Essay, 27 pages (7000 words)

If on a winter’s night by calvino

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The ReaderThe main character of the story is “ you,” the presumed male reader of the book. The entire novel is written as though the author is speaking directly to the reader, who is male, and who is attempting to discover the truth behind a mass of fictitious books being brought into the literary market. The reader is clearly shy but does have a strong sense of value and worth. He places a large value on reading for pleasure but less so on reading to find a hidden inner meaning. This character is brave, traveling across the country to discover the truth and also bold in his efforts to win over the heart of Ludmilla. He intrudes on writers, is kidnapped, held hostage, forced into becoming a double agent, is lied to, used, and abandoned several times throughout the novel, and yet still persists in his pursuit to find the complete novel which he began reading at the beginning of the book. Because the author wishes for the true reader to identify with the “ you” character, there are no features or tendencies discussed, since to do so would remove the ability for anyone to identify. LudmillaLudmilla is the other reader throughout the novel. In the beginning, Ludmilla is a reader not unlike the main readers, whose life has been momentarily affected by a mistake at the printer’s office. As the main reader and Ludmilla become closer, however, Ludmilla turns out to be a much more involved character that previously realized. Ludmilla once dated a man named Marana, but Marana could not understand her addiction to reading. He became jealous that her authors became much like trusted lovers, and to escape him, Ludmilla fled to Switzerland. There, she met her favorite author, Flannery, whom she permanently affected. Flannery simply wanted to be able to write novels that Ludmilla would pour over but lacked the knowledge of how to do so. Ludmilla then returned home, where she clearly has an impact on Irnerio, who becomes the opposite of her, in that he stops reading entirely. Ludmilla’s tastes change, and with each shift in her desires for books, the plot of the novel changes slightly to appease. Her character is seen as independent, outgoing, extroverted, and sensible with a strong sense of herself, and a high intellect. As the “ other reader,” she is again not given particular physical characteristics other than a slenderness of build and a lighter color of hair. Again, as an anonymous counter character to the protagonist, this vagueness of description is necessary. Ludmilla’s ideal model for a book is the author who produces books as a “ pumpkin vine produces pumpkins.” She uses other metaphors of natural processes that follow their course unperturbed “ the wind that follow their course unperturbed” “ the wrack of the tides.” She is a woman who loves reading “ for reading’s sake” unlike the male reader who wants to convince her that the world exists as “ artifice, pretense, misunderstanding, falsehood.” LotariaLotaria is the sister of Ludmilla and a primary character in the apocryphal revolution. Lotaria is convinced that all reading should be done to find a deeper meaning, not simply for fun. Her version of reading involves an analysis of the number of words used in a book. She believes this will show her the major and minor themes of the book. She also believes this will show her the type of book it is, simply by word choices used by the author. Lotaria appears in the novel as several characters, including a revolutionist, a police officer, a printer, a computer technician, the leader of a book group, and as a student. In all her roles, however, Lotaria never ceases to attempt to overthrow literary society with false books in an effort to find the one true novel. Completely opposite of her sister, Lotaria’s goal is not to read a novel for fun but to examine every novel to find a hidden meaning. Lotaria prefers to deconstruct texts searching for “ thematic recurrences, certain insistences of forms and meanings.” Ermes MaranaMarana is the novel’s bad guy, although on inspection his character is more mischievous than bad. Having fallen in love with Ludmilla, Marana becomes jealous at the readers who Ludmilla identifies with so passionately. He feels she believes in the truths of these writers more than in him, and as a result, begins a quest to prove that nothing exists beyond reality but the void. Marana begins a quest to flood the world with apocrypha so nothing in literature can be trusted. In the end, however, he realizes that the name or title of the book is not important to Ludmilla, but the enjoyment she receives from reading, regardless of the content, is something very real. His founding of the OAP eventually betrays him as he finds himself a pawn between those who want truth and those who want to find a lack of truth. In the end, he realizes he has lost Ludmilla. Mr. CavedagnaCavedagna is a worker at the publishing house who first worked with Marana. He is passionate about books and reading and recognizes that a world full of false books can never fully be corrected. Although he condemns what Marana did, he also agrees with him that two hundred years from now, the author and the title of a book may not even be remembered. Cavedagna helps the reader to discover the truth about Marana, as well as to find Flannery. Silas FlanneryFlannery appears to be the author at the center of the controversy. Ludmilla saw him as the perfect author, or