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Le cosmicomiche ✩ Le cosmicomiche pdf ❤ Author Italo Calvino – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Calvinon Kosmokomiikkaa ilmestyi vuonna 1965 ja Liisa Ryömän suomentamana Keltaisessa kirjastossa 1969 Siinä kirjailija rakentaa päähenkilöt matemaattisista yhtälöistä ja yksinkertaisista sol Calvinon Kosmokomiikkaa ilmestyi vuonna ja Liisa Ryömän suomentamana Keltaisessa kirjastossa Siinä kirjailija rakentaa päähenkilöt matemaattisista yhtälöistä ja yksinkertaisista solurakenteista kaikkien kertojana fwf eli se fwf on sosiaalinen hupaisa ja älykäs matkustaa galaksien väliä kokee planeettojen synnyn ja elämän siirtymisen vedestä maalleKokoelmassa on tarinaa ja nyt ilmestyvässä Koko kosmokomiikassa ennen suomentamattomia kertomuksia on lisää Ne on kirjoitettu vuosien ja välillä tapaamme edelleen fwfin ja suomentajana jatkaa Liisa RyömäTäydennetty laitos teoksesta KosmokomiikkaaTeoksen sisältö Kosmokomiikkaa; Etäisyys kuusta; Päivän synty; Merkki avaruudesta; Kaikki yhdessä pisteessä; Värittömyys; Loputtomia leikkejä; Vesisetä; Paljonko lyödäään vetoa; Dinosaurit; Avaruuden muoto; Valovuodet; Spiraali; Pehmeä kuu; Lintujen alkuperä; Kristallit; Kuu kuin sieni; Kuun tyttäret; Meteoriitit; Kivitaivas; Niin kauan kuin aurinko; Aurinkomyrsky; Simpukat ja aika; Maailman muisti; Ei mitään ja vähän.

  • Hardcover
  • 329 pages
  • Le cosmicomiche
  • Italo Calvino
  • Finnish
  • 04 November 2015
  • 9789513138172

About the Author: Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy the Cosmicomics collection of short stories and the novels Invisible Cities and If On a Winter's Night a Traveler His style is not easy to classify; much of his writing has an air reminiscent to th.

10 thoughts on “Le cosmicomiche

  1. Cinzia DuBois Cinzia DuBois says:

    Take this book and Moby Dick and lay them in my arms as I lie in my casket Then cremate me It is only in ashes that we shall finally be one forever and for eternity and return to the universe the way we entered; as atoms and particles and my how beautiful we shall be

