Notes on TimeAndTheHunter/IIIDeath (page 87)

Despair not. Just when you were beginning to feel thoroughly dejected about Calvino’s proposal that there is no longer any real connection between anybody or anything now that we’ve become complex multi-cellular organisms, rather than simple cells adrift in the promordial soup 1; he extends the olive branch of hope towards us in the chapter entitled III.Death.

As soon as we are out of the primordial matter, we are bound in a connective tissue that fills the hiatus between our dicontinuities, between our deaths and births, a collection of signs, articulated sounds, ideograms, morphemes, numbers, punched cards, magnetic tapes, tattoos, a system of communication that includes social relations, kinship, institutions, merchandise, advertising posters, napalm bombs, namely everything that is language, in the broad sense.

The middle section of this book is very difficult to read. Just when think you’ve made some sense of the ideas, he moves on to something new before you have chance to structure your thoughts. If my memory serves me correctly (this is my second reading), the last section is the most enjoyable. Peter certainly seemed to think so.

There’s no doubt in my mind anymore that he is certainly one of my favourite authors. If you had a bookcase that contained only the work of Italo Calvino, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Douglas Adams, you’d need nothing else. All parts of your brain/soul would be satisfied.

  1. see previous entry on Blood, Sea chapter