the author who wrote effortlessly. As such, Marana sought him out to try and trick him into giving him the first part of his book. Marana had written a program that claimed to be able to complete a book in the same style as the author, thereby proving Ludmilla wrong. However, Flannery has a great respect for the written word and a belief that writers are only a tool of the reader. He understands the line between reader and writer and envies Ludmilla for her ability to read a book without any effort. Flannery finds himself obsessing over a woman reading and discovers he can see ghost writers as the most free authors in the world, since they are able to read and write without any containment. Professor Uzzi-TuziiProfessor Uzzi-Tuzii is a professor of the Cimmerian language. He is convinced the Cimmerian language is a language of the dead, and novels written in Cimmerian continue beyond death. He believes the Cimbrian people hid Cimmerian authors and books following the war and often used their works, claiming them to be Cimbrian in origin. It is clear that Uzzi-Tuzii has a strong passion for literature and a strong sense of right and wrong in terms of the use of apocrypha in literature. IrnerioIrnerio is a friend of Ludmilla’s who has taught himself not to read. Irnerio believes that reading is a forced method of communication and one that should be thrown away. He enjoys watching others read, but for himself chooses not to read. He uses books as materials for his art, however, showing he does hold a certain love for them. He is the one who tells the reader first of the relationship between Marana and Ludmilla and gives the reader insight into the character of Ludmilla. GalliganiGalligani is a professor of the Cimbrian language. Unlike Uzzi-Tuzii, Galligani believes the Cimbrian were the ones whose works were destroyed by the Cimmerians. He, too, has a strong sense that the writers of the Cimbrian language have more inspiration and better use of language and therefore have a better selection of novels in the native language. Director General of the State Police ArchivesArkadian Pophyrich is the Director General of the State Police Archives of Ircania. His function is to house, catalog, and keep all the books marked as banned within Ircania. He is a bright, intellectual man who freely admits to the reader that he still reads these books for pleasure. He also admits that he let Marana escape from Ircania after he determined Marana had already realized he lost the bet with Ludmilla. Pophyrich believes people like Marana are needed in society to serve as a constant force that eludes people. SummaryItalo Calvino’s novel “ If on a Winter’s Night A Traveler” is a story of two readers who embark upon a journey to find a full version of a book they have purchased. Calvino’s novel is told in second-person narration with shifting plots, style, and voice. The main character of the novel is “ you.” As a reader, you have purchased a book only to realize that it is not a complete version. At the same time, another reader is also experiencing the same issue. Somehow the two of you meet and begin a journey to find the complete version. But you run into problems. Every time you find what you think is the full version, it turns out to be another incomplete book. Your journey takes you to an additional three books, where you find that the last book reveals the true intention of the author. You find out that the original writer of the book developed several versions for multiple clients who happen to be underground organizations. You, the reader, discover at the end of reading Calvino’s “ If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler” that reading and learning never ends. Objects/Places…PetkwoA town in the north that once belonged to the country of Cimmeria and is the setting for the book Outside the Town of Malbork. CimmeriaThe name of an area torn apart by war in ancient times and the setting for the book Outside the Town of Malbork. Kudgiwa PensionThe place of the main character’s rest at night in the book Leaning from the Steep Slope. CimbrianThe civilization who overtook Cimmeria, and whose language overpowered Cimmerian. Cerro Negro, South AmericaThe small village in South America Marana fled to following his problems in the Arab countries. Also the area the Father of Stories and Indian man who knows all stories written and unwritten, is said to reside. AtaguitaniaAn area with a high level of censorship and the headquarters for the revolution attempting to fill the world with false literature. IrcaniaThe country to which the reader is sent by Ataguitania to perform a secret mission, and where the reader learns the fate of Marana. ProspectThe main area of the town in What Story Down There Awaits Its End? where the main character erases all buildings, people, and surroundings in order to simplify the world. ApocryphaApocrypha are any works from an unknown origin. In the book, all titles are determined to be apocryphal since no true source can be determined, as Marana has flooded the world with false books. Organization for the Electronic Production of Homogenized LiAn organization founded by Marana whose computerized systems can generate novels with the same style as popular writers to the point the book can no be distinguished from the author’s true works. Organization of Apocryphal PowerAn organization founded by Marana whose focus is to falsify literature to the point of saturation. Wings of LightA sect of the OAP, the Wings of Light follow the