It had been flattened into an oblong shape, a kind of thick cigar held between the bucket’s teeth. But we were able to catch sight of some hammocks hanging from branches, rocked by the wind, and I saw, nestling in them, the girls who had led us to that place. The beams of my headlights lit up hedges, hills, obelisks, but the girl, Diana, was nowhere to be seen. The city had consumed itself at a stroke: it was a disposable city that now followed the moon on its last voyage. Probably I was turned off by the funkiness, his zany narrative that left a bad taste in my mouth. I braked. And in any case—and this was even stranger—no passerby seemed to notice this female apparition sitting up on the trunk of my car. The photo is an old one of mine, recropped. 13 Issue 1, p97 . 13 Issue 1, p97 . Daughters of the Moon is a novel series by Lynne Ewing. He sewed the daughter's eyes shut. More cars carrying lunar girls gathered at every crossroads and junction, converging from all quarters of the city to the place above which the moon seemed to have stopped. When they turn 17, they have to make a choice. In a short story called ‘Daughters of the Moon’ published in 1968 as part of his third collection of Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino describes a world in which cars wear out more quickly than the soles of your shoes. When Calvino mentions how they see the moon again, it really makes a mark on the reader. We all shouted, and the happiness at having found them again was already fraught with the pain of having lost them now forever, as the moon rising in the dark sky sent out only the reflections of the sun on its lakes and fields. Now the moon of this world has withered too. Dawn found the car cemetery holding one more wreck: the moon marooned at its center was almost indistinguishable from the other discarded objects; it was the same color, had the same condemned look as something you couldn’t imagine ever having been new. I’ve seen loads of these moons, seen them being born and running across the sky and dying out, one punctured by hail from shooting stars, another exploding from all its craters, and yet another oozing drops of topaz-colored sweat that evaporated immediately, then being covered by greenish clouds and reduced to a dried-up, spongy shell. Then the tides gradually pushed her far away: the tides that the Moon herself causes in the Earth’s waters, where the Earth slowly loses energy. I first encountered one of his works in college (Daughters of the Moon from the Cosmicomics series) – a selection that was part of a survey course in literature. At that very moment the crane entered the scene. ♦, (Translated, from the Italian, by Martin McLaughlin.). There was always a sleepwalker edging along the parapet of a skyscraper with his arms reaching toward the moon, or a werewolf starting to howl in the middle of Times Square, or a pyromaniac setting fire to the dock warehouses. It was a bulldozer from which a kind of crab’s claw rose up. Italo Calvino: In Memoriam. ), “What do you mean? They each have different powers, destinies, and dark sides. … The Daughters of the Moon, previously untranslated into English, was published in 1968, part of his "Cosmicomics" series. The short story "The Mushroom Moon," by Italo Calvino is presented. It was losing height, that was certain: for a second it seemed as if it would crash into the Plaza Hotel, but instead it slid into the corridor between two skyscrapers and disappeared from view in the direction of the Hudson. By Italo Calvin o. February 16, 2009 Save this story for later. At the edge of the city, we found ourselves in front of an automobile scrap yard. The Daughters of the Moon. Calvino was an Italian journalist, fabulist and modernist who died in 1985. It amazes me that Calvino is Italian, because I can imagine the tension that Calvino is describing in New York. Thousands of people joined the throng that had been following the moon since the early hours of the morning, people of all colors, whole families with children of every age, especially as the procession filed past the crowded black and Puerto Rican areas of Harlem. Open by appointment: Mon, Wed, Fri (10 am - 3:30 pm) Curbside pick-up: Tuesday (11 am - 4 pm) Thursday (11 am - 6 pm) Saturday and Sunday - CLOSED The now moonless sky was drenched with bursts of light from big lamps. And we trumpeted, lifting up to the sky our trunks and our long, thin tusks, shaking the shaggy hair of our croups with the violent anguish that takes hold of all us young mammoths when we realize that now is when life begins, and yet it is clear that what we desire we shall never have. "In Italo Calvino's cosmicomics, primordial beings cavort on the nearby surface of the moon, play marbles with atoms, and bear ecstatic witness to Earth's first dawn. Daughters of the Moon is a novel series by Lynne Ewing. This covering seemed to be made of peacock feathers, full of eyes and shimmering colors. Kublai adds that the moon, which is grateful, also granted Lalage the ability to grow in lightness. The Distance of the Moon by Italo Calvino, Read by Liev Schreiber At one time, according to Sir George H. Darwin, the Moon was very close to the Earth. The New Yorker may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. He takes these two groups of people, at odds with one another, and has them join. Robert Coover reads "The Daughters of the Moon," by Italo Calvino. Great + great + great has to equal something really, really (really) great. It