Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics)


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Mr Palomar -- Paperback / softback [Paperback]

If the ancients had been able to see it as I see it now, Mr. Palomar thinks, they would have thought they had projected their gaze into the heaven of Plato's ideas, or in the immaterial space of the postulates of Euclid; but instead, thanks to some misdirection or other, this sight has been granted to me, who fear it is too beautiful to be true, too gratifying to my imaginary universe to belong to the real world.


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He feels the need of defining every moment, every instant of his being and also the need of finding a set pattern in the world which gives him the pleasure of knowing that he has lived his life the way it ought to be lived and the universe exist the way it ought to exist whether Mr. Palomar is a part of it or not. I can vouch for great writing but subject matter might not appeal to all, so read it when you want to read a little book with a big heart.

And yet it has always happened that certain things a stone wall, a seashell, a leaf, a teapot present themselves to him as if asking him for a minute and prolonged attention: he starts observing them almost unawares and his gaze begins to run over all the details, and is then unable to detach itself.

Each time I pick one up I get that big WOW feeling so this is what it's like to be a true writer and poet, capable of turning your world upside down and making you fell like your IQ suddenly jumped up a couple of points. Mr Palomar is a marvelous gem of playful observation of the world that turns itself into a philosophical treatise of what it means to be human in a bewildering yet enchanting universe. A garden philosopher and impromptu poet, Mr Palomar teeters on the brink between shower thoughts humour and philosophical essay, discovering universal patterns and meaning during his summer vacation at the beach, stargazing in the evening, tending his small city garden, going to the zoo or to foreign countries, shopping for meat or for cheese,going out in society or simply meditating in his easy chair.

Palomar's mind has wandered, he has stopped pulling up weeds; he no longer thinks of the lawn: he thinks of the universe. In a modern world that seems interested only in shallow appearances and speed, Mr Palomar reminds us of the need to balance sensory input with analysis, to bridge western philosophy utilitarian view wit the oriental penchant for contemplation and meditation. I have noticed this commentary on the art of writing present in other books by Italo Calvino, but Palomar has I believe more than an inquisitive mind. Palomar goes to see an albino gorilla in a zoo: From it he can have a glimpse of what for man is the search for an escape from the dismay of living: investing oneself in things, recognizing oneself in signs, transforming the world into a collection of symbols; a first daybreak of culture in the long biological night.

The spectacle of the outside world is a source of never ending wonder for Mr. Palomar, much better than television in his opinion. So, towards the end of this funny yet very serious novel, Mr Palomar turns his questing eye inward and towards more abstract thought patterns: We can know nothing about what is outside us, if we overlook ourselves, the universe is the mirror in which we contemplate only what we have learned to know in ourselves. In a series of 27 vignettes, he takes his common experience from the natural and human world as a series of problems in looking and interpreting the nature of reality.


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  6. Thus, in simplified terms I say only that a prospective reader should expect a progression with each three vignettes from a perceptual issue, to one concerned with human meanings and symbols, and ending with one that focuses on an abstract topic dealing with time, the cosmos, or relations between the self and the world. This is a special homage the sun pays to me personally, Mr.

    Palomar is tempted to think, or rather, the egocentric megalomaniac ego that dwells in him is tempted to think. But the depressive and self-wounding ego that dwells with the other in the same container, rebuts, Everyone with eyes sees the reflection that follows him; illusion of the senses and of the mind holds us all prisoners, always. I am swimming in my mind; this sword of light exists only there; and this is precisely what attracts me. Palomar always hopes that silence contains more than language can say.

    Or what if everything that exists were language and has been since the beginning of time? The looking at the world through the windows of his eyes as a source of true knowledge is undermined by his own mind being part of that world. And so there is an endpoint to all contemplation, to this book, and sadly, two years after this was published in , to the life of Italo Calvino. Where the Palomar telescope points out into space, Mr Palomar points in: walking the beach, visiting the zoo, strolling in his garden.