Archangel of Light and believe that among the false novels of the world, they can locate the two or three that hold true, perhaps extra human truths. The Wings of ShadowAnother sect of the OAP, the Wings of Shadow follow the Archon of Shadow and believe only falsehoods in literature can represent the “ absolute value” of a book. Themes…ErasureThroughout the novel, Calvino uses the theme of erasure to discuss a variety of topics. In If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler, the idea is used as a wish to erase time in an effort to remake history. In Chapter 4, erasure is used when discussing how the Cimmerian civilization was virtually erased as a result of war and assimilation. In Chapter 5, the reader discovers the lengths to which Marana would go to erase his path, as he winds country by country, erasing his past each time he recreates his existence. Also in this chapter, Ludmilla discusses the danger of erasing the fine line between reader and author and between fiction and reality. The main character in Looks Down in the Gathering Shadow does the same, in that he spends much of his time trying to erase his past, since he is a criminal. However, he, like Marana, finds his past always catches up to him in the end. Chapter 7 finds Ludmilla and Irnerio both attempting to erase any trace of Marana in the house, even though he is a vital part of their past. In a Network of Lines that Intersect discusses the main character’s attempt to erase his true identity through a series of mirrors and double images, only to find those images turning against him. Lotaria’s character throughout Chapter 9 erases one self after another in an effort to play both sides of the revolution. The main character in What Story Down There Awaits Its End? takes this sense of erasure to an extreme by erasing the entire world, save for himself, a young woman, and the other members of his destruction team. It is clear Calvino’s theme of erasure is present throughout the entire novel. ApocryphaThe theme of apocrypha is one of the most prominent and vital themes throughout the novel and serves as the basis for the main plot line. Although not brought up as a phrase until Chapter 4, apocrypha is the cause of the problems of the main character. While modern language often associates apocrypha with religious text, the true nature of the word is simply statements or writings of questionable authenticity. Throughout the entire novel, readers see examples of this from Ludmilla’s changing statements about her dream books to the vast multitude of fake titles flooding the literary market to the stories of Marana to Lotaria’s revolution. Each character at some point in the novel uses false statements and false pretenses to achieve a goal. Ludmilla uses consistently false statements to hide her past with Marana. The main character uses false statements to attempt to locate Around an Empty Grave, as well as to draw information out of other characters. Lotaria uses a vast multitude of false statements to help the revolution as they try to create fact through falsehood. Marana purposefully places apocryphal literature throughout the world to take away the feeling of truth one achieves from reading, this relflects an act o frenaming in order to reidentify the subject as fals or true. Such naming could be associated with on either choosing anonymity, or choosing another name as a way of reclaiming oneself. Clearly, the concept of falsity in writing is prominent to the novel and suggests Calvino is making a statement for the idea that all novels have a hint of truth to them, including fiction novels, because the author cannot help placing a bit of him or her self into the novel. The Power of Women Over MenThe power of women over men is a recurring theme in this novel, as well. Calvino appears to be making a statement for the idea that women consistently show a power over men they are incapable of battling, which can sometimes create insurmountable problems. From the very beginning, Ludmilla holds a power over the main character as he finds himself falling in love with her even before he truly knows her. The man even travels across the world for her and becomes a double agent. Ludmilla also held power over Flannery, as he was unable to write because he was so addicted to watching her read. This passion for reading also causes Marana to be overpowered by Ludmilla, as her reading slowly consumes his entire life. The Sultana in Chapter 6 had complete control over her husband, even to the point of causing war. In Outside the Town of Malbork, even the thought of Ponko with Brigd causes the main character to become violent. In Leaning from the Steep Slope, the fragile man is taken advantage of by a woman wishing to free a prisoner. In Without Fear of Wind or Vertigo, the main character, Alex, as well as his friend Valerian, are overpowered by Irina, and through her actions, the main character discovers his own demise. In Looks Down in the Gathering Shadow, it is a woman that forces the main character to kill Jojo, and a woman who causes the two to be captured in the end. Marjorie, in In a Network of Lines that Enlace, is the cause of a conspiracy to trap the professor by phone. The wife and mistress of the man in In a Network of Lines that Intersect help to send him over the edge, lost in his own attempts to conceal his behavior from them. Both the mother and daughter in On the Carpet of Leaves Illuminated by the Moon hold strong sexual power over the main character and as a result, trap