  2. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Le Cosmicomiche Cosmicomics Italo CalvinoCosmicomics is a collection of twelve short stories by Italo Calvino first published in Italian in 1965 and in English in 1968 Each story takes a scientific fact though sometimes a falsehood by today's understanding and builds an imaginative story around it The Distance of the Moon the first and probably the best known story Calvino takes the fact that the Moon used to be much closer to the Earth and builds a story about a love triangle among people who used to jump between the Earth and the Moon in which lovers drift apart as the Moon recedesAt Daybreak — Life before matter condensesA Sign in Space — The idea that the galaxy slowly revolves becomes a story about a being who is desperate to leave behind some uniue sign of his existence This story also is a direct illustration of one of the tenets of postmodern theory — that the sign is not the thing it signifies nor can one claim to fully or properly describe a thing or an idea with a word or other symbolAll at One Point — The fact that all matter and creation used to exist in a single point Naturally we were all there—old fwf said—where else could we have been? Nobody knew then that there could be space Or time either what use did we have for time packed in there like sardines?Without Colors — Before there was an atmosphere everything was the same shade of gray As the atmosphere appears so do colors The novelty scares off Ayl fwf's love interestGames Without End — A galactic game of marbles back before the universe had formed much than particlesThe Auatic Uncle — A tale on the fact that at one stage in evolution animals left the sea and came to live on land The story is about a family living on land that is a bit ashamed of their old uncle who still lives in the sea refusing to come ashore like civilized peopleHow Much Shall We Bet — A story about betting on the long term evolution of mankindThe Dinosaurs — How some dinosaurs lived after most of them had become extinct and how it felt to be that last existing dinosaur in an age where all the current mammals feared his kind as demonsThe Form of Space — As the unnamed narrator falls through space he cannot help but notice that his trajectory is parallel to that of a beautiful woman Ursula H'x and that of lieutenant Feni who is also in love with Ursula The narrator dreams of the shape of space changing so that he may touch Ursula or fight with FeniThe Light Years — The unnamed narrator looking at other galaxies and spotting one with a sign pointed right at him saying I saw you Given that there's a gulf of 100000000 light years he checks his diary to find out what he had been doing that day and finds out that it was something he wished to hide Then he starts to worryThe Spiral — A story about life as a mollusc and the nature of love and writingتاریخ نخستین خوانش روز هفتم ماه ژوئن سال 2003 میلادیعنوان کمدی های کیهانی؛ نویسنده ایتالو کالوینو؛ برگردان موگه رازانی؛ تهران، بازتاب نگار، 1380؛ در 198 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1382؛ چاپ سوم 1387؛ شابک9647359152 ؛ موضوع داستانهای کوتاه علمی و خیال انگیز از نویسندگان ایتالیایی سده 20 معنوان کمدی های کیهانی؛ نویسنده ایتالو کالوینو؛ برگردان میلاد زکریا؛ تهران، پژوهه، 1383؛ در 155 ص؛ کمدی‌های کیهانی مجموعه ی داستانهای کوتاه نوشتهٔ «ایتالو کالوینو» است، که نخستین بار در سال 1965 میلادی چاپ شد داستان‌های این مجموعه، خیال‌پردازی‌های مبهوت کننده‌، از حقایق علمی شناخته شده هستند، که موجودی ازلی آنها را روایت میکند داستان‌ها یادمانهای او از رخدادهای تاریخ جهان هستی هستند این کتاب در سال 1380 هجری خورشیدی، توسط جناب آقای «موگه رازانی» به فارسی ترجمه شده، و جناب آقای «میلاد زکریا» نیز در سال 1383 خورشیدی آنرا منتشر کرده است عنوانهای داستان‌ها «فاصله ماه»؛ «در سپیده‌ دم»؛ «علامتی در فضا»؛ «همه در یک نقطه»؛ «بدون رنگ»؛ «بازی‌های بی‌ پایان»؛ «دایی آبزی»؛ «چقدر شرط می‌بندی؟»؛ «دایناسورها»؛ «شکل فضا»؛ «سالیان نوری»؛ و «مارپیچ» هستند؛ ا شربیانی

