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.