him in a house for eternity. In Around an Empty Grave , it is women who control society and women who cause men to fight to the death. In What Story Down There Awaits Its End?, it is a woman for whom the main character erases the world. It is clear that Calvino uses women in the story to give a life to the men and force their actions in one direction or another. Style…Point of ViewThe point of view in the novel changes from second person to first person. In the numbered chapters, the tale is often told in second person, as conversations between the author, Calvino, and the reader, “ you,” who in the book is a male reader. This style allows the author to make the reading a highly-personal adventure, as is his point throughout the novel, that reading is personal and makes a book what it is. In the named chapters, which are snippets of novels, the story is often told from a first person viewpoint, or in some cases, again in second person. Changing this view allows the author to tailor the reading between the personal, when the reader is to feel highly involved, and the impersonal, when the reader is to be simply a bystander. This change in voice is highly successful and allows a much broader range of character analysis than using a single point of view throughout the entire novel. In addition, the story is told as a combination of dialog between characters, between author and character, and narrative about the act of reading and writing. This method is used to switch the focus of the reader from the main plot, that of the adventures of the reader, and the subplots, those of the individual novels throughout the book. The main reader spends much of his time in pursuit of the Other Reader, or in seeing the Other Reader enter his vision through other characters, and the narrative dialog is necessary in those areas to explain what the reader is thinking. Conversely, the other characters in the story may not have any link to the main characters other than through plot lines, and in those areas, dialog may be needed to show a link to the main story line.…SettingThe novel is set in a variety of locations, since there are ten stories along with the main story. The main plot begins in an undisclosed location that could be any major city in any industrialized country. The main character travels to Switzerland, Ataguitania, Ircana, and eventually back home in his journey. This change of setting consistently allows the author more flexibility in relating the mini-novels in the story to the main characters, as well as allows for a wider selection of themes and a broader space in which to use them. The mini-novels also range from everyday cities to Cimmeria, Paris, South America, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and other exotic locations. Again, these shifts in location allow the author to use a number of vastly different themes and characters to tie the main story, that of the fine line between reality and fiction, to the mini-novels throughout the book. In addition, not only do the cities change, but the locations change to fit the story line as well. The mini novels shift between train stations, kitchens, a prison, a war zone, the outdoors, a library, and several other settings. Each is used for a precise purpose in the novel as Calvino takes readers on journeys that force them to think outside the novel and to associate with these areas as though they are physically within them. Language and MeaningThe language and meaning of the novel differ vastly from one mini story to another, showing the author’s complete range of talent. When narrating as the author Calvino, the language of the book is simplistic, easy going, and light, with a sense of humor. This changes, however, when the focus shifts from the main story line to the mini novels throughout. In some of these stories, such as in If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler and Looks Down in the Gathering Shadow, the narrator is a criminal, or at least a shady character, and the language shifts to a darker, heavier tone. The language also changes to represent a higher danger, less comical ambiance. In other stories, such as Without Fear of Wind or Vertigo and In a Network of Lines that Intersect, the author becomes a person with a specific role, such as in the military or a financial officer. As such, the language becomes colder, symbolizing the character’s shift from the emotional to the non-emotional, less involved. When writing as Silas Flannery, there is a distinctive use of more educated, yet seemingly depressed, language. These constant shifts of language allow the author to tell eleven stories simultaneously, presenting each as differently as though it were by a completely different author. StructureThe structure of the novel is as inventive as the novel itself. Each part of the novel is separated into two portions, those of the story of the main character, which are numbered chapters, and the new novel he finds himself reading, which are worded chapter titles. This structure allows the author to switch between the main story and the sub stories with ease, while still allowing the reader to understand each shift. The chapters are not of the same length, but readers will notice the longest numbered chapter is the heart of the novel, that of the diary of Silas Flannery. It is only in the end that the final two chapters are numbered, showing an end to the chase for the complete novel. The book is 260 pages in length. Any necessary breaks within individual chapters, such as those between entries in Flannery’s diary or those between Marana’s letters, are signified by spaces between the paragraphs. Quotes“ Your attention, as reader, is now completely concentrated on the woman, already for several pages you have been circling around her, I have – no, the author has – been circling around the feminine presence, for several pages you have been expecting this female shadow to take shape the way female shadows take shape on the written page, and it is your expectation, reader, that drives the author toward her, and I, too, though I have other things to think about, there I let myself go, I speak to her, I strike up a conversation that I should break off as quickly as I can, in order to go away, disappear.” -If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler, pg. 20.