  3. Nilesh Kashyap Nilesh Kashyap says:

    “FUCKING MINDFUCK”I became aware of two facts after reading this book Sometime people can be way over creative And sometime this over creativity can be real pain in the umm let’s go with ‘rear’So what is cosmicomics?I may say it is comics of the universe; it is book of twelve short stories with setting in all across the universe and from time even before big bang to present day and telling us the story of evolution of the universeBut that is about something written on the pages of this book but not what the book itself isThis book is stupendous blast of creativityWell creative is a word short of describing this bookWhere shall I begin? Maybe with the fact that this book cannot be tied down to a particular genre Nope I don’t think such trivial things such as genre existed for Calvino This book is everything ranging from magical realism science fiction and philosophy Or maybe with the fact that there are no humans in this book Yes you got it right ‘no humans’ and please no aliens eitherWell we have ‘ old fwf’ as our narrator of the stories And what is ‘ fwf’? I don’t know and looks like Calvino also never decided what is ‘ fwf’ But collecting from the stories he is some kind of anthropomorphized shape shifter He is dinosaur in one story and mollusc in another And he has been there even before universe came into existence ‘ fwf’ What kind of name is that? Let me tell you that ‘ fwf’ is the least strange name How about Captain Vhd Vhd Granny Bb’b Mr Hnw Uncle N’ba N’ga little Xlthlx Dean kyK And there are many names that look like mathematical formula and I don’t even know how to type themHave you started realising the strangeness of this book But the real deal of ‘being strange’ begins with the storiesEach stories begins with a scientific fact followed by a story developed around that fact narrated by our very own ‘ old fwf’First story 'The Distance of the Moon' starts like this At one time according to Sir George H Darwin the Moon was very close to the Earth Then the tides gradually pushed her far away the tides that the Moon herself causes in the Earth's waters where the Earth slowly loses energy How well I know old fwf cried the rest of you can't remember but I can We had her on top of us all the time that enormous Moon when she was full nights as bright as day but with a butter colored light it looked as if she were going to crush us And in the next page There were nights when the Moon was full and very very low and the tide was so high that the Moon missed a ducking in the sea by a hair's breadth; well let's say a few yards anyway Climb up on the Moon? Of course we did All you had to do was row out to it in a boat and when you were underneath prop a ladder against her and scramble upClimbed up on the moon like this Easy peasy eh? Not so easy What you got a uestion? Let ‘ fwf’ complete that for you Now you will ask me what in the world we went up on the Moon for; I'll explain it to you We went to collect theIn simple words Calvino leaves no stone unturnedBut a big but these are the things that surround the story at the center of this is a love triangle Yes a love triangle and this story has very sad and heart breaking end Powerful ending that will not make you cry but make you think what loving and being loved is aboutCalvino packs a good amount of humour in each story and many underlying themes one story is about a person who is too self conscious and many stories have characters who are laggards who refuse to accept the change that occurs in the universe Now tell me how much creativity strangeness humour drama philosophy can be packed in a 15 page story You will be surprised that is all I can sayNow with so much of ‘everything’ in every story starts the problem of being pain in the umm rearWith so much richness in the stories and every story being completely different it becomes hard to absorb the stories I read four stories on first day and by the time I finished fourth I did not have stamina to read a single word I was drained I was puzzled I sat wondering what was that I just readWhat the fuck was that different situation but the same uestionSecond day I thought I’m ready to read any amount of story Well thinking and reality are two different things so it happened I was again wrong I somehow finished the book that day but ended up missing all the fun Yeah that is something like my reading experience of this book that punch definitely signifies Calvino’s ‘over creativity’ What I'm trying to say is that these stories took a little time to sink in and can be enjoyed most if read slowly with wide gap between reading of two stories It will make a lot sense when I tell you that I rated this book with 3 stars on the day I finished it 4 stars a week later and 5 stars after penning down this reviewPheww That’s itNow that I’m done I guess that the first two words of my review will make a lot sense to you

