Drew's Reviews > If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
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Mar 04, 13

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Read from February 24 to March 04, 2013

This one gets better as it goes. I was on the fence until about two thirds of the way through, when I found this disturbing Truth:

"'Nobody these days holds the written word in such high esteem as police states do,' Arkadian Porphyrich says. 'What statistic allows one to identify the nations where literature enjoys true consideration better than the sums appropriated for controlling and suppressing it? Where it is the object of such attentions, literature gains an extraordinary authority, inconceivable in countries where it is allowed to vegetate as an innocuous pastime, without risks.'"

Spoken like a true bureaucrat, and with an officious glee I haven't seen since Colonel Korn.

Here's one more for the road:

"'The ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: the continuity of life, the inevitability of death.'"
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Aubrey This is a wonderful book. Hope you enjoy.


Stephen M How were you able to get a hold of this one? Can't wait to hear what you think of it!


Nate D It's still in print, isn't it? there are reasonably priced copies all over, Stephen. And thanks, Drew, for the reminder of those quotes.


message 4: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason I always get Korn confused with Colonel Cathcart.


Stephen M Nate D wrote: "It's still in print, isn't it? there are reasonably priced copies all over, Stephen. And thanks, Drew, for the reminder of those quotes."

It was a really bad joke Nate. Drew has my copy of the book.


Nate D aha ha ha okay


Drew Jason, Colonel Cathcart is the one who's both obnoxious and oblivious to his own obnoxiousness. Colonel Korn is his aide, who's both obnoxious and acutely aware of it.


message 8: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason Nice memory, Drew.


switterbug (Betsey) Great book!


Charles One of my favorites. So quirky; so perceptive; so insightful. The only problem is that I haven't found another Calvino that I like nearly as well.


switterbug (Betsey) Yeah, me either. I thought maybe it was just me.


message 12: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Paganus I love that last quote, too.


message 13: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Paganus switterbug (Betsey) wrote: "Yeah, me either. I thought maybe it was just me."

I hesitate to start another Calvino for the same reason. If that proves to be the case, I'll just re-read this one.


message 14: by Drew (new) - rated it 4 stars

Drew All I can say to that is that I've just read two others, Cosmicomics and Invisible Cities, and between the two I'd recommend the latter.


message 15: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Paganus I'll probably start with the latter anyway. It's shorter!


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