    As ever, his gaze is crystal clear and his writing has the easy beauty of clarity.

    Italo Calvino

    Italo Calvino was born in Cuba in He grew up in Italy. He was an essayist and journalist and a member of the editorial staff of Einaudi in Turin. In he won the prestigious Premio Feltrinelli. He died in Mr Palomar is a delightful eccentric whose chief activity is looking at things. He is seeking knowledge; 'it is only after you have come to know the surface of things that you can venture to seek what is underneath'. Whether contemplating a fine cheese, a hungry gecko, a woman sunbathing topless or a flight of migrant starlings, Mr Palomar's observations render the world afresh.

    Read more Read less. Review "Here, Calvino, probably Italy's leading novelist before he died, focuses a probing eye on one man's attempt to name the parts of his universe, almost as though Mr Palomar were trying to define and explain his own existence. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review.

    Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. February 11, - Published on Amazon. Verified Purchase. Not a novel or short story collection, more the mental fragments of a middle-aged teacher who may or may not think too much. And he may also think a bit incorrectly at times. But his observations of common, everyday objects or ideas were interesting.

    Paperback Editions

    Either contemplating the thoughts of a visiting lizard, or the emotional chaos of standing in line at a cheese shop and having to choose a particular cheese, Mr. Palomar copes with life by wondering and thinking. Named with a nod to the Palomar Observatory, Mr. Palomar takes time to give the item he is considering a long, detailed look. A series of 27 vignettes, this fictional piece was a lot of fun and I recommend it.

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    Mr Palomar

    February 5, - Published on Amazon. It is always such a pleasure to return to Calvino's beautifully hypnotic introspection. This is such a simple read on the surface, yet I found myself poring over passages multiple times as the layers peeled back to reveal more and more of the world through Mr. Palomar's incredibly observant eyes.

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    Like Marcovaldo before it, Mr. Palomar invites the reader to become submersed in a worldview that most of us have neither the time nor the patience to craft for ourselves.

    Mr Palomar Summary

    Unlike Marcovaldo, however, this takes a much more philosophical approach to the idea of discovery of Self through observation. Instead of leaving me wistful for a time and place I can never know Mr. Palomar has given me a way to see every facet of my own time and place with a beauty heretofore reserved for the majestic and the surreal.

    From the opening passages with Mr. Palomar becoming lost in contemplation of the "barely wrinkled" sea, there was no question that this was going to be a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking experience. Palomar, of course, "is not lost, because he is quite aware of what he's doing," and so we The Reader are immediately challenged to retain the same mindset as we allow Calvino to lead us to ourselves. In a style that is almost more poetry than prose we are shown how to finally see the world around us as it is, as it was, as it will be, and our own place in it.

    Mr Palomar, Vintage Classics by Italo Calvino | | Booktopia

    When the crescendo peaks at just the right moment or my gaze is reflected back to me in just the right set of eyes I can see the world stretch out before me, under me, and behind me with a supernatural clarity. This clarity that seems to only exist in occasions of pure adulation or repose is something that Mr. Palomar fervently and actively seeks at all times by attempting to truly know all things that surround him.

    The wave on the sand, the feet of the gecko, "the pause and not the whistle" of the crow, the art of charcuterie, or the floor plan of the cheese shop all open new and expansive worlds to be, not just discovered, but known intimately. Yet for all of his observations empirical research, "he distrusts what he knows," and, "what he does not know keeps his spirit in a suspended state. It is this desire that also drives him to frustration. But the surface of things is inexhaustible. Palomar thoroughly scoured the surface of the world for every scrap of knowledge and understanding he could glean.

    His searching was not, he and I would soon realize, simply an exercise but a journey of education and self-realization. The ultimate Truth, for me, came with the understanding that, "a thing is happy to be looked at by other things only when it is convinced that it signifies itself and nothing else.

    Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics) Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics)
    Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics) Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics)
    Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics) Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics)
    Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics) Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics)
    Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics) Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics)
    Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics) Mr Palomar (Vintage Classics)

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