  4. Algernon (Darth Anyan) Algernon (Darth Anyan) says:

    Climb up on the Moon? Of course we did All you had to do was row out to it in a boat and when you were underneath prop a ladder against her and scramble up This is what happens when you let a poet loose in a library full of science books he will turn everything on its head and take you sailing across the galactic plane watching suns coalesce from the primordial dust he will hold a conversation across light years with neighboring galaxies he will dance around a multicolored sparkling crystal gardeen play marbles with hydrogen atoms along the curvature of space and chase skirts down gravity wells running on parallel lines that must somehow meet in the future of desire Now you will ask me what in the world we went up on the Moon for; I'll explain it to you We went to collect the milk with a big spoon and a bucket Moon milk was very thick like a kind of cream cheese 'Joyful and energetic' is how I would describe best this collection of strange and improbable stories just like the newly spawned monocellular entity in Mitosis ready to reach out of itself and go exploring the universe The narrator in most of the stories is fwf an intelligent self aware entity that witnessed everything at first hand the Big Bang the Moon growing out of the Earth's core like a mushroom the first spiral shell of a mollusk and the disappearance of dinosaurs the death of the Universe from enthropy and its rebirth in the explosion of a giant black hole To explode or to implode said fwf that is the uestion whether 'tis nobler in the mind to expand one's energies in space without restraint or to crush them into a dense inner concentration and by ingesting cherish them In his own recollections witnessing this universe journey in time is all a bit like growing up in one of those noisy extended Italian families with weird uncles and cousins everywhere with unruly offsprings vying for attention and embarrassing oneself at every step There was also a cleaning woman 'maintenance staff' she was called only one for the whole universe since there was so little room To tell the truth she had nothing to do all day long not even dusting inside one point not even a grain of dust can enter so she spent all her time gossiping and complaining from All At One Point Started at the peak of the race to the Moon between 1963 and 1968 it is not surprising that space and planetary science are the favorite subjects of the tales Later stories get into time relativity semiotics and genetics Considered from the point of view of science fiction the major difference and obstacle in such categorizing Calvino comes from his focus on the distant past and on abstract concepts instead of on the future of humanityThe major themes I've identified in this book assembling over two decades of Calvino returning to the adventures of fwf The Moon The Distance to the Moon The Mushroom Moon The Soft Moon The Stars The Light Years At Daybreak Games without End The Earth Without Colours Crystals The Meteorites The Stone Sky Evolution The Auatic Uncle Dinosaurs The Spiral The Origin of Birds Genetics Mitosis Meiosis Death from the Priscilla seuence Blood Sea Time mathematics and logic t zero The Night Driver The Count of Monte Cristo The ChaseScience is not the only inspiration for the author Every tale introduces a mythical element a literary reference a love triangle an experimental approach to link the real with the fanciful the esoteric the subconscious The author will often set up to muddle things up and subvert the expectations of the reader provoking him to look at the past of our world from a slanted perspective I've used expressions that have the disadvantage of creating confusion with what is different nowadays while they have the advantage of bringing to light what is common between the two times World Memory looks at what defines humanity and what is worth preserving for posterity It also gives a key to decoding the style used in all these cosmic comedies A mass of coldly objective and incontrovertible information would run the risk of presenting a far from truthful picture of falsifying what is most specific in any situation Suppose we received from another planet a message made up of pure facts facts of such clarity as to be merely obvious we