Just in Time for Valentine’s Day, My Favorite Love Story

I mentioned in my last blog post my love for Oulipo writers, particularly Italo Calvino, the Cuban-born Italian storyteller. With the approach of Valentine’s Day, I thought I might celebrate a little here on my blog by posting a link to one of my favorite love stories. The story in question is not one of the classics like Romeo and Juliet or Tristan and Isolde. It’s a short story, but one that’s really just as grand and epic as the other ones I mentioned. It’s Italo Calvino’s “Without Colors,” from his collection entitled Cosmicomics. In the book, Calvino moves deftly and often amusingly through a series of stories that have to do with the formation of the universe. The stories begin with a short scientific statement such as, “The plants of the solar system, G.P. Kuiper explains, began to solidify in the darkness, through the condensation of a fluid, shapeless nebula.” Calvino moves from there into fantastic stories–trips to the moon to collect “moon-milk,” bets made on games played with hydrogen atoms, the arduous move from an aquatic life to a terrestrial one. In my favorite story, my Valentine’s Day love story, two characters move across a world without color. They chase one another and fade into the background in hiding. When colors begin to dawn in the world, one is afraid and decides to stay away from the new world, and the other realizes that a world full of the most fabulous colors is grey to him without her in it. See what I mean about as epic as any Romeo and Juliet?

Here’s a link to the Google Books section of Cosmicomics where the whole story can be found.cosmicomics2

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About thebaffledkingcomposing

Pamela DiFrancesco is a writer with a community college degree in journalism, a fancy art school degree in fiction and a penchant for community organizing. A native of Pennsylvania coal country, Pamela lives in Astoria, Queens, writes, and does whatever else it takes to pay the bills. In the past, Pamela has worked for newspapers and taught children journalism in an after-school program. Pamela's fiction can be found on the web at Cezanne's Carrot and Monkeybicycle, in print in The Carolina Quarterly (who nominated "The Chuck Berry Tape Massacre" for the Best American Mystery Writing anthology) and forthcoming in The New Ohio Review. When not writing, Pamela practices acts of love and kindness in hopes of a radically different world, and is preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse through acts of badassery.
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