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.
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Calvino uses the story of Charlemagne, as told by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly in a book of unpublished notes, to exemplify the quality of quickness.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.
“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 I mention on there that Calvino uses the story of Charlemagne, as told by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly in a book of unpublished notes, to exemplify quickness.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.