wouldn't pay attention we would hardly even notice; only a message containing something unexpected something doubtful and partially indecipherable would break through the threshold of our consciousness and demand to be received and interpreted If I have a complaint about the collection and I do as witnessed by my lower rating it is that Calvino tends to get too enad of this deliberate obfuscation of facts sliding into navel gazing His logical edifices look like fragile houses of cards ready to tumble at a closer inspection from a rigorous reader This is apparent especially in later stories as the first set of twelve went down without a hitch but the later ones needed a lot effort and concentration on my part to follow through Here's an example where the Chateau d'If becomes an Escher etching an absurd labyrinth from which there is no escape a Looney Tunes cartoon a mad game of Portal The walls and the vaults have been pierced in every direction by the Abbe's pick but his itineraries continue to wind around themselves like a ball of yarn and he constantly goes through my cell as he follows each time a different course He has long since lost his sense of orientation Faria no longer recognizes the cardinal points indeed he cannot recognize even the zenith and the nadir At times I hear scratching at the ceiling; a rain of plaster falls on me; a breach opens; Faria head appears upside down Upside down for me not for him he crawls out of his tunnel he walks head down while nothing about his person is ruffled not his white hair nor his beard green with mold nor the tatters of sackcloth that cover his emaciated loins He walks across the ceiling and the walls like a fly he sinks his pick into a certain spot a hole opens; he dissapears All this flight of fancy used to illustrate what? I'm still musing about it which is not a bad thing in itself but might turn off a casual readerI'm trying to close but I realize I've forgotten to introduce the recurrent theme of love as an expression of desire for knowledge for reaching out of the inner self as the moving factor behind celestial mechanics and behind evolution of living cells The tension towards the outside the elsewhere the otherwise which is what is then called a state of desire from Mitosis The move from asexual to sexual reproduction is seen as a process of alienation of separating what was once whole and letting the halves of the sphere search for each other through eternity Plato? Void separation and waiting that's what we are from MeiosisAs a road opener Calvino's influence can be detected in the writers that came after him in the effort to renew and experiment with the literary form in breaking the rules and searching for new forms of expression To my joy one of these parallels is to a Romanian poet from my own hometown Nichita Stanescu and I look forward to re reading his poems from this new angle In Ode to Man I see a direct link to Calvino's Stone Sky Din punctul de vedere al pietrelorsoarele i o piatră căzătoareoamenii s o lină apăsareSunt mişcare adaugată la mişcareşi lumina ce o zăreşti din soare sorry for lack of translationvs A stone sky rotated above our heads one limpid than yours but criss crossed like yours by clouds at those points where gatherings of chrome and magnesium collected Winged shadows rise up in flight the internal skies have their own birds accretions of light rock describing spirals scudding upwards until they disappear from sight There are sudden changes of weather when bursts of leaden rain shower down or when we have a hail of zinc crystals there is nowhere else to escape except to slip inside the porous holes of a spongy rock At times the darkness is split by a fiery zigzag not a lightning bolt but incandescent metal slithering down a vein in the earth I'll finish with a uote Solar Storm where fwf falls in love with a being of pure energy an incarnated Aurora Borealis that echoes in part Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Soon all the televisions in the area will start working again the images of detergents and beautiful girls will occupy the screen again these gangs of persecutors will disperse everyone will go back to their ration of daily rationality Me too I'll go back to my 9 to 5 job and and say goodbye for now to fwf and his playful universe

