Monday, April 25, 2005


Calvino: the meter is running

While eating some reheated brisket for lunch (much better than it was in its first, stringy, fresh-from-the-blast-furnace incarnation), I came across this excellent sentence from Italo Calvino's Six Memos for the Next Millennium: "...a story is an operation carried out on the length of time involved, an enchantment that acts on the passing of time, either contracting or dilating it." No harrumphing about plot, character arc, the shotgun on the wall that must go off by the final page, etc. Just a quasi-mathematical formula. Except, of course, for the enchantment part.

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