Italo Calvino’s MR PALOMAR


Italo Calvino’s MR PALOMAR is a truly lovely book and despite the fact it’s a very cerebral work I am getting profound emotional satisfaction from reading it too. The ‘stories’ aren’t really stories but philosophical meditations on our place in the cosmos and these meditations are presented in a structure that is rigorously mathematical but also rather charming. It saddens me somewhat that a modern editor confronted with this book in manuscript form would probably complain that there is no characterization, no plot, no suspense, nothing with immediate mass appeal, and reject it forthwith. I wonder how much excellence is being denied to us because of the myopia of contemporary publishers?

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