  5. Steven Godin Steven Godin says:

    Twelve dazzling stories from Calvino where his ambition here was to create a ludic fiction that could reflect complex advances in science without losing his playful nature and sense of magic and lightness The stories he wrote were direct attempts to assimilate new thinking in cosmology in recognisably human and comic dimensionsCalvino prefaces his stories with a fact or hypothesis about the universe then he moves on to get inside these vast abstractions with his trademark ualities that give them a recognisable voice which twists around the reader with a nimble and often humorous plot Through his freuent fumbling narrator the unpronounceable fwf Calvino makes the argument that there is no corner of the cosmos that cannot be enlightened by human imagination And as imaginative writers go Calvino was up there with the bestof them Trying to describe such a diverse and entertaining mix in which he wrestles with chaos and order the profound and the absurd is enough to send ones head spinning full of stars Who else could have come up with idea of scooping milk from the moon and grumbling even before theBig Bang Calvino simply had no boundaries he could go off in all directions crossing the literary frontier into uncharted places to show anything is possible if one simply opens the flood gates of the mind How does one simply lump Calvino into a single category? it's almost impossibleAlthough this wasn't the 'Complete Cosmicomics' which features stories plucked from other Calvino books these original 12 tales were than enough to enter Calvino's Universe and come out the other side with sheer delight Even though this was my 8th Calvino he's like a jack in the box that never gets boring no matter how many times you open the lid Faves A Sign in SpaceWithout ColorsThe Auatic UncleThe Light Years

  6. Bradley Bradley says:

    This one pretty much floored me The scope and the way this was written kinda blew my mindWhat do I mean? Well it's one hell of an accomplished SF encompassing all time and space from a single viewpoint in what may as well be god but isn't It's a love story with a very complicated relationship of an alien with another alien it's a love story with time physics genetics and all sorts of real math I will admit that a very great deal of my enjoyment of this novel stems from the fact that I'm conversant with real science in a big way and this book incorporates it all very heavily in the narrativeThe book is kinda like this think of five or six hella great popular science writers turn them into short story writers let it have the feel of Marvel or DC cosmic stage stories and then have it feel right at home with Neil Gaiman's SandmanI'm not joking It's really that good and that odd And while the science bits and how it's written is very heavy in a way I don't think it overwhelms the actual stories at all It's unusual and it's very smart but I wouldn't let that deter you from reading it Indeed I think everyone should read this and have it be a solid staple of the mindMy only complaint might be a bit idiotic I really think these stories would translate perfectly into a real comic I know it's kinda implied in the title but still I think it would be improved making it even readable and brilliant that is assuming that the artist is up to snuff

  7. Garima Garima says:

    fwf Been there Seen that done thatBeen where? Where the distance of the moon from the ocean was just a ladder away Seen what? The formation of galaxies A colorless world A time when there was no concept of timeDone what? Lived on the nebulae Lived as a dinosaur fallen in love with a tadpoleA literary cosmos made up of staggering imagination Calvino’s Cosmicomics exceeded the expectations I always have before reading any of his books and it makes me even proud of declaring him as my favorite writer A collection of 12 short stories written by taking cue from random scientific factstheories and re telling of the fragmented tales about evolution of universe through the eyes of our narrator fwf who had been a ubiuitous witness as well as part of everything since the universe was created Sounds uite ambitious especially taking the short story format but that's where Calvino’s talent shines the brightest The relationship established between various scientific concepts bizarre living beings and their lives thereof presents a witty commentary on understanding of the environment and coming to terms with innumerable and inevitable changes that takes place in our lives in natural as well as unnatural or uncalled ways Compared to the uncertainties of earth and air lagoons and seas and oceans represented a future with securityAlso there is a subtle social commentary about the nature of human beings who acknowledge world not as one but as a society governed by numerous borders and boundaries and a fine distinction is sited as to who is who according to the place they belongs to But the others also had wronged the Z'zus to begin with by calling them immigrants on the pretext that since the others had been there first the Z'zus had come later This was mere unfounded prejudice that seems obvious to me because neither before nor after existed nor any place to immigrate from but there were those who insisted that the concept of immigrant could be understood in the abstract outside of space and time But most importantly Calvino has presented a poignant and humorous take on humanly nature feelings and emotions without employing any humans in his narrative yet there are titles and conceptions which constitute a human world There were three of them an aunt and two uncles all three very tall and practically identical; we never really understood which uncle was the husband and which the brother or exactly how they were related to us in those days there were many things that were left vague All the stories accentuates a particular feature of this cosmos in a highly skillful way wherein Calvino has dilated a single idea into astounding proportions of ace story telling and that’s why I can’t really pick a favorite story of mine The names of the characters especially fwf are particularly interesting According to wiki The name fwf is a palindrome The name may be an allusion to the second law of thermodynamics; substituting for f gives W which describes a heat engineComing from a non science background I can’t really grasp all these scientific concepts in their entirety but still marvel at the extent to which Calvino experimented and came up with such brilliant feat of literature This review or rather my gushy ramblings might convey a little about this book and about my love for Calvino so I highly recommend a definite and fantastic review by Stephen M along with reading this book I must add that past and future were vague terms for me and I couldn't make much distinction between them my memory didn't extend beyond the interminable present of our parallel fall

