Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Italo Calvino on Cider?

We all know how embarrassing it is when someone tries to tell a joke but lacks tempo and gets everything wrong.  In defense of certain virtues in art Italo Calvino provides the perfect metaphor for the cider maker (here cider stands in for "novella")...

  Cider is a horse, a means of transport with its own pace, a trot or a gallop according to the distance and ground it has to travel over.  The listed defects of a clumsy cider maker are above all offenses against rhythm, as well as style, because he does not use the expressions appropriate either to the characters (the land, the season, the cultivar) or to cider itself.  In other words, even correctness of style is a question of quick adjustment, of agility of both thought and expression.