Give Me Five

16 Jun

If on a winter's night check-in

How’s your reading of Calvino’s classic coming?  Making your way through the maze?


If on a winter’s night a traveler: Beginning number five!  and it starts with a man trying to get rid of a dead body.  Native Son anyone?

In “Looks down in the gathering shadow” the main character Ruedi and his sidekick Bernadette are living their version of Weekend at Bernie’s.  When dead Jojo doesn’t fit nicely in a plastic bag, they put him in a convertible and ride around town.  Cops prevent them from dumping the stiff in the river.  An empty gas tank uses up all the fuel for the bonfire cremation they were planning.  They can’t seem to get rid of him.  Ruedi has a shady past that can’t be escaped.  His daughter performs a nightclub show with crocodiles.  He has been/will be blackmailed.  Finally they throw the dead body off the top floor terrace.  As the elevator doors open on the ground floor, Jojo’s mob sees their “boss’s” (father’s?) shoe in the bag and the chapter ends.

It is in Cavedagna’s office in Chapter [6] that I learn why The Trial irked me so much:

“…you are gripped by the fear of having also passed over to “the other side” and of having lost that privileged relationship with books which is peculiar to the reader: the ability fo consider what is written as something finished and definitive, to which there is nothing to be added, from which there is nothing to be removed.”

Cavedagna shares publisher intel (and letters) with the Reader.  It seems that stories are written by the Father of Stories who consumes hallucinatory mushrooms and weaves tales that authors record.  Wait.  That’s not correct.  Stories are written by computers that analyze an author’s style and then complete the story, much like the writing machine at the Academy of Lagado in Gulliver’s Travels.  Perhaps writing machines are the way to go.  Unlike author Silas Flannery, computers don’t resist product placement in their stories.

CCOM is a big fan of abbreviations, but OEPHLW takes the cake– Organization for the Electronic Production of Homogenized Literary Works.

Within Chapter [6] we (the Reader, you, and I) are swept into a story about Marana and a Sultan’s wife.  Marana (or Calvino) shares a classic that “is a trap-novel designed by the treacherous translator with beginnings of novels that remain suspended…”

Random note #1: Who knew that an author can write what he sees on the face of a reader and in doing so plagiarize?

Random note #2: Are you a person of “strong eyesight and nerves”  are you willing “to be subjected to the uninterrupted reading of novels“?  Contact the OEPHLW to volunteer to be a test reader.

Like “Looks down in the gathering shadow”, Chapter [6] also has an elevator scene.  This one doesn’t involve a murder, a plastic bag, and the mob.  It involves tricky translator Marana and a manuscript-stealing boy.  Which brings us to the next beginning of our next beginning.

Take six.







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