Calvino’s “second book” has really opened his domain
In 2021, we will add two new titles to our Calvino Classics series: Last Came the Raven and The Observer.Last Comes the Raven, calvino’s first short story, is being published for the first time in simplified Chinese and as an illustrated collector’s edition of the classic series.This collection of 30 short stories written by Calvino between 1945 and 1948 was an important guide and inspiration for his later works such as “Short Story Collection”, “Macwaldo” and “Difficult Love”.The Observer is an important work written by Calvino in the “while standing” and completed in the decade of “no confusion”.For the first time, Calvino pushes her comfort zone: “The themes I dealt with in The Observer, the innate misery and pain, the responsibility of procreation, were things I had never dared to touch before.”Today, we share the afternotes of the two books, hoping that the professional interpretation can let you continue to understand the mind behind the creation of Kagami, can be a step closer to this great writer.A writer’s second book may well be his greatest test yet.Because sometimes a book, as Pankratz says, is a gift in your life, an experience you relive.Pankratz also points out that Calvino’s “Path to the Spider’s Nest” had just come out, and the critic said at the time that calvino was like a typical “one-book author” because it was an eager but fleeting recollection of a period in his life.However, only when an author returns to his own theme can he discover his own depth and resources and truly create his own literary style.So this second book is not so much a proof as a real beginning;And there are by no means few writers who hide their first book in a drawer until the second one is published, because the second one always provides them with a clearer proof…Now Italo Calvino has successfully passed the “second book” test: it is richer, more varied and more desirable than the first.Everyone agrees that Calvino is an adventurous writer;His novels are full of flexible and vivid images that are quickly drawn and released on a screen that is always somewhat fantastical.He has so many possibilities that only a few of these thirty stories are not well chosen;Either I’m fooling myself, or it’s been too long since we’ve had a young writer with such solid, mature writing.Calvino’s world is diverse, roughly, and at first glance we can identify four directions (all of which are already outlined in “The Path to the Spider’s Nest”).The first is the world of childhood: but this is not the dreamy, or sad, childhood that is often found in children’s literature.Calvino’s children are part of nature, and they know its secrets, its nests, its vegetation and its beasts, and all the games that play on this living and cruel material.(I’m not saying there isn’t a touch of Hemingway’s short stories here, but there’s a different pace, more fun, more fairy-tale.)And then the second, the fairy tale of war: where even war is treated as a cruel game, dissolved in clear, strong images that flow into fantasy and fiction, into cold magic.As that an article, named for the book story is an Italian boy always relentlessly shoot every just rises from the horizon of a few centimeters, and hid behind a stone can’t move the German soldiers also slowly attracted by such precision and breaking of marksmanship, when the crows slowly falling from the sky, and should have hit the crow of gunfire is delayed,The soldier even forgot his fate as a “target”, got up and pointed out the arrival of the crow to his enemy, and was shot dead.Or “Going to Headquarters,” about a man who is condemned by guerrillas as a traitor and is about to be executed by them, but whose instinct for survival, through fear and blind delusion, inexplicably covers himself with a veil that is never broken by the truth.He was, of course, shot and died hoping that it was all just a game.This theme reaches its peak in “Stock Wood” and takes the route of pure folk fairy tales.The third theme is the expression of an emerging social conflict through a special kind of realism (more psychological than visual);But this theme was not pursued by him and was most at odds with Calvino’s style.The last one is “recreational” :On the train, the soldiers toma gamla sitting beside a dignified and quiet woman, he accidentally run into her, and then gradually transition to the active touch her, touch her, when they were left alone in the car, he ran at her, the woman, but not serious, wearing embroidered black hat head didn’t even move (” a soldier’s adventure “);In the darkness of a stolen pastry shop, a policeman violates his duty for the love of dessert, and a thief overcomes his fear (” Theft in a Pastry Shop “);A poor old man finds a moment of happiness by sleeping in a leather coat in a large warehouse, because at the rescue center they give him a pair of snug thermal pants (” Desire in November “)…Here I thought I would see a very complex culture and a kind of tragedy indirectly associated with Gogol.Although the real Calvino had hitherto existed only in the open air of his novels, it is remarkable how he later attached himself to that particular imagination in an essential and simple language — a style of its own.The observer epilogue the author: guido, percutaneous Mr Wei to talk about the tower of the observer, italo calvino’s new book by Mr Magdalena udinese publishing (page length is not long, less than the original book), I have to review calvino career as a writer, see how he wrote the book, because work can’t come out of thin air.I just want to mention here that, since calvino became a mature writer, he has quickly established himself among the few outstanding narrative writers and prose writers of today (he turns 40 today).Of course, he is also unique in artistic style, mainly using two ways of expression.The first, and I mention it first for convenience’s sake, are fantastical allegorical, playful, acrobatic strange and ingenious works played out in a rare intellectual atmosphere: “The Viscount In Two,” “The Baron in the Tree,” “The Knight who Didn’t Exist.These works use allegorical techniques to shape symbols and characters that are metaphors for our current society;But when we are aware of this, we are troubled by the fact that we cannot find the exact corresponding meaning of these symbols.We just know we’re in it.The Knight of The Nonexistence portrays a symbolic figure suffering from a certain kind of existential difficulty or lack of existence in today’s society, but it can cover so many different aspects.The other is concentrated in the tomes of Short Stories and novellas such as Clouds of Smoke and Real Estate Speculation.In these works, there are no more fairy tales, and Calvino does not hesitate to cut into the present.Broadly speaking, the main character follows Marxism, but is back and forth with northern Italian capitalism or neo-capitalism.To what extent does this industrial civilization, independent of any political system and developing irreversibly, become “natural” and constitute the necessary environment for human activity?To what extent are we