Category Archives: Multiple
Seger puts a specific emphasis on the aspect that time and movement in a story must be fluid. The storyline in “Old School” is very fluid, each event in his life was connected in some way to another event. The fluidity of the story allows the novel to exemplify the quality of multiplicity. My ‘blox’ for multiplicity contains a timeline that shows major events in the boy’s life. The ‘blox’ shows that a story cannot be fluid without having the quality of multiplicity.
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.
Calvino is very specific when defining the subject of his last written memo, multiplicity; “the contemporary novel as an encyclopedia, as a method of knowledge, and above all as a network of connections between the events, the people, and the things of the world”. Calvino discusses multiplicity through the writings of some of the greatest minds. He explains that the multiplicity of ideas is infinite. Some great minds try to write books that discussed literally everything in the world. These are some of the extreme cases of multiplicity. Tobias Wolff is able to convey a sense of multiplicity much simpler. The story is made up of specific events in the boy’s life that all connect to lead him to where he was in the end. Each section of the story was important in its own right. Wolff does not show the connection of one boy and all those who interacted with him, but Wolff does show the connection between a simple action in a boy’s life and the effects it can have on the rest of his life.