A Sentence from Calvino

I am reading Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, a book that I will certainly have more to say about in a future post, but I will pause in my reading long enough to share this sentence:

“And yet, in Raissa, at every moment there is a child in a window who laughs seeing a dog that has jumped on a shed to bite into a piece of polenta dropped by a stonemason who has shouted from the top of the scaffolding, ‘Darling, let me dip into it,’ to a young serving-maid who holds up a dish of ragout under the pergola, happy to serve it to the umbrella-maker who is celebrating a successful transaction, a white lace parasol bought to display at the races by a great lady in love with an officer who has smiled at her taking the last jump, happy man, and happier horse, flying over the obstacles, seeing a francolin flying in the sky, happy bird freed from its cage by a painter happy at having painted it feather by feather, speckled with red and yellow in the illumination of that page in the volume where the philosopher says: ‘Also in Raissa, city of sadness, there runs an invisible thread that binds one living being to another for a moment, then unravels, then is stretched again between moving points as it draws new and rapid patterns so that at every second the unhappy city contains a happy city unaware of its own existence.'”

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4 comments
  1. Andrew Hill said:

    how is that one sentence?

  2. Andy

    This is one sentence because it has one main clause and one period, however many dependent clauses, prepositional phrases, and quoted sentences it may have.

  3. Curtis said:

    It might benefit from a semicolon at the end of ‘….celebrating a successful transaction.’ since this seems a natural end and then changes to speak of the parasol.

  4. Curtis,

    The white lace parasol is actually the successful transaction in question, so their is still continuity there. A semicolon would just make the second half of the sentence incomplete.

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