Calvino’s Quickness

3 03 2011

Quickness is a form of rhythm and understanding time and narrative time.  The main reference Calvino makes is that to a quick story about Charlemagne.  A special ring which attached Charlemagne is sited as having a special charged property that hold the action and focus of the story.  As such the ring becomes a driving force which controls the tempo and creates action.

Calvino’s emblem for quickness is the horse which can gallop slowly or quickly depends on the rhythm of its choosing.  Additionally Calvino reveals his personal model “Festina Lente”(hurry slowly) to the reader.  The form of the butterfly and the crab describe this motto.

A work I have recently encountered that invokes the concept of quickness is the film Inception.  I am sure another student will mention this but the way in which inception works a dream inside another dream relates directly to Calvino’s point about “Scheherazade”.  Scheherazade talls a story in which someone tells a story joining stories and discontinuing time.  Likewise, Inception doesnt even attempt to hide the fact that it is doing this but rather embraces the distortion of time as a key element of the plot.




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