Tuesday, March 31, 2009
From Best American Poetry Blog and the lovely pen of Megin Jimenez.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Come on down if you can!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
It was as if she held a bee in her mouth,
as if only she knew what that buzzing was.
It was as if words had six black legs, wings, antennae,
as if thought hovered over each possibility.
It was as if she tasted what she’d waited so long to know,
as if the bee formed the first surprised syllable.
It was as if something tapped behind her teeth,
as if a music hummed itself in her throat.
It was as if she knew when to open her lips,
as if she knew when to stay completely still.
It was as if such things were entirely possible,
as if she could relish the sweet without sting.
Monday, March 16, 2009
The final chapter is called "Multiplicity." In it Calvino chiefly addresses the novel, its encyclopedic nature, its value as a vehicle for a "network of connections." Good if at times abstract reading, including excerpts from Italian, German and French authors! Then, a swift return to Ovid and Lucretius all in the matter of the first 10 pages. Then onward to more reflection, Henry James, Dante and Dostoevsky, and of course Borges. The novel considered here as a work of infinite possibilities, and Calvino seems to reach toward them all in pulling this concise yet potently expanding last chapter together. Well, go read it.
But here's the quote that stuck, last page of the book, in which Calvino defends against the notion that such movement toward multiplicity in a work of literature is an inevitable movement away from the vortex of the author's self, that the author must somehow surrender a degree of integrity in order to allow for such unbounded expression.
"But I would answer: Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combinatoria of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable."
Who are we indeed?