I have my first Calvino. I do not think I can put it down.
More oddly yet, it is not Invisible Cities (despite my having looked longingly at that book for a couple years now). Instead I bypassed this. It was a book that denoted this first reaction identically when I discovered it. I picked it up, enamoured with the Robert Frost-esque title, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, then read the summary. I didn’t relinquish it until long after leaving the bookstore.
Now I have picked it up again. And once again, I cannot put it down.
“Long novels written today are perhaps a contradiction: the dimension of time has been shattered, we cannot love or think except in fragments of time each of which goes off along its own trajectory and immediately disappears. We can rediscover the continuity of time only in novels of that period when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded.”
Even if I am overthinking the meaning in just the first chapter of this book, it has taken some invisible weight off my shoulders. Maybe I am not the issues. Maybe my inability to concentrate on my great loves in life are not through a fault of my own. Maybe as literature has progressed, so has how I interact with it. Maybe it is just finding the right book.
I do not have tea, but I am contemplating books. Book covers to be more precise. Books stores, their designs, their layouts, and the plethora of covers they house. Though plethora feels like the wrong word. I love words. I love them more for the meanings they infer, rather than define. The essence you get alongside the meaning of the actual word. I’m very particular with words for this reason (or as particular as a motor-mouth such as I can be). It’s the reason I don’t like words such as ‘boyfriend’. Not because I dislike the meaning. In fact, I happen to like it very much. I dislike it because it is too easily thrown about, and therefore the meaning is not as treasured or important.
But books. This (I begrudgingly state) plethora of books. I can’t quite explain my reaction. How I stand somewhere around the middle of the fiction section, staring at all the different books with their different covers, all morphing into a blur of similar colours and features. So different, yet so similar. I don’t know how it makes me feel. Disquieted. Like something is not quite right, but not different enough to be wrong. Like entering a locked room and swearing something has changed.
I’m sure it’s just the words getting to my head. Time to take my new books (and increasing poverty) and head for the till.