If on a winter’s night a traveler

25 10 2008

I finally did it. For many, many years (read: since high school), I have wanted to read this book. It sort of jumped off a bookstore shelf at me one day, shortly after I’d read Franny and Zooey for the first time (if that is imaginable) and I was fascinated. I loved the name, I loved the tone of the first few pages, I loved the mysterious Italian author. For some reason, however, I wound up reading two other Italo Calvino books before even purchasing If on a winter’s night a traveler. And once purchased, it sat on my bookshelf for another year or so, until, finally, I read it a couple weeks back.

I’ll just say it was worth the wait. In true Calvino form it was beautiful, slightly crazy and totally modernist. It was an experiment of interweaving 10 different novels, which were experienced through a unifying story (the alternate chapters) of an unknown “reader” and his love interest “the other reader.” It was experimental, and I will say it is not my favorite Calvino work, but it was thought-provoking and enjoyable. And after all, you gotta love a good story about a traveler.





WOW

2 09 2008

I have been remiss in blogging these past few weeks. And a few folks (though mostly my mother) have called me out on it. But I’m coming back around. These past few weeks have proved not a little insane, so there’s my excuse. What have I been doing? Well, here is a list of some of the highlights that have kept me from blogging:

  1. Writing. I’ve become somewhat prolific, writing weekly food bits for Maria Liberati, as well as some pieces that will appear in CBS Watch! Magazine. Woohoo!
  2. Writing. On top of actual work I’ve gotten, I’ve joined a writing group. Hello novel, or at least step one of a novel, which is actually starting it.
  3. Reading. Yes, I have actually gotten back to reading. These days I’m obsessed with If on a winter’s night a traveler, a book I’ve started several times before. It was actually the reason I discovered Italo Calvino but for some reason I read other books and never that one. Anyhow, it is brilliant and tough and absolutely gorgeous. And its philosophy on reading and the making of books is oh-so-reminiscent of all those literary theorists with whom I am infatuated.
  4. Interviewing. When it rains it pours. I’ve been on many interviews recently, ranging from The New Yorker (!) to some e-learning company where it turned out they wanted me to promote psychic courses. (Yikes.) I’d say the New Yorker was the highlight, even though it was a long shot.
  5. Getting a job. I’m now going to be a tutor at the Harlem Children’s Zone, a phenomenal organization, a great way to give back, and the ideal way for me to combine my two loves: teaching literature and writing.
  6. Planning a literary festival. Oh yes. That. It will be a post in itself, but for now, suffice to say that I’m bringing Litquake, San Francisco’s great literary festival, to New York. For one phenomenal night. (Mark September 27 on your calendars New Yorkers!)

And those are just a few of the things I’ve been doing instead of blogging. Sleep? What’s that?