“To my mind exactitude means three things above all:
1. a well-defined and well-calculated plan for the work in question;
2. an evocation of clear, incisive, memorable visual images; in Italian we have an adjective that doesn’t exist in English, “icastico,”…
3. a language as precise as possible both in choice of words and in expression of the subtleties of thought and imagination.”
– Italo Calvino
Calvino describes Exactitude in three ways. I believe that “Old School” falls in the category of the 3rd meaning; “a language as precise as possible both in choice of words and in expression of the subtleties of thought and imagination”.
‘Rhyme is bullshit. Rhyme says that everything works out in the end. All harmony and order. When I see a rhyme in a poem, I know I’m being lied to. Go ahead, laugh! It’s true – rhyme’s a completely bankrupt device. It’s just wishful thinking. Nostalgia.’
– narrator of “Old School”
This is a quote from “Old School” that I believe follows the criteria of Calvino’s 3rd meaning of exactitude. The boy expressed his personal thought on rhyme. He uses short, exact sentences as well as fragments. The author is able to use the fact that the narrator is speaking as if the reader is in his head and sometimes people do not think in sentence but rather fragment. Thought is the most exact language of all. It is the core of language. “Old School” is definitely a piece of work that Calvino would classify as exemplifying exactitude.