The Baron in the Trees (book review) Italo Calvino

Archibald Colquhoun (Translator), Ana Goldstein (Translator)


120119: of calvino’s work this is possibly my favorite. on reflection, i think this is because it seems effortless, is not illustration, manifestation, argument, of any kind of literary ‘game’. rather than exploring connection and pleasure of the text through genres, as If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. there is perhaps some poetic structure of which i am not aware, there is certainly commentary on ideals/idols of the ‘enlightenment’, some fun with plausible/absurd correspondence with thinkers of the time, but as i offer in the previous recipe: it is all down to the premise. all elaborations are comic, romantic, endless, and i am most pleased there is no distraction to ‘explanation’ but simply this absurd irrevocable promise of ‘the baron’ to never touch the ground again...


first review: simple recipe for pomo book:


1- start with a simple, incredible, playful premise…


2- ignore usual constraints that ground usual fiction… plausibility, characters, plot, motivation, three acts…


3- go as far as you can with this idea. then go farther…


4- mix for as long as you can…


simple recipe. incredibly difficult. have fun!

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