Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If on a winter's night a traveller

If on a winter’s night a traveller
Italo Calvino

This is my February book for 2007 TBR Challenge.

WOW what a strange book!
I mean, have you ever thought about how huge your reading passion is? To be honest I didn’t. Of course I love to read and on question "Without what you can imagine your life?" my answer always includes books but what would you do (not in literally of course) to find your missing book and to heal your reading fever? I’m not sure I ever felt that agonizing reading fever… until now. I know sounds silly but let me explain:

Of course when you enjoy enormously in book you’re reading you’ll finish it in one swallow and maybe (probably) reread some of its parts or entire book; maybe you’ll copy some quote in your special notebook and memorize them etc. and that is I guess normal destiny after meeting right book with right reader. But imagine this situation: You’re reading one of the best books you've ever read and you’re aware of that fact so you’re eating, drinking, breathing pages, one after another; film is rolling in your mind, you thinking about surprise on the next page and you’re running to see what is behind the corner and then … nothing… blank wall, no streets, no cars, no people, no nothing … blank page…. OK maybe this is printing error, maybe after that blank page the story will continue … imagine that state of mind: no rereading, no quotes, no following of your new friends destiny. You’re feeling cheated. Isn’t that horrible? Oh it is, it is...
And this book is about that sudden emptiness you’re feeling and that desperate search to find next page. And yes, the main character is “You” (dear reader), and yes precisely you are feeling tachycardia and yes your blood pressure is rising in that dark, surreal chase ... for a book (imagine this!)

This postmodern novel is some sort of reader’s nightmare, always in search for your book or women (or both), or feeling writer’s agony. This book is from time to time dark, totally surrealistic, and breathtakingly inventive. Did I mention that “You” are the main protagonist?

With its 260 pages some might think it’s easy, light read but no, not easy read at all; sometimes you just need to rest a little bit to digest all what you eat so far (and it’s a quite menu), this book is for savoring, for letting each sentence to melt slowly on your tongue. Or that is case with me who doesn’t read several novels in the same time. However for some of you who practice that, reading this book will be, most likely, different experience.

Here I’d like to include one quote I like very much:

”Reading is always this: 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 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…
… Or that is not present because it does not yet exist, something desired, feared, possible or impossible. Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be …”



karen! said...

Sounds fascinating!

Milan-zzz said...

Oh it is fascinating. First you are so blown up with the idea and then you’re confused since you definitively didn’t imagine that direction in the plot and then you’re even more confused because you aren’t sure what exactly you are reading (meaning = which novel you are reading? Literally)? And then you are desperately trying to found way out of that labyrinth and eventually you don’t wanna go out. Actually that’s the only place you wanna be but …

thea said...

I know this is literally 7 years later but I'm writing about this book for a class and I have to compare it to magic realism…. if u have any ideas what I could write about that'd be super cool! thanks :)