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Thread: "The Adventure of a Photographer"

  1. #1
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    "The Adventure of a Photographer"

    I just discovered one of my favourite "photogoraphic" short stories is online, by Italo Calvino. (Not quite as good as Invisible Cities or If on a winter's night a traveler - but enjoyable non the less:

    "THE ADVENTURE OF A PHOTOGRAPHER

    by Italo Calvino, c 1958

    WHEN SPRING comes, the city’s inhabitants, by the hundreds of thousands, go out on Sundays with leather cases over their shoulders. And they photograph one another. They come back as happy as hunters with bulging game bags; they spend days waiting, with sweet anxiety, to see the developed pictures (anxiety to which some add the subtle pleasure of alchemistic manipulations in the darkroom, forbidding any intrusion by members of the family, relishing the acid smell that is harsh to the nostrils). It is only when they have the photos before their eyes that they seem to take tangible possession of the day they spent, only then that the mountain stream, the movement of the child with his pail, the glint of the sun on the wife’s legs take on the irrevocability of what has been and can no longer be doubted. Everything else can drown in the unreliable shadow of memory.

    Seeing a good deal of his friends and colleagues, Antonino Paraggi, a nonphotographer, sensed a growing isolation. Every week he discovered that the conversations of those who praise the sensitivity of a filter or discourse on the number of DINs were swelled by the voice of yet another to whom he had confided until yesterday, convinced that they were shared, his sarcastic remarks about an activity that to him seemed so unexciting, so lacking in surprises...." more at

    http://home.pacbell.net/ishmael9/calvino.htm
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  2. #2
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    "The Adventure of a Photographer"

    can't wait. i love calvino, and today i'm on a freelance gig with a nice mac widescreen monitor and not a thing to do.
    probably too late to better myself with literature, but i might as well get payed for trying.

  3. #3
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    "The Adventure of a Photographer"

    Paul,

    you can browse more stuff (mainly fragments) at

    http://www.emory.edu/EDUCATION/mfp/cal.html
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  4. #4

    "The Adventure of a Photographer"

    Very enjoyable, Tim! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. #5

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    "The Adventure of a Photographer"

    You owe it to yourself to read the all book.
    This short story is from the book "Difficult Loves". A title very appropriate. But then again is there a love that is not difficult ?
    I agree with you Tim : Invisible cities is probably his more visionary work, with a rich imagery.
    Calvino was required reading in school, and i thank my professor for that.

  6. #6
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    "The Adventure of a Photographer"

    Great story. And a creepy forshadowing of postmodernism in photography (not surprising, I guess, coming from Calvino). I'll definitely check out Difficult Loves soon.

    So far my faves have been If on a Winter's Night ... and a novella called the Nonexistant Knight, which made my belly hurt from laughing so hard.

  7. #7
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    "The Adventure of a Photographer"

    "You owe it to yourself to read the all book. This short story is from the book "Difficult Loves". A title very appropriate. But then again is there a love that is not difficult ? "

    Yes, once upon a time I had a copy which was loaned and never returned... so it was enjoyable to come across one of my favourites from the book online.

    I was actually re-reading Invisible Cities in conjunction with my projects on the contemporary urban environment after havign read it many years ago. For such a small bok, there were whole sections that seemed new.

    I have a friend who would really like to make a movie of "If on a Winter's Night ... "
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  8. #8

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    "The Adventure of a Photographer"

    Thanks Tim,
    I've read many of his stories to my kids and they always want more!

    Brad

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