Friday, May 21, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the End

So I was reading a (what else?) folk tale in a translation of Italo Calvino’s Italian Folktales. Something happened. It might have involved cat and/or child, a glass of wine and a momentary lapse in motor skills. I dropped the book, but thought I caught it on the page I had been reading. I finished the story. In true Calvino style, it was clever, utterly ridiculous and told with a kind of deadpan straightforwardness that somehow seals the deal on makebelievability.

Later I realized I had not caught the book on the right page, but rather had begun one title and finished another. They each had a spoiled princess as the protagonist. Oddly, I feel no need to go back and finish the first story or begin the second.

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