Monthly Archives: April 2011
While working on my quickness ‘blox’, I began to think about Seger’s thoughts on ‘Novels as Information’. In this passage, Seger says that novels give information that is useful and interesting. My ‘blox’ concentrates on the importance of selecting only the most interesting and important information. Calvino believes all information conveyed in a novel must give value to the story in some respect. Seger discusses the importance of selecting interesting information so that the reader will stay intrigued. My ‘blox’ conveys the thoughts that the only the strong survive in the world of literature and film. There is no room amongst the pages for useless information.
In “Old School”, the narrator’s simple language gives the story the quality of lightness. Calvino says that lightness can be defined as the narration of a train of thought or psychological process. The entire novel is told through the narration of the boy. As I was looking through Seger to find instruction, I stumbled across the section titled “The Reflective Voice”. In this section, Seger discusses the importance of a character revealing his or her character traits. They can do this simply by speaking and allowing the reader to listen to the dialect and language the character uses. The narrator does not reveal his name, but aside from that, the reader can figure almost everything else about the narrator. Just by revealing his thoughts on each event, the narrator reveals his personal traits. The language of the narrator is not only the essence of lightness according to Calvino, but also serves as the building block for Cornell’s reflective voice.
When discussing the value of multiplicity in literature, the concept of quantity must combine with the already present concept of quality. It is important to make sure to look for all the connections that a subject of study can make but to only take the connections out to a respectable degree. Calvino uses examples of literature by some of the greatest minds of our time. These man tried to write books that would be encyclopedic novels, novels about everything. They conveyed the essence of multiplicity to the max. They believed they could connect all knowledge. The examples of their unfinished works are, like other Calvino examples, the extreme condition for multiplicity. Works can have the quality of multiplicity without taking it to the extremes of such great minds as Carlo Emilio Gadda.
This was the one quality where the ‘blox’ did not give me any trouble. I could easily picture my images that I would put in the ‘blox’. In “Old School”, the narrator becomes so obsessed with a piece of work that was not his that he begins to believe it is his. His reality is skewed from that of actual reality. All of the important events in the story lead up to this final break down of the boy. If the boy would have made just one different choice in his life, he could have possibly avoided such a down fall. For my ‘blox’ I have a timeline running through the middle of the box. The timeline has small images and a short description of events that occurred. It also shows how they were connected. Then, coming off of the timeline, is an alternate timeline, one that shows what the boy thought was occurring in his own reality. These two timelines show the connection between the events in his life.
In part one, I selected “A Land Remembered” as a piece of work that exemplified visibility. I believe this to be true because, as Calvino says, the novel starts “bringing forth forms and colors from the lines of black letters on a white page”. My selection for the learning screen was “Old School”. Before I begin to relate my selection to visibility, I must admit that I think that the imagery present in “A Land Remembered” is incomparable in quality to most fiction work but once again, this is an extreme case of visibility. “Old School” does not convey the scenery of each situation as well as the author of “A Land Remembered” but Tobias Wolff does do a good job in conveying the scenery through the thoughts of the narrator.
As I was thinking about the images to display in my visibility ‘blox’ I began to hit a blank. The quality of the novel that applies to visibility is the imagery that Wolff inserts into the narrator’s head. I looked for some images that might convey this idea but then I began to think about what Calvino says. He mentions that the letters should come off the page and turn into the image for the reader to picture. Since this is what the story did for me as a reader I decided to make in image of letters turning into the images of the story.
“a language as precise as possible both in choice of words and in expression of the subtleties of thought and imagination.”
Calvino uses the story of Charlemagne, as told by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly in a book of unpublished notes, to exemplify the quality of quickness. He discusses that d’Aurevilly conveys a large portion of Charlemagne’s life in just his simple notes. d’Aurevilly concentrates on the most important aspects of Charlemagne’s, allowing the story to be quick. Tobias Wolff uses the boy as a narrator to explain the trials and tribulations in the boy’s life. The narrator only concentrates on situations that pertain to future situations in the story. Like Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Tobias Wolff was able to convey the sense of quickness through his literature.
The ‘blox’ that I prepared to represent the quickness of “Old School” consists of photographs depicting major events that happened in the story. Some of the photographs are larger and seem to be on top of the others, as if they are layered. This ‘blox’ displays the way the story conveys quickness. The pictures represent the major events in the life of the boy. They are layered in order of importance. This gives the thought of quickness that Calvino discusses; the story must only tell of the important events in the life of a character, never discussing unimportant or useless information.