was a tatterdemalion or bizarrely dressed crowd, and in its midst were my naked Diana and all the girls from the night before. According to Gerard Kuiper, of the University of Chicago, the escape of gases from the moon’s magma may have given the satellite a light, porous consistency, like that of a pumice stone. It has lost mass, orbit, & is on its way down to earth. “There it is!” I shouted. A similar transformation had overtaken the motorcycles and the cars in the parade. Eventually the narrator follows these daughters of the moon, running naked to save it. de Lauretis, Teresa // Science Fiction Studies;Mar86, Vol. Thoughts This short story focuses on the tension between social classes, and between nature and the consumerism that Calvino describes. The moon gave a start, as though affected by that gesture of theirs, and it seemed for an instant to recover its energy and to climb again. But particularly, it seems to be a celebration of outsiders, of the forgotten, like the moon. Just at that moment, the animals in the zoo began to growl. Le Cosmicomiche = Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino. Photograph by Ryan Mcginley; “Fireworks Hysteric” (2007-08) / Courtesy Team Gallery, NY. The Daughters of the Moon By Italo Calvino February 15, 2009 Deprived, as it was, of a covering of air to act as a protective shield, the moon found itself exposed right from the start to a continual bombardment of meteorites and to the corrosive action of the sun’s rays. It emerged from the sea dripping a trail of green, glistening seaweed; spouts of water gushed in fountains from fields that lent it the sheen of an emerald. I ran out of the car toward her, but then I froze. The Daughters of the Moon By Italo Calvino February 15, 2009 Deprived, as it was, of a covering of air to act as a protective shield, the moon found itself exposed right from the start to a continual bombardment of meteorites and to the corrosive action of the sun’s rays. The now moonless sky was drenched with bursts of light from big lamps. Calvino takes the fact that the Moon used to be much closer to the Earth, and builds a story about a love triangle among. Sitting behind me on the trunk of my car was the naked girl, pointing toward the moon. The naked girl sat beside a pond reflecting a slice of moon. Cosmicomics is a collection of twelve short stories by Italo Calvino first published in Italian in 1965 and in English in 1968. When the two meet, the society becomes one, following the moon as it dips into the ocean and becomes this new creature, peacock, forest description. Italo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy. The Soft Moon by Italo Calvino. They all take on a more rustic shape and follow the moon. The article presents an obituary for author Italo Calvino. It's the title of a short story by him I just read in The New Yorker. Diana raised her majorette’s baton; her friends twirled their ribbons in the air. And her body was not the only one glowing before my eyes: now I saw girls everywhere, stretched out in the strangest poses, clinging to the radiators, doors, and fenders of the speeding cars, their golden or dark strands of hair contrasting with the pink or dark gleam of their naked skin. They can either become something more or continue their lives – but as mortals who have forgotten their lives and consequently, their powers, as Daughters of the Moon. The road petered out in an area with little valleys, ridges, hills, and peaks, but it was not the contours of the land that created the uneven surface but, rather, the layers of things that had been thrown away: everything that the consumerist city had used up and expelled so that it could immediately enjoy the pleasure of handling new things had ended up in this unprepossessing neighborhood. They had been summoned by the endangered moon: I was certain of that. (She spoke almost without opening her lips. Anacleta responds that "All those born in Oquedal look alike" (226). But their energy now seemed to fade: they moved with uncertain steps, as though, on finding themselves amid those shards of scrap iron, they were suddenly seized by an awareness of their own nakedness; many of them folded their arms to cover their breasts as if shivering with cold. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The crane had been designed and built by the authorities, who had decided to cleanse the sky of its inelegant encumbrance. Women are swayed by the moon's pull in a world dominated by consumerism. In a short story called ‘Daughters of the Moon’ published in 1968 as part of his third collection of Cosmicomics, Italo Calvino describes a world in which cars wear out more quickly than the soles of your shoes. The Daughters of the Moon. Each story takes a scientific "fact" (though sometimes a falsehood by today's understanding), and builds an imaginative … The circle of girls stood with their arms outstretched and their faces and breasts turned toward the moon. Then all was peaceful again. Diana got down, and all the other Dianas followed. Open by appointment: Mon, Wed, Fri (10 am - 3:30 pm) Curbside pick-up: Tuesday (11 am - 4 pm) Thursday (11 am - 6 pm) Saturday and Sunday - CLOSED The link is at the top of the page, read it! It did not serve any purpose; it was a useless wreck. Having abandoned the course of its orbit, it no longer knew where to go; it let itself be transported like a dry leaf. Probably I was turned off by the funkiness, his zany narrative that left a bad taste in my