03 November 2010

If on a winter's night a traveler is not the easiest book ever assigned

Nor is it the hardest, once you get into the rhythm of it, the weaving in and out of story, to and fro with the anti-author's narration. The story of a narrator who is a reader.
I don't write to defend it, but I do urge you to laugh.

Yes, laugh.

It's a book that's frustrating to read, sure, but its main topic is frustration, after all. The book is therefore a joke book. At the same time it's a mystery, and as I read (and not for the first time) I can't help but remember my long-past afternoons with Nancy Drew mysteries. How desperate I was to know it was all going to be solved, that the criminal would pay, that there was justice. I was so desperate that I couldn't wait till the end of the book but had to read ahead, usually skimming the last three or four pages to find the answer. Afterward, satisfied, I would return to the middle to enjoy the ride. Every book I would promise myself that I wouldn't cheat, wouldn't look ahead, but I couldn't ever resist. That's the feeling I have with Calvino--what's the truth about this story? Will these people ever get their book? And will they ever have sex? I want to look ahead. But I've read the end, and I know what I always suspected, and what you must suspect, too.....

1 comment:

le reve said...

Professor Quinlan,

Not that I was expecting a reply to our assignments, but I was hoping to see our workshopping material here for printing...ONLY because I don't trust my WPU account and I was logging on here for some sign you received it. In the probable case that you never received any email from me Wednesday, I'm sending you my email again through my personal yahoo account, as well as posting my two page beginning for workshopping next class. Sorry to bombard you with emails, but as we've seen in the past my emails don't always get to their destination. : )