  8. Stephen M Stephen M says:

    This is a wonderful set of short stories which comes as no surprise from the Cuban born Italian Italo Calvino I had previously read If on a Winter’s Night A Traveler and Invisible Cities both I highly recommend and enjoyed both of them immensely I once heard about the vast differences between all of Calvino’s novels; that certainly seems true each one of those books bare vague resemblances to one another; the similarities residing in minor things like short story format magical realist elements and gorgeous prose Ultimately Calvino is one of my favorite authors because he can take nearly any premise and breath wonderful imaginative life into them If nothing else I come away with such vivid and delightful images that I can’t help but think he was something of a genius; at least with that aspect of writing which I find to be the hardest Any one and their mom can write some poetically tinged block of prose and send it on its way but it takes a little something extra to create a literary world living and breathing with the perfect amount of detail it needs complete unto itself full of imaginative wonder Calvino most especially has a knack for these set pieces The best example of that comes in the first story of this collectionIs it a spoiler to describe the first story? Can you spoil a short story collection? Well if so you’ve been warned The entire book follows poor wfw if read literally he is some sort of shape shifter—across species as well as subatomic particles—as he experiences the universe at varying times from the moment of its creation to the development of matter to the formation of the earth Each story is prefaced with an italicized section detailing a certain scientific theory or maxim The first called The Distance from the Moon has a theory formulated by George H Darwin the famed Charles Darwin’s son The prediction is in regards to the origin and formation of the moon At the time of the writing of Cosmicomics it was believed that the moon was once very close to the earth and that it slowly drifted away from the earth in its orbit Calvino imagines a strange tribe of some sort of half human half fish type creatures that harvest the moon for the milk that it has They ride on a boat across the ocean where the moon gets closest to the earth They have to climb a ladder and jump lingering for a moment between the gravitational pulls of both surfaces until the point where the gravity of the moon overtakes the gravity of the earth and the person is pulled towards the moon Calvino’s description of the ocean from that point of view is stunning Imagine “the sea above you glistening with the boat and the others upside down hanging like a bunch of grapes from the vine” The rest of the story plays with this conceit This story may be the longest and it is his most effective It even follows a strict three act structure with inciting incident dark night of the soul and denouement I was impressed that this section which is packed full of motherLacanian ideas could also be formally compact More than just that however is what permeates through all of these stories In all of them Calvino’s imagination shines If you let it it will take you up in its wonderful world The entire collection is a conjunction of fantasy science magical realism and realist emotions One story talks of a left over dinosaur after the others went extinct Calvino tells a story about social ostracism and conflicted identity There is a story about the steady state theory of the universe the theory all but rejected now In which the character wfw chases another character Pwfwp throughout the universe He finally notices that he can see the back of his own head in front of Pwfwp Pwfwp is actually chasing wfw Until he notices that there is an infinite number of ’s chasing P’s and vice versa From ’s perspective he is chasing P but from P’s perspective P is chasing This is a prime example of Calvino’s overall intention with the work He wants to impress upon the reader the arbitrary nature of privileging perspective In an interview within a book called The Uses of Literature Essays Calvino says that “Robbe Grillet came out with a bitter attack on anthropomorphism against the writer who still humanized the landscape It is not that Robbe Grillet’s argument didn’t convince me It is just that in the course of writing I have come to take the oppostire route in stories that are a positive delirium of anthropomorphism of the impossibility of thinking about the world except in terms of human figures I multiplied his eyes and his nose in every direction until he no longer knows who he is” The point of each story is to simultaneously laugh at how ridiculous it is to compare evolution to human social interaction yet at the same time indulge because how else do we know about the world around us? In Cosmicomics there is a particular sadness in each story a loss and tragedy of understanding Even the signs which we take to be words begins to break down as the meanings of words proliferate and destabilize I realized that with what seemed a casual jumple of words I had hit on an infinite reserve of new combinations among the signs which compact opaue uniform reality would use to disguise its monotony and I realized that perhaps the race toward the future the race I had been the first to foresee and desire tended only—through time and space—toward a crumbling into alternatives like this until it would dissolve in a geometry of invisible triangles and ricochets like the course of a football among the white lines of a field as I tried to imagine them drawn at the bottom of the luminous vortex of the planetary systems deciphering the numbers marked on the chests and backs of the players at night unrecognizable in the distance He takes anthropocentrism to its logical extreme By applying human characteristic to even the most absurd of things—subatomic particles and the original point of matter from which the big bang sprung—he exposes it this humanizing for the absurdity it is While reading all these stories I couldn’t stop thinking about the sheer incomprehensibility of the universe From its most minute particles to its cosmic grandiosity we are stuck amid an ocean of unknowability; the basis for our existence only to be reified in arbitrary metaphors—even string theorists will tell you that “strings” are just the best metaphor they came conjure—and we are stuck in this self privileged perspective by which we interact with the universe I think about the incredibly miniature the infinite regress of sub atomic matter and the indomitable vastness of a star not even ours ours isn’t even that large and my head begins to spin In every story Calvino harps on this inability for any of us to really understand the incredible nature of the universe I have no way of even picturing how vast the universe is; the speed of light—186000 miles per second—still takes some 100 million years to travel between stars If an atom were extrapolated to the size of a solar system a string would be the size of a tree on earth I struggle to even conceive of this and all the while I envy the certainty of preachers religious fundamentalists or any person with a disposition for staunch certainty They have within their understanding this entire universe which we lack the vocabulary and imagination to even properly represent subsumed under a single perfect explanation It causes them not a single shred of doubt or uncertainty; it is completely beyond me My only solace is indulging in what I love reading writing learning and most especially literature like this beautiful book I am overcome with gratitude and astonishment for having a brain and consciousness capable of appreciating this ever confounding reality we call home and Calvino for making it so damn wonderful and fun