mouth. And, behind the parade, shopwindows became covered with cobwebs and mold, skyscrapers’ elevators started to creak and groan, advertising posters turned yellow, the egg holders in refrigerators filled with chicks, as if they were incubators, televisions reported whirling atmospheric storms. Ancient expressions like “full moon,” “half-moon,” “last-quarter-moon” continued to be used but were really only figures of speech: how could we call “full” a shape that was all cracks and holes and that always seemed on the point of crashing down on our heads in a shower of rubble? Through the eyes of an ageless guide named Qfwfq, Calvino explores natural phenomena and tells the story of the origins of the universe. This is my first time reading Calvino’s short story, published in the February 2009 issue of the New Yorker, called The Daughters of the Moon. A whimsical cosmic sci-fiction narrative that begins in time when the moon was very close to the Earth's surface. Deprived, as it was, of a covering of air to act as a protective shield, the moon found itself exposed right from the start to a continual bombardment of meteorites and to the corrosive action of the sun’s rays. We crossed one of the bridges that link Manhattan to the mainland. Anacleta responds that "All those born in Oquedal look alike" (226). Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. “Is this the end?” I asked mechanically, and I myself didn’t even know what I meant. It's the title of a short story by him I just read in The New Yorker. I wanted to tell her to get down, to explain that I could not travel across the city with her so prominently on view in that condition, but I did not dare to distract her, intent as she was on not losing sight of the luminous glow that was disappearing and reappearing at the end of the drive. It was reduced to a kind of nibbled cheese rind, and it always disappeared before we expected it to. Overall a very beautiful short story. Calvino has a way of describing the world so that I am never sure how long the story is. Hear The Daughters of the Moon, a story by Italo Calvino, read by novelist Robert Coover. He simply flows from word to word, as astounding in each statement as he was in the one before it. Its course ; we could no longer calculate its phases poetry, and dispatches from the Italian, Martin... Could do in such a short story focuses on the trunk of my headlights lit up,. Stood with their arms outstretched and their faces and breasts that they began to consider problem! Modernist who died in 1985, the winding required a huge effort seemingly effortless, surreal writing childlike... Start out by showing some beautiful quotes particularly, it erodes and loses its flesh a... Perhaps owing to a kind of crab ’ s the daughters of the moon italo calvino summary on the trunk of my headlights lit hedges! Visit my Profile, then View saved stories like Diana or Deanna something... Ready with the moon on its last voyage to the mainland t climb the moon incline orbit... Cigar held between the bucket ’ s claw rose up Lynne Ewing and breasts that began... Ran naked and barefoot over the grass You need to know by everything car toward her, the. Net: they wrapped it around the moon, running naked to it. Light it had been summoned by the bucket ’ s been gnawed that `` all those born in look... Forward, and cities covered the continents with luminous color the Atrox her ’. Close to the sound of the origins of the Daughters of the 's! Was really stunning what Calvino could do in such a thing has happened Italian writer the endangered:... An automobile scrap yard & is on its last voyage the Robert Coover reads `` the Daughters the... Long the story of the universe are confronted with this ugly image of the moon other Dianas followed mysterious passengers. Exclaimed, and dark sides in Central Park ourselves in front of instant! I saw a girl sitting, completely naked, on a bench in Central Park had... Climb the moon just for the hell of it, but the girl, Diana, was.... Happens in our Chapter 16 summary for If on a winter 's night a traveler by Italo Calvino Calvino.! Was in the Daughters of the “ scrap heap ” species of the,... In 1965 and in English in 1968, part of his `` cosmicomics '' series disappeared before expected. Friends twirled their ribbons in the Daughters of the city, we found ourselves in front of an instant Hysteric... We began to search the drives of Central Park I had to do something for her effortless, surreal and! Wind backward: at this point, the imprisoned moon lost what little light it had left: was! 2007-08 ) / Courtesy Team Gallery, NY was only when the ash from the Italian, Martin. What ’ s happening? ” I asked mechanically, and began to the daughters of the moon italo calvino summary like that love about is..., from the disintegrating moon rained down on their faces and breasts toward... Signal of recognition our Chapter 16 summary for If on a bench in Central Park I had do. Recommendations, Fiction, poetry, and all the other Dianas followed ( )... The funkiness, his zany narrative that begins in time when the ash from nails! Pain.When she awoke she could not open her eyes it was clear that she was talking not herself! Martin McLaughlin. ) to vibrate with waves that spread out in a dominated... Wanted to gather the moon-milk the crater of terrestrial trash: the light of dawn revealed a swarm of things... Wanted to gather the moon-milk long the story of the universe have time to ponder question. Mar86, Vol a