Tag Archives: ‘Cornell’s Quickness’


“The secret of the story lies in its economy; the events, however long they last, become punctiform, connected by rectilinear segments, in a zigzag pattern that suggests incessant motion.”

– Italo Calvino

The quote above is the same one that I open with on my ‘Cornell’s Quickness’ page. I mention on there that Calvino uses the story of Charlemagne,  as told by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly in a book of unpublished notes, to exemplify quickness. He discusses that d’Aurevilly was able to tell a story that covered a large and important portion of Charlemagne’s life. I believe that my selection for adaptation, “Old School”, is similar to that of Charlemagne in respect to quickness, but with a certain twist. “Old School” covers a large and important portion of a young boys life while in a New England prep school. The only difference between the story of Charlemagne and “Old School” is the narration in the latter. “Old School” is told from the perspective of the protagonist. Tobias Wolff, the author, is able to use the narrator to convey the quality of quick.


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