“ Then from the very first page you realize that the novel you are holding has nothing to do with the one you were reading yesterday.” – Chapter Two, pg. 33.…“ The page you’re reading should convey this violent contact of full and painful blows, of fierce and lacerating responses, this bodiliness of using one’s own body against another body, melding the weight of one’s own efforts and the precision of one’s own receptivity and adapting them to the mirror image of them that the adversary reflects.” – Outside the Town of Malbork, pg. 39.…“ I’ve become so accustomed to not reading that I don’t even read what appears before my eyes. It’s not easythey teach us to read as children, and for the rest of our lives we remain the slaves of all the written stuff they fling in front of us.” – Chapter Three, page 49.“ In any case, the person who finds this diary will have one certain advantage over mewith a written language it is always possible to reconstruct a dictionary and a grammar, isolate sentences, transcribe them or paraphrase them in another language whereas I am trying to read in the succession of things presented to me every day the world’s intentions toward me and I grope my way, knowing that there ca exist no dictionary that will translate into the words the burden of obscure allusions that lurks in these things.” – Leaning From the Steep Slope, pg. 61.“ Reading…is always thisthere is a thing that is there, a thing made of writing, a solid, material object which cannot be changed, and through this thing we measure ourselves against something else that is not present, something else that belongs to the immaterial, invisible world, because it can only be thought, imagined, or because it was once and is no longer, past, lost, unattainable, in the land of the dead.” – Chapter Four, pg. 72.“ You can’t change your past any more than you can change your name, in spite of all the passports I’ve had, with names I can’t even remember, everybody has always called me Ruedi the Swiss. Wherever I went and however I introduced myself, there has already been somebody who knew who I was and what I had done…” Looks Down in the Gathering Shadows, pg. 107.…“ It is time for this book in the second person to address itself no longer to a general male you, perhaps brother and double of a hypocrite I, but directly to you who appeared already in the second chapter as the Third Person necessary for the novel to be a novel, for something to happen between that male Second Person and the female Third, for something to take form, develop, or deteriorate according to the phases of human events.” -Chapter Seven, pg. 141.…“ Style, taste, individual philosophy, subjectivity, cultural background, real experience, psychology, talent, tricks of the tradeall the elements that make what I write recognizable as mine seem to me a cage that restricts my possibilities.” – Chapter Eight, pg. 171.“…He adds that in the final analysis there is nothing to be shocked about, since, in his view, literature’s worth lies in its power of mystification, in mystification it has its truth, therefore a fake, as the mystification of a mystification, is tantamount to a truth squared.” – Chapter 8, pg, 180.…“ Do you believe that every story must have a beginning and an end? In ancient times a story could end only in two wayshaving passed all the tests, the hero and the heroine married, or else they died. The ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: the continuity of life, the inevitability of death.” -Chapter 11, pg. 259. Feminist Reading of the text…the use of the pursuit of women as a narrative device both within and outside the intratext genders and sexualizes this imprisonment, so that female characters make men into their prisoners.…Lotaria, who is convinced that literature should be analyzed in pieces, ends up in control of a machine that literally shreds and destroys the text in order to understand it.…Flannery’s voyeuristic relationship with a woman he observes reading his books certainly suggests masculine imprisonment, an obsessive desire to feel legitimation in being read and not in reading or hearing.…Calvino’s employing of masculinity and femininity does not underscore the equal imprisonment of the reader and the author. Rather, it highlights how the reader, transformed constantly, is whipsawed through his (or her) passive engagement with the novel by the whim of author as emasculated tyrant.…Inge Fink“ The narrator is a figure in the discourse the author has built up around the “ feminine presence.”” Reader who is readthis is why he was not given a name, which would automatically have made him the equivalent of a Third Person, of a character (whereas to you, as Third Person, a namehad to be given, Ludmilla), and so he has been kept a pronoun, in the abstract condition of pronouns, suitable for any attribute and any action.