Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Castle of Crossed DestiniesThe Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ah, to be drunk with a pack of tarot cards.

Or was it speed? Not sure. It could be PCP. But whatever the drug, this collection of short stories surrounding the obvious use of tarot cards to write stories or re-write common tales or to lay down the structure of alchemy or to just have a plain ole good time is a concept I can love in pure concept terms, and do, but just how much did I love this exact work?

Um. Well. Some parts were fun and funny and the deep story concepts were really rather cool, but getting deep into any of it except for the stories we already know by heart was a real pain. I kinda felt like we were playing with little green interchangeable army men one moment and then we were having an intellectual discussion about high alchemical concepts and symbolism and the structure of the soul versus the medium in which we use it and its inversion, as seen with Doctor Faustus. (As in creating philosopher's gold within one's soul as the medium versus using the soul as a coin to create philosopher's gold directly, with the obvious fail associated with it.)

Of course, if that's too complicated to enjoy, then I'd recommend avoiding this book because that was just a tiny, tiny part. The rest seems to be a random shuffle and subsequent interpretation.

Fun, in a way, but oddly dissatisfying.

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