  9. Megan Baxter Megan Baxter says:

    I'm trying to find just the right word to describe these stories Science fables isn't uite right there isn't a moral at the end of each one I'm torn between science myths and science legends I think I'm leaning towards myths in the sense of stories that tell how something came to be Let's go with thatNote The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision hereIn the meantime you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  10. Mohsin Maqbool Mohsin Maqbool says:

    Italo Calvino with a beautiful woman on top of a New York City buildingONE day towards the fag end of last year I was looking at some old issuesarticles of The New Yorker which as most readers know comes out from New York City I came upon a February 23 2009 issue that had a short story titled The Daughters of the Moon by one Italo Calvino Yes the same Italo Calvino of Invisible Cities If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller and The Baron in the Trees fame There was no stopping me now from reading the storyFlapper Girl in the MoonCalvino wrote “The Daughters of the Moon” way back in 1968 a year prior to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon However in the Italian writer’s story no hero or even heroine of his lands on the moon It is the moon that is made to land on earth And how the moon is made to land on Planet Earth for that you have to read the story yourself I am one ho wants you to enjoy the story as much as possible However I will definitely provide you some fabulous extracts so that it enhances your curiosityBuzz Aldrin One of the first men on the moon on July 20 1969“The Daughters of the Moon” has a beautiful opening paragraph for a short story one of the best that I have ever read Please go through it yourself and tell me whether I am wrong“The moon is old fwf agreed pitted with holes worn out Rolling naked through the skies it erodes and loses its flesh like a bone that’s been gnawed This is not the first time that such a thing has happened I remember moons that were even older and battered than this one; I’ve seen loads of these moons seen them being born and running across the sky and dying out one punctured by hail from shooting stars another exploding from all its craters and yet another oozing drops of topaz colored sweat that evaporated immediately then being covered by greenish clouds and reduced to a dried up spongy shell”It sounds like science fiction but it is not It is magic realism as Calvino delved into several genres including magic realism And with what panacheReading each paragraph delivers you a powerful punch in the gut It is a feast for your grey cells I was reading each paragraph twice or thrice as I went through the story Such was the charm each one worked on me“Ancient expressions like “full moon” “half moon” “last uarter moon” continued to be used but were really only figures of speech how could we call “full” a shape that was all cracks and holes and that always seemed on the point of crashing down on our heads in a shower of rubble? Not to mention when it was a waning moon It was reduced to a kind of nibbled cheese rind and it always disappeared before we expected it to At each new moon we wondered whether it would ever appear again were we hoping that it would simply disappear? and when it did reappear looking and like a comb that had lost its teeth we averted our eyes with a shudder” Women on the Moon 1987Calvino moves from a completely naked girl sitting on a park bench to a bunch of totally nude girls riding on the roofs of sedans with their hair blowing in the wind You shudder to think what this magic realist will write next “We crossed one of the bridges that link Manhattan to the mainland Now we were going along a multi lane highway with other cars alongside us and I kept my eyes staring straight ahead fearing the laughter and crude comments that the sight of the two of us was no doubt prompting in the cars around us But when a sedan overtook us I nearly went off the road in surprise crouched on its roof was a naked girl with her hair blowing in the wind For a second I thought that my passenger was leaping from one speeding car to another but all I had to do was turn my head ever so slightly to see that Diana’s knees were still there level with my nose And her body was not the only one glowing before my eyes now I saw girls everywhere stretched out in the strangest poses clinging to the radiators doors and fenders of the speeding cars their golden or dark strands of hair contrasting with the pink or dark gleam of their naked skin There was one of these mysterious female passengers on every car all leaning forward urging their drivers to follow the moon”Men love reading about women But Calvino takes the notch several levels higher Men will love reading about nude women all the Besides it is bound to make women raise their eyebrows “How dare does Calvino treat women’s flesh for fantasy” All this attention – whether good or bad – serves Calvino’s purpose for the better“Over the course of many years piles of battered fridges yellowing issues of Life magazine and burnt out light bulbs had accumulated around an enormous wrecking yard It was over this jagged rusty territory that the moon now loomed and the swaths of crumpled metal swelled as if carried on a high tide They resembled each other the decrepit moon and that crust of the earth which had been soldered into an amalgam of wreckage; the mountains of scrap metal formed a chain that closed in on itself like an amphitheatre whose shape was precisely that of a volcanic crater or a lunar sea The moon hung over this space and it was as if the planet and its satellite were acting as mirror images of each other”A 20 passenger Pink Cadillac in New YorkHere Calvino seems to be taking a swipe at the Capitalist USA and the consumerist society However expensive a good you buy it ends up at a junkyard – be it a 45 inch colour TV or a Pink CadillacWhat an imagination Calvino has And how he hates Capitalist USA You will get to read about New York City celebrating Consumer Thanksgiving Day and the god Production who is paid gratitude every year by shoppers for satisfying their desires A peacock feather painting by Evelyn SpatzHave you ever read about a moon covered with a jungle comprising peacock feathers? Well fear not as Calvino will make you read about one You will close your eyes so that the picture builds up in your mind And when you open your eyes there will be a sparkle in them “We did not have to wait long The sea began to vibrate with waves that spread out in a circle At the centre of this circle there appeared an island which grew like a mountain like a hemisphere like a globe resting on the water or rather raised up just above it; no like a moon rising in the sky I say a moon even though it did not resemble a moon any than the one we had seen plunge into the depths a few moments before however this new moon had a very different way of being different It emerged from the sea dripping a trail of green glistening seaweed; spouts of water gushed in fountains from fields that lent it the sheen of an emerald A steamy jungle covered it but not with plants This covering seemed to be made of peacock feathers full of eyes and shimmering colours”If you have never read Italo Calvino I urge you to read this short story You will enjoy it think about it for days and discuss it with your family and friends Before I take my leave I must add that Martin McLaughlin has done a superb job of translating the story into English from Italian He deserves a big pat on the back

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