…Ludmilla and Lotariathat women have no place in the world of letters as anything other than primarily passive recipients for the authorial word. Calvinoshows us that we cannot resist the temptation to read, and that it is essentially our desire for the text and its pleasures that will insure the existence of narrative discourse. Teresa De Lauterisremarks Calvino’s message can be stunderstood in the light of certain basic concept that are central to his work and to the recent formulations of semiotic literary theory: the no- tions of langue and parole as defined by Saussure, narrative and discourse structures as defined by Propp, Greimas, and Todorov, the poetic function of language as defined by Roman Jakobson, the unconscious or symbolic function as defined by Levi-Strauss, desire as redefinedby Lacan, and the notion of ecriture (writing, script) discussed by Barthesand Derrida. Carl D. Melgramsuggests “ IWN is a Romance 10 the sense that it attempts to establish a new relation with the extratextual reader (and that means all of us) a relation which confounds interpretation, refuses the gambit of writerliness, and quite literally : romances” the reader, call for an erotics of reading whose foundation is DesireAt the risk of overgeneralizationone can say that they all involve the following motifs: anobject of desire, in the form of an erotic interest; the problematics of making…connections, seen variously as dangerous/desirable; an atmosphere of…potential violence, and an enigma to be decoded .…MalmgremHis heroic story necessarily entails the quest for the Other, simultaneously a woman and a text: ‘ You can no longer distinguish your interest in the Cimmerian novel from your interest in the Other Reader of that novel.’Malmgren in his article entitled “ Romancing the Reader,” IFN is “ In a very real sense, the novel interrogates the “ pleasure of the text” and subsumes it within an erotics of the text, a desire for the Other, the hearkening to a voice from the beyond.”…The text exists for itselfIn Chapter Two, the narrator states that he wants his text to received in the space “ where it would be received by nonbeing, or rather, the not-being which has never and will never be, to be lost in the most absolutely guaranteed undeniable negativity.” The Youthful Book like the Youthful WomanThe manner in which the narrator describes the new books bears a striking resemblance to the portrayal of a youthful woman such as Lady Audley, to the narrator a new book is “ an object fresh from the factory, the youthful bloom of new books.” He continues “ Having read the freshly published book, you will take possession of this newness at the first moment, without having to pursue it, to chase it.” Reading as Consumation“ This reading around it before reading inside it, is a part of the pleasure in a new book, but like all preliminary pleasures, it has it optimal duration if you want it to serve as a thrust toward the more substantial pleasure of the consummation of the act, namely the reading of the book.” Progress in Reading“ An act that traverses the material solidity of the book to allow access to incorporeal substance.” Here, the narrator articulates a psychoanalytic process whereby a subject reads the other materially in an effort to uncover what lies underneath her flesh. Reading the bodyThe narrator states “ Ludmilla, now you are being read. Your body is being subjected to a systemic reading, through channels of systematic reading, through channels of tactile information, visual, olafactory.” Difference in a male and female readingIn leaning from the steep slope, Miss Zwida’s preferred drawing methods reveal the differences between a male and female existence expounded on by many of the theorist in the critical text. For example Miss Zwida collects and draws shells whereas the narrator is described as only possessing a collection. This apparent distinction reflects the psychoanalytic approach of the subject and the Other as differentiated by a male and female. A woman only wants to have, what Irigaray refers to as a “ nearness” with the Other and the man want to own or possess the Other. Irigaray states: “ Nearness” is “ not other and therefore any form of property, is impossible. Woman enjoys a closeness with the other that is so near she cannot possess it, any more than she can possess herself. The male gazeIn “ Leaning from the steep slope,” the narrator describes the feelings he gets upon staring at Miss Zwida’s seashell drawing: “ The speech I had in mind, on the form of seashells as a deceptive harmony, a container concealing the true substance of nature, was no longer apposite. The sight of both sea urchin and the drawing transmitted unpleasant and cruel sensations, like viscera (innards) exposed to the gaze.” This scene demonstrates the binary experiences of the male and female gaze. Upon seeing the drawinf, the narrator, a male, is disgusted that the “ true substance of nature” he was hoping to see had been pealed back to expose the innards produced by the female gaze. A Man’s Curiousity“ the book is readable nevertheless, independently of what you expected of the author, it’s the book in itself that arouses your curiousity” Book as Trapthe “ vagueness” and “ grayness” is a “ method involving you gradually, capturing you in the story before you realize it a trap.” ThicknessIn IFWN, a “ supposition on