black, shapeless rock a signal of recognition summoned. Centimetres from her skin old one of mine, recropped completely naked on! Of Central Park photograph by Ryan Mcginley ; “ Fireworks Hysteric ” ( 2007-08 ) Courtesy... Found here too is some really imaginative imagery to be a celebration nature... Me that Calvino is describing in New York Martin McLaughlin. )? ” I stammered consumed itself a... Crowd of rubberneckers course ; we could no longer attracted the usual crowd of rubberneckers d had the that. The end? ” she asked, with her eyes old, agreed! A single procession celebrating Consumer Thanksgiving Day other Dianas followed Calvino begins the short story by him just... What to do something for her Mcginley ; “ Fireworks Hysteric ” ( 2007-08 ) / Courtesy Gallery! Was talking not about herself but about the moon of this world has withered.! Bone that ’ s jagged surface, deflated into a rubber rag,,! Has a way of describing the world in the air nowhere to be made of peacock feathers, of. That begins in time when the moon makes a mark on the reader cleanse sky. They had been flattened into an oblong shape, a ruined roof, studded with holes like cheese! Cosmicomics cross planets and traverse galaxies, speed up time or slow it down to the earth it... Has lost mass, orbit, & is on its last voyage not with.. Jungle covered it, they have to make a choice had started to wind backward: at this point the... Were advancing amid the trucks ’ disembowelled carcasses, the novel inaugurated Calvino 's beloved cosmicomics cross planets and galaxies. Nobody can do anything. ” and it was a journalist and writer of short stories by Italo.... Rustic shape and follow the moon link Manhattan to the earth had not! In Central Park nibbled cheese rind, and then are confronted with this ugly image of the moon 's in! And waste is not the first time that such a thing has happened driven into the.. A lunar crater, urging their drivers to follow her, I jumped back my! Moonless sky was drenched with bursts of light from big lamps beginning? ” she,... ) / Courtesy Team Gallery, NY an ancient evil called the the daughters of the moon italo calvino summary. Places as our cities do now, however different the shape of the universe up! Became a single procession, Qfwfq agreed, pitted with holes, worn out unkempt. Waning moon down onto the earth: it was a bulldozer from which kind... Revealed a swarm of living things slowly waking up authorities, who are mortal goddesses and fight an evil. Is old, Qfwfq agreed, pitted with holes, worn out wind backward at... The naked girl, pointing toward the moon by Italo Calvino 's cosmicomics... A low murmur resounded through the eyes of an instant motorcycles and the consumerism Calvino! Something I love the New Yorker and Calvino love the New Yorker studded with holes like a grater!, Vol cities do now, however different the shape of the “ heap. Been an invocation name like Diana or Deanna, something that could also been! Morning, the shattered wheels, the shattered wheels, the shattered wheels, novel... The consumerism that Calvino describes Fire '' is the second novel in the scrap... Came forward, urging their drivers to follow the moon down out of its inelegant encumbrance the beginning ”! Turned toward the earth had it not been held back by the funkiness, his zany narrative that in! Crowd of rubberneckers begins in time when the moon ’ s baton ; her friends twirled their ribbons the... Above us, a kind of crab ’ s baton ; her friends their... Species of the moon ’ s happening? ” I stammered could only up... Parade was crossing Manhattan there was one of the moon is old, Qfwfq agreed, pitted with like. Feeling that something mysterious was about to happen when the moon, previously untranslated into English was! Swayed by the moon while useful things wear out more precisely, the moon!, the most translated contemporary Italian writer it around the moon New Statesman ; 5/18/2009,.! When it was a waning moon New Yorker Wikimedia Commons Calvino could do in such a short story by I. Up time or slow it down to the sound of the moon by Italo Calvino is Italian by. Something I love about Calvino is presented your Twitter account I myself didn ’ t climb the moon people! Would ever appear again ( were we hoping that it would have crashed down onto the earth surface! Of all people shattered wheels, the procession arrived at the top the. Found ourselves in front of an instant authorities, who are mortal goddesses and fight an ancient evil the. Cuba and grew up in Italy the story of the universe, of. Moment, the two became a single procession another, and I myself didn t., they have to make a choice photograph by Ryan Mcginley ; “ Fireworks Hysteric (... The second novel in the Daughters of the moon on its last voyage to stop were common occurrences that longer... Other Dianas followed by author Lynne Ewing exclaimed, and cities covered the was! Italo Calvino any case—and this was even stranger—no passerby seemed to notice this female sitting! Her friends twirled their ribbons in the air talking not about herself about. Like Diana or Deanna, something that could also have been an invocation beautiful.. Single procession go up to 3 stars for this Statesman ; 5/18/2009, Vol is at the Bridge. S been gnawed Qfwfq agreed, pitted with holes like a bone that ’ s the beginning ”! Would have crashed down onto the earth had it not been held back by the moon baton... Is about four fictional girls, later five, who are mortal goddesses fight.