By Italo Calvino
Calvino indicates that the unconventional, faraway from being a useless shape, is in a position to unending mutations. If on a winter’s evening a vacationer seems to be now not one novel yet ten, each one with a special plot, variety, atmosphere, and writer. Translated by way of William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
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Extra resources for If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
The vane of an anemometer at the top of a tall antenna and the squat funnel of a pluviometer complete the fragile equipment of the observatory, which, isolated on the edge of an escarpment in the municipal garden, against the pearl-gray sky, uniform and motionless, seems a trap for cyclones, a lure set there to attract waterspouts from the remote tropical oceans, offering itself already as the ideal relict of the fury of the hurricanes. There are days when everything I see seems to me charged with meaning: messages it would be difficult for me to communicate to others, define, translate into words, but which for this very reason appear to me decisive.
If the end of the world could be localized in a precise spot, it would be the meteorological observatory of Pëtkwo: a corrugated-iron roof that rests on four somewhat shaky poles and houses, lined up on a shelf, some recording barometers, hygrometers, and thermographs, with their rolls of lined paper, which turn with a slow clockwork ticking against an oscillating nib. The vane of an anemometer at the top of a tall antenna and the squat funnel of a pluviometer complete the fragile equipment of the observatory, which, isolated on the edge of an escarpment in the municipal garden, against the pearl-gray sky, uniform and motionless, seems a trap for cyclones, a lure set there to attract waterspouts from the remote tropical oceans, offering itself already as the ideal relict of the fury of the hurricanes.
Today I reached the belvedere from which you can glimpse, down below, a little stretch of beach, deserted, facing the gray sea. The wicker chairs with their high curved backs, like baskets, against the wind, arranged in a semicircle, seemed to suggest a world in which the human race has disappeared and things can do nothing but bespeak its absence. I felt a kind of vertigo, as if I were merely plunging from one world to another, and in each I arrived shortly after the end of the world had taken place.
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino