Parallel between Calvino and Marana

As I was about to finish reading Chapter six there was a quote on page 125 about Ermes Marana that particularly stood out to me because it helped me draw a connection between Marana and Italo Calvino. In regards to Marana and the discontinuation of novels surrounding the Sultana, “You” states the following:

“Many feelings distress you as you leaf through these letters. The book whose continuation you were already enjoying in anticipation, vicariously through a third party, breaks off again….Ermes Marana appears to you as a serpent who injects his malice into the paradise of reading…..”

This is not to say that Calvino is malicious in any way, but more so that like Marana every time we become involved in a story and its characters, Calvino suddenly stops the story as it is about to reach its climax, and as soon as we are about to unveil a mystery.  Following each novel, we are then thrown back into the principal story of You and Ludmilla, which similar to the other novels we also frequently cut off from.

Much like we are left in suspense at the end of each individual story, there is a certain mystery about its characters.  Each character appears to be hiding something whether it is information, or something tangible.  Calvino never allows us, the readers; the opportunity to uncover these mysteries and/or to gain further insight into the personal lives of these individuals. In the same way, Calvino leaves us in suspense about Ludmilla and her relationship with You. After all there is a lot that we do not know about You, but in particular there is something mysterious about Ludmilla. I was able to read up to chapter seven and I was still unable to answer such questions as, why does Ludmilla hide out between the shelves of professor’s Uzzi-Tuzzi’s office?  Is she or not involved with a man? What is her relationship with her sister, Lotaria? and so on – as these questions go unanswered we continue to be left in absolute suspense not only in each new story that we read, but also in the one story that we would expect for Calvino to complete. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I would expect for these questions to be answered by the time that the book ends. I would also want for Calvino to elaborate on why he chose to withhold personal details about Ludmilla until the end of the story, that is if ever does decide to disclose this information.

At the end of it all we are similar to You in the sense that like him who is on the pursuit of discontinued novels, and of uncovering the truth behind Marana and Ludmilla, we also desire to solve the mysteries that lies in each story, as well as to  resolve the mysteries of each character. We the readers embody You as we are enclosed in-between unfinished stories and mysterious characters, while the other characters in the novel are more of a representation of Marana – mysterious and unsolved. Judging by how the novel has progresses thus far, I would not be surprised if Calvino left us in utter suspense about You and Ludmilla, just as how he has left us in suspense in every other story.