right to accept it, to deny it, or to engage in it with rigour and wisdom, making up for all the proposed solutions with discerning insights?”Property Speculation” is the story of a liguria-born intellectual who has lived on the land with his mother until he comes to terms with the concrete “forest” engulfing the green slopes and destroying all memories.He knew all the troubles of the old, of the young;The pain of the garden being swallowed, the pain of the garden being swallowed by concrete;He swallowed all these pains.”In short, he knows everything, damn it!Then, where do you stay, in or out of it?Who was really in the reality of The Times, the crafty speculator or the man who pretended to remain pure and fled?He doesn’t know how to stay out of it, doesn’t want to stay out of it, etc.Thus the industrial civilization gave birth to the Hamlet-like intellectual, who was confused, hesitant, and tried his best, but failed everywhere.He wanted to blend in to find his way out.We cannot impose harmony on a world that refuses to look as it is, because harmony is incompatible with it both in retrospect and in the future.When we paint the future, it turns into a trap just like the past.We can find this sentence at the end of the observer: “…Everything becomes more complex, it becomes more difficult to distinguish between positive and negative aspects of anything that has both positive and negative aspects, it becomes more necessary to abandon appearances in favor of non-temporary essentialities: such essentialities are few and still fluid…”In the 1953 elections, Amerigo Olmeia, an Italian communist, was appointed as a poll monitor at a polling station in Turin.The majority party has enlisted the disabled, the mentally handicapped and the dying to vote.Olmeia spent the day at an election station inside Cotolengo: natural suffering becomes a tool of politics;Groups of disabled people were led to vote;In the ward, amid the screams, the laughter, the barking, and the hideous deformities, they collected the votes of the bedridden;Olmeia looked on, reflecting…The plot goes something like this.So it’s a novel with a prose structure, which IS, I think, the only way that modern fiction can go further, but it’s very different from pure, simple prose, it’s full of symbols, it’s breaking through all kinds of boundaries and limitations, it’s spreading out to acquire more meaning.The result of this prose structure is concentration, simplicity and conciseness, with no room for tenderness or imaginative digressions.When a novel deals with just one situation in life (as in “Real Estate Speculation”), it takes on the exterior characteristics of a novella.But here Calvino takes great strides towards the full fusion of fiction and prose.”The Observer” surpasses everything he has written so far, for at least two reasons.The first is that the experience of the essay focuses on emotions such as pain and compassion, so that calvino’s usual homogeneous themes transcend intellectual conflict and are transformed and sublimated by blending them into his material.The second reason is that Olmeia, the poll inspector, does look very much like the Hamlet-like hero of “The Real Estate Speculation”. Of course, he is not a disillusioned Republican, and he believes in his party, he wants to believe in it, and he is true to his beliefs.But his mind also drifted between currents, occasionally being sucked in by whirlpools, and he was torn between the cultures of the “hard-nosed revolutionary” and the “hard-nosed liberal.”He is also in a muddle, unable to find sufficient persuasion in actual action, he can only concentrate on thinking, reflecting, and even standing in the position of the opponent to reason.But Olmeia is thinner and more transparent than her previous characters.His personal characteristics, whether he is a communist or not, and whether he is a sceptic or not, are largely irrelevant to us.Even his reactions and reflections do not seem to us to have anything to do with his character, which is already set before he enters Cotolengo to begin the day’s experience.Olmeia is a “someone”, an eye that sees things, a mind that records things.I believe that if Calvino continues in this direction, he will be less and less concerned with the psychological definition of character and more with a function of the mind that comes into play at the very beginning of his experience.To this intellectual eye, uncertainty, fluidity, and difficulty in distinguishing are not reflected in him, but in things;All of this is objective, not subjective;”Hamletian indecision” is also present in things, in reality itself, in the nature of what today at least we call life.Thus, the instrument of recording, the writer’s characters, like Calvino himself, are both strict and precise, and what is less precise and less firm is the content of the record.The most fundamental and enduring truths are “few and still changeable,” and the mind becomes a magnetic needle in the field of magnetic interference.In this case, Cotolengo has become a hub.The characters who voted here (severely deformed patients, nuns, priests, etc.) were heavily drawn, and THE section in the article that describes the relationship between the photo on the id card and the characters, I should mention in passing, is brilliant.But this rigorous examination can only yield partial and tentative conclusions, and the most important thing is not the gorgeous chapters and isolated images, but the decision to observe the material.A good place to start is with the question: Do they have the right to use people without mental faculties as passive instruments of election?The political first instinct is: no.Under this political answer, the turbid eddies I speak of burst forth.At what point can you call yourself a man, and at what point can you no longer call yourself a man?Where does the “natural suffering” that has not yet become human extend, and where does the dividing line between nature and history and human industry lie?How can we say that this suffering is no longer our suffering now, and that it has no right to decide?Or is the human race created by all the wealth that exists in the world, with the boundaries that we give from time to time with love?It’s possible that tomorrow’s normal people of the atomic age will look like monsters to us, but in the same way today we are crippled and deformed compared to “forgotten, possible creatures,” right?Olmeia’s lover, the beautiful girl, in whose beauty olmeia tried to find the bank of thought, but if we look closely, does she not have some of the same pain as those who are deformed?If you set aside the social dimension and enter the private zone — the visiting father and his idiotic son, for example, who need each other, snack in silence, and look at each other for hours — how far can you reach?The questioning continued, penetrating.Because of the drive, so it continues.In this work, Calvino is no longer a writer who criticizes uncertainty personally and psychologically, but a writer who describes the objective existence of such uncertainty in reality, and the essence of this reality is difficult to explore.