April 27, 2011 3 Danilo Lopez
“Language is an arbitrary system” and includes blank pages or other unconventional discourses or pictures in the narrative
. IWNT does not include such technique, but it has apinnate venation structure, with unfinished stories. It uses different voices and changing pointof view in each story by the same author, Calvino. Calvino assumes the personas of tendifferent writers who are one and the same Flanagan-Marana-Calvino and it praises apocryphawriting (Chapter 8, p. 193) as a legitimate way of creating fiction and manipulating narration.Calvino, like Marana-Flanagan, becomes a counterfeiter, a “wizard” of language.C)
“The author is a paradox” who may or may not have any power on the narrative, and shows the author as part of the narrative (character) or a conflict between the reader and theauthor or uses a character that is “out of the control” of the author
. In chapter 5 while talking toeditor Cavedagna, reader thinks that “The author was an invisible point from which the bookcame”. This, and Calvino’s ability to write ten different stories in ten different styles, settings,themes, and voices, supports the idea that the author is just a starting point that, once thenovel unleashed to the public, once in the hands and eyes and mind of the reader, makes theauthor irrelevant
“Fiction and reality are interchangeable” and recurs to foregrounding by juxtaposing fictional and historical characters or discussing writing techniques as part of the narrative
.Calvino is a real figure. The other characters, Reader, Other Reader, Cavedagna, Lotaria, Prof.Uzzi-Tuzzi, etc., don’t they evoke and represent the real, archetypal characters of editors,readers, academics, writers, families, students, etc.? In that sense, they are as real as they canget, embedded in the cultural subconscious of society. In this regard, IWNT interchanges realityand fiction.. Yet, would IWNT be the same if Calvino did not permeate the novel frombeginning to end? I think not.
Readers and writers as characters
Structuralist theorist Roland Barthes argues that writers only have the power to mix already existing writings, toreassemble or redeploy them; writers cannot use writing to ‘express’ themselves, but only to draw upon thatimmense dictionary of language and culture which is ‘always already written’. See Raman Selden and PeterWiddowson,
Contemporary Literary Theory
, University Press of Kentucky.