going. Picked it up again after 10 days away, and finding it hard to re-engage :-(

Amy said...

I did the same thing: took a break, then got bogged down in Chapter 6. I made myself finish the first part of Ch 6 at lunch. It's certainly different and sometimes engaging, but I'm glad I'm reading other things for enjoyment concurrently with this one.

Waiting for the Present

photo by Amy Brandon   I've always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that ...