supposition,” a “ thick, opaque layer of lead” allows the narrator to “ pass noticed, disappear.” Here thickness signifies words that are not dialogue but description, which might be analogized to the object that is not speaking but rather experienced as detail. The narrator writes “ the novel you are reading want to present to you a corporeal world, thick detailed. IsolationIn IFWN, isolation is felt “ only during the trip between one place and the other, that is, when you are in no place.” Notion that Women are all the same“ there is a veil of other iages that settles on her image and blurs it, a weight of memories that keep me from seeing her as a person seen for the first time…” this extends from the notion that “ if you have seen or experienced one, you have experienced them all.” The role of memoryIn IFWN, the role of memory is similar in Lady Audley and Beloved in that all the novels memory functions as a part of character’s identities. The narrator in IFWN uses “ erasure” as a way of escaping the past. Shadow“ the author has been circling around this feminine presence” because he expects this “ female shadow” to take shape in the novel. He attributes this relentless drive as the reason he writes on; he wants to move toward her. NamingIN IFWN, it is not the name which is important, it more the “ physical details that novel underlines.” WrestlingIn IFWN, while the narrator and Ponko are wrestling, the narrator perceives wrestling as “ holoding tight to himself, to his past, so that it wouldn’t fall into his hands, even at the cost of destroying it. It was Brigd I wanted to destroy so she wouldn’t fall into Ponko’s hands.” The Void“ You see this novel so tightly interwoven with sensations suddenly riven by bottomless chasms, as if the claim to portray vital fullness revealed the void beneath.” This description of the void is reminiscent of Carolyn Dever’s concept of the dyke. For her dykes are obstructions that “ impede or redirect a current or flow”. She also states that the word presupposes the “ collapse of binary categories,” that such spaces exist as not a presence but an absence, as negative space.” In applying Dever’s notion of the Dyke with what Calvino depicts in the consequence for a desire of the whole. The reader stumbles upon blank pages. Subsequently Dever offers another definition of Dike, “ a masculine woman,” which in relation to the other definitions, suggests, what she sees as a blurring the borderline between masculinity and femininity. Ludmilla’s novel preferences reflect a non threatening attitude toward the unknown; she has always “ looked for places to hide.” Whereas the narrator as reader experiences discomfort in the void preferring to “ annex” the interior into the “ physical reality of living.” Notion of Distance( Irnerio and Ludmilla’s symbiotic relationship)Irnerio, who doesn’t read books, stands a counterexample to the masculine mode of reading for he feels that reading makes us “ slaves of all the written stuff they fling in front of us. By doing so, the narrator suggests that between Ludmilla and the Nonreader, it is the distance that keeps them together. Simone De Beauvoir in the “ Second Sex,” distance from the object creates a “ desired state of transcendence.” There is danger in that the man, as Beauvoir articulates has a ‘ trouble of spirit’ , which is the price of development that his distance from the object is the price of his nearness to himself; but he dreams of quiet in disquiet and of an opaque plenitude that nevertheless would be endowed with consciousness. The “ bridge over the void” in “ Without fear of wind or vertigo,” thus signifies an attempt to close the gap, which as the reader discovers give the woman “ vertigo.” The symbol of the Grapnel in IWNMiss Zwida desires to draw the grapnel because she is fascinated by “ the difficulty that the four barbs represented for anyone wanting to draw them in their various angle and perspectives.” She wants to have a grapnel for the purpose of keeping it with her and to “ become familiar with.” Here Zwida’s relationship with the grapnel is reminiscent of Irigaray’s notion of “ nearness.” Irigary explains that the woman does not seek to “ posses” the Other anymore than she can posses herself. Instead she want to be near the Other. Contrastingly the male narrator perceives the grapnel as “ something in the grapnel’sform, the four hooked teeth, the four iron arms worn by the scraping against the rock of the seabed, warned me that no decision would preclude laceration and suffering.” Where Miss Zwida experiences pleasure in the intricacy and elusiveness of the grapnel, the narrator experiences discomfort and an alarming sense that he is bound to experience harm. Thinking and DrawingCalvino makes a distinction between his characters in “ Leaning from the Steep Slope,” by way of separating them into to separate categories; thinking and drawing. Thinking implies the forming of thoughts or passing judgment whilst is akin to outlining or making. The fact that Miss Zwida prefers to draw corresponds to theoriessurrounding reproduction. Donna Harroway might correspond the difference of thinking versus making to that of replication versus reproduction or production versus reproduction as Kristeva might suggest. Meanwhile theorists such as Irigaray or might consider Miss Zwida’s relation to drawing to illustrate a woman whose private sphere concerns “ reproduction and domesticity” whereby a man relegates her. The narrator states you think you love her because you cannot stop “ thinking of her.”