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The second beginning

28 May

if-on-a-winters-night-a-travellerJean commented that a list of characters might be helpful for this title.  I’m now wishing for some sort of flowchart to help me keep the novels within the novel straight.

On to the second beginning!

“Outside the town of Malbork” is supposed to be written by the Polish author Bazakbal, but I didn’t get my hopes up. Remember what happened in the first beginning.

Gritzri and I could have gotten along.  He feels the same way about names as I do with Russian novels: “…the sum never works out properly because different names can belong to the same character, indicated according to the circumstances by baptismal name, nickname, surname, or patronymic, and even by appellations…”

In “Outside the town of Malbork” I found Gritzri and Ponko being swapped by their families.  The ruse is that they’ll learn other parts of the business.  The truth is that Ponko is in danger from a Hatfield and McCoy type of dispute.

Just when I started wondering if Gritzri was in danger… if Ponko really would be safe… Calvino shakes things up again and gives me blank pages.  I’m beginning to pay attention to the number of times Calvino leads me to expect one thing and then gives me another.  The old bait and switch.  Clever, Calvino.

So, “Outside the town of Malbork” is not Polish.  It might be Cimmerian.  Fortunately love-interest Ludmilla knows Professor Uzzi-Tuzii–just the man to translate a Cimmerian novel.  I confess that I looked up Cimmerian to see if it was real.  The Reader’s experience finding Prof. U-T’s office reminded me of Joseph K’s (The Trial)  frustrating search for a courtroom without an address.

I’m going to keep an eye on Irnerio, the man who has taught himself not to read and yet sees everything.  A by-choice illiterate in a book about books must be important, right?

Listening to Prof. U-T read “Outside the town of Malbork”, the Reader and I quickly recognize that the character names are the same but the plot is different.  Here we go again.

Get ready for take three.

 

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