February 29, 2004

The Paris Review (Crime -- Number 164)
Edited by George Plimpton, et al

Dog Ears -- It's often a mystery returning to a good book you dog-eared a while ago and ascertaining what exactly it was that struck you as so important on that particular page. On page 44, in the introduction to an interview with Italo Calvino, I clearly recall the phrase I wanted to remember: "the parallels, the parallels," Calvino's purported final words. However, the significance of page 64, containing excerpts from Calvino's first American journals, eludes me. Perhaps it was the line that intriques me now: "If by chance a generation grows up that does not put money above all else, America will go up in smoke." Pages 69 and 70, though, remain a complete puzzle. Upon re-reading page 105, I clearly remember Richard Powers' moving, "Easter, 1939" -- especially this powerhouse ending, which culminates in a perfectly paced crescendo. Good ideas (and bad ideas, too) have a way of lasting.


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