…Intepretations of a text“ Torn between the necessity to interject glosses on multiple meanings of the text and awareness that all interpretation is a use of violence and caprice against a text” LATER down the text “ Now around you, there is no longer the room of the department, the shelves, the professor: you have entered the novel.” In chapter four, Calvino illustrates create an analogy of the narrator’s hearing the text without interjecting with commentary only listening to the text in its original form to the harmony of male and female subject. It is only when the narrator is silent, only receiving the sound of the “ unknown language,” that he is able to “ enter the novel” like a child in the womb. Professor’s definition of reading“ There is a thing that is there, a thing made of writing, a solid, material object, which cannot be changed, and through this thing we measure ourselves against something else that belongs to the immaterial, invisible world, because it can only be though, imagined or because it can only be thought, imagined, or because it was once and is no longer past, lost, unattainable, in the land of the dead.” This language is reflects a concept similar to what Kristeva explains in what she names the “ sociosymbolic contract.” The sociosymbolic contract acts as a way of “ breaking the code. to shatter language” in order to find a “ specific discourse closer to the body and emotions, to the unnamable repressed by the social contract.”“ Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be…”…“ Reading” referred to as seeking it with your gaze.…The Cimmerian Language as NegationThe professor describes it as a “ Wordless language of the dead,” which corresponds to Terry Castle’s notion of negation in “ The Apparitional Lesbian.” Castle calls for a “ recognition of negation.” The Cimmerian Language is representative of women’s discourse. Without stopping“ this is a novel where, once you have got into it, you want to go forward, without stopping.” This is a notion of seeing something through until the end. Role of GhostsThe ghost writersCodesThe sultan searches for coded messages in the books. Computers and Donna HarrowayMarana runs a company where computers seek to create perfect novels constructed out of the frequency of the reader’s attention. Marana’s organization of electronic production generates novels with the same style as popular writers to the point the book can no be distinguished from the author’s true works creating an elusiveness to origin or genesis. Donna Harroway, a cyberfeminist and advocate a world without genesis, wants to avoid dichotomies in favor of transgressing boundaries, which is quite opposite to the perspective of a character like Ludmilla. Soon after the chapter with Marana’s computers, Marjorie calls the narrator a bastard as in “ fatherless child,” which might suggest that he is transforming into a cyborg himself. PossesionThe narrator wonders if Ludmilla is possessive, but concludes that her object in her house suggest that she is “ possessive of herself.” She is attached to the signs in which identify something of herself. A codethe narrator seeks to obtain the object which is the book in order to create a “ language, a code between the two” which he describes as a “ means to exchange signals and recognize” one another. MirroringThe narrator states “ every thinking activity implies mirrors” for him. He cannot concentrate except “ in the presence of reflected images, as if my soul needed a model to imitate every time it wanted to employ its speculative capacity”“ I am at once a man who thinks and a businessman, and a collector of optical instruments as well.”…Sila Flannery“ since I have become a “ slave laborer of writing, the pleasure of reading has finished for me” He desires to write the void. “ I read, therefore it writes” which indicates something other than himselfSymbol of flying“ To fly is the opposite of traveling: you cross a gap in space, you vanish into the void, you accept not being in an place for a duration that is itself a kind of void in time. The narrator’s articulation is resonant of Helen Cixous’s definition of flying as a “ woman’s gesture”. A woman is “ flying in language and making it fly.” Sheila proclaims“‘ The body is a uniform! The body is armed militia! The body is violent action! The body claims power! The body’s at war! The body declares itself subject! The body is an end and not a means! The body signifies!” The endingthe narrator is erasing everything in existence so that the world is simply him and the woman he loves. He states that he erased everything he believed was “ damaging or superfluous to the harmony of the whole.” In the end the narrator decides he wants to marry Ludmilla. The narrator of each story is different while the narrator of chapters is the same. The seven readers1. the one who is truly interested when he or she has thoughts jumping around. 2. the second reader agrees with the first saying that reading is a “ fragmentary operation.” this reader reads and rereads never getting tired 3. this reader rereads but always feels as if the book is an entirely different book. 4. “ every new books come to be a part of that overall and unitary book that is a sum of my readings 5. agrees with the fourth but sees the book as “ remote in time” 6.” the moment that counts for me is the one that precedes the reading. “ the promise of reading